Harvard Health Letter

Niacin trial stopped early: Now what?

A clinical trial of niacin in combination with a statin to lower cholesterol was stopped early because of concerns that the combined medication could be associated with an increased risk of stroke. The editors of the Health Letter will wait until the complete results are published in a peer-reviewed journal before weighing in fully on the AIM-HIGH trial and high doses of niacin. But there's no reason to get panicky about niacin — or Niaspan, for that matter. The FDA issued a statement the same day the end of the trial was announced that emphasized that its recommendations for extended-release niacin weren't changing. The agency's statement noted that nine of the 28 strokes in the Niaspan group occurred well after people stopped taking the prescription niacin.
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