Alternate Title

  • Inositol hexanicotinate

Related Terms

  • Hexanicit®, hexanicotinoyl inositol, Hexopal®, inositol hexaniacinate, inositol hexanicotinate, inositol niacinate, m-inositol nicotinate, meso-inositol, meso-inositol hexanicotinate, niacin, niacinamide, nicotinamide, nicotinic acid, no-flush niacin, vitamin B3.
  • Note: Inositol nicotinate consists of six nicotinic acid (niacin) molecules linked with an inositol molecule. When taken by mouth, inositol nicotinate is broken down into nicotinic acid (niacin) and inositol. Therefore, although inositol nicotinate may produce similar effects and adverse effects as niacin, only those effects and adverse effects specific to inositol nicotinate are included in this monograph.

Background

  • Inositol nicotinate, also known as inositol hexaniacinate, consists of six nicotinic acid (niacin) molecules crossed-linked with an inositol molecule. Inositol nicotinate is a form of niacin (vitamin B3) which may decrease flushing, compared to niacin. Inositol nicotinate has been in use in Europe for over 30 years as a no-flush form of niacin.
  • Good scientific evidence supports the use of inositol nicotinate for peripheral artery disease. Inositol nicotinate has also been studied as a treatment for cerebral ischemia (lack of adequate blood flow to the brain), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Raynaud’s disease, and necrobiosis lipoidica (a skin condition associated with diabetes).

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

    Peripheral artery disease

    Inositol nicotinate may have beneficial effects in patients with peripheral artery disease. More studies are needed to make any conclusions in this area.

    Cerebral ischemia (lack of adequate blood flow to the brain)

    Limited research suggests that inositol nicotinate may have beneficial effects in patients with cerebral ischemia. More studies are needed to make any conclusions in this area.

    High cholesterol

    Limited research suggests that inositol nicotinate may have beneficial effects in patients with high cholesterol. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

    High blood pressure

    Studies examining the effects of inositol nicotinate alone on high blood pressure are currently lacking. Further research on inositol nicotinate alone for this use is needed.

    Raynaud’s disease

    Limited research suggests that inositol nicotinate may have beneficial effects in patients with Raynaud’s disease. Additional research is needed in this area.

    Skin disorders (necrobiosis lipoidica)

    Necrobiosis lipoidica is an inflammatory disorder associated with diabetes mellitus. The cause is unknown and there is a lack of traditional therapies. Additional research is needed to determine if inositol nicotinate may be effective in the treatment of this condition.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (18 years and older)

    • For high cholesterol, 600-800 milligrams of inositol nicotinate has been taken by mouth daily.
    • For peripheral artery disease, 2 grams of inositol nicotinate (Hexopal®) has been taken by mouth twice daily for three months. One gram of inositol nicotinate (Hexopal®) has been taken by mouth four times daily for three months.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for inositol nicotinate in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid with known allergy or sensitivity to inositol nicotinate, niacin, or their constituents.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Inositol nicotinate may cause breathing problems, dizziness, feeling of warmth, gastrointestinal complaints, high uric acid level in the blood, hives, impaired glucose tolerance, itchy or swollen skin, liver toxicity, skin flushing (redness), rash, or tightness in the throat.
    • Inositol nicotinate may increase blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Inositol nicotinate may cause changes in blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that affect blood pressure.
    • Inositol nicotinate may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
    • Use cautiously in patients in patients with cardiovascular conditions, as inositol nicotinate may cause chest pain or changes in blood pressure and heart rhythm, as is observed with niacin.
    • Use cautiously in patients taking lipid or cholesterol lowering agents, as inositol nicotinate may lower blood levels of lipids or cholesterol.
    • Avoid in patients with liver disease or stomach ulcers, as liver problems, stomach ulcers, diarrhea, jaundice, vomiting, or stomach pain may occur.
    • Avoid in patients using carbamazepine, as inositol nicotinate should not be combined with carbamazepine.
    • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
    • Avoid in patients with known allergy to inositol nicotinate, niacin, or any of their constituents.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Inositol nicotinate may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
    • Inositol nicotinate may increase blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also affect blood sugar. Patients taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Inositol nicotinate may cause changes in blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs that affect blood pressure, including agents that widen blood vessels.
    • Inositol nicotinate may also interact with alcohol, carbamazepine, cardiovascular agents, lipid or cholesterol lowering agents, or nicotine.
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Inositol nicotinate may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
    • Inositol nicotinate may increase blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
    • Inositol nicotinate may cause changes in blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that affect blood pressure, including herbs and supplements that widen blood vessels.
    • Inositol nicotinate may also interact with cardiovascular herbs and supplements, lipid or cholesterol lowering herbs and supplements, or nicotine.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

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    View Abstract
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    View Abstract
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    View Abstract
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    View Abstract
  • Rhodes EL. Fibrinolytic agents in the treatment of necrobiosis lipoidica. Br J Dermatol 1976;95:673-674.
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    View Abstract