inositol Overview Information
Inositol nicotinate is a compound made of niacin (vitamin B3) and inositol. Inositol occurs naturally in the body and can also be made in the laboratory.
Inositol nicotinate is used for treating blood circulation problems, including pain when walking due to poor circulation in the legs (intermittent claudication); skin changes caused by pooling of the blood in the legs (stasis dermatitis) when veins are ineffective in returning blood to the heart; narrowing of the blood vessels leading to cold fingers and toes (Raynaud’s disease); and blood flow problems in the brain (cerebral vascular disease). Inositol nicotinate has been used in conventional medical practice in Great Britain for improving symptoms of poor circulation for many years, although it is usually not the preferred treatment choice.
Inositol nicotinate is also used for high cholesterol; high blood pressure; sleep problems (insomnia); migraines related to “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis); skin conditions, including scleroderma, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, and others; inflammation of the tongue (exfoliative glossitis); restless leg syndrome; and schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.
How does it work?
Inositol nicotinate releases a form of niacin when it is processed by the body. The niacin can widen blood vessels, lower blood levels of fats such as cholesterol, and break up a protein needed for the clotting of blood.
Possibly Effective for:
- Painful response to cold especially in the fingers and toes (Raynaud’s disease). Some research suggests that taking a specific product of inositol nicotinate (Hexopal) by mouth for several weeks modestly improves symptoms of Raynaud's syndrome.
- High cholesterol. The effectiveness of inositol nicotinate for treating high cholesterol is controversial. While some research suggests that inositol nicotinate taken by mouth may decrease cholesterol levels, others research shows that inositol nicotinate does not have an effect.
- Cramping pain and weakness in the legs due to poor circulation (intermittent claudication). The effectiveness of inositol nicotinate for treating intermittent claudication is controversial. While some research suggests that taking a specific inositol nicotinate product (Hexopal) by mouth for up to 3 months improves walking distance and reduces symptoms in people with this condition, other research shows conflicting results.
- Blood disorders of the brain.
- Migraine headaches.
- Hardened skin (scleroderma).
- Sleeplessness (insomnia).
- High blood pressure.
- Restless leg syndrome.
- Skin inflammation (dermatitis).
- Inflammation of the tongue (exfoliative glossitis).
- Other conditions.
inositol Side Effects & Safety
Inositol nicotinate is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. It can cause some side effects such as stomach upset, headache, nausea, burping, and hiccups. It might also cause liver damage like other niacin products in some people.
Some inositol nicotinate products are promoted as "no-flush" niacin because some people think they don't cause as much flushing as regular niacin. But this possible benefit has not been proven in research studies.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking inositol nicotinate if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Allergies: Niacin, a chemical that is released when inositol nicotinate breaks down in the body, might make allergies worse by releasing histamine. This is the chemical that triggers allergy symptoms.
Bleeding disorder: Inositol nicotinate might slow blood clotting. In theory, inositol nicotinate might increase the risk of bleeding and make bleeding disorders worse.
Heart disease/heart-related chest pain (unstable angina): Large amounts of niacin, a chemical that is released when inositol nicotinate breaks down in the body, can increase the risk of irregular heartbeat. If you have a heart condition, check with your healthcare provider before using inositol nicotinate.
Diabetes: Niacin, a chemical that is released when inositol nicotinate breaks down in the body, can interfere with blood sugar control. This might require an adjustment in the dose of medicines needed to control diabetes. Increased blood sugar monitoring may be necessary, particularly at the beginning of treatment. If you have diabetes, check with your healthcare provider before using inositol nicotinate.
Gallbladder disease: Niacin, a chemical that is released when inositol nicotinate breaks down in the body, might make gallbladder problems worse. Use with caution.
Gout: Large amounts of niacin, a chemical that is released when inositol nicotinate breaks down in the body, might trigger gout. Use with caution.
Low blood pressure: Niacin, a chemical that is released when inositol nicotinate breaks down in the body, can cause low blood pressure. Use with caution.
Kidney disease: Niacin, a chemical that is released when inositol nicotinate breaks down in the body, might accumulate in people with kidney disease and make their condition worse. Don’t use inositol nicotinate if you have kidney problems.
Liver disease: Niacin, a chemical that is released when inositol nicotinate breaks down in the body, can cause liver damage. Don’t use inositol nicotinate if you have liver disease.
Sensitivity to niacin: Niacin is released when inositol nicotinate is processed by the body. If you are sensitive to niacin, don’t use inositol nicotinate.
Ulcers in the stomach or intestines (peptic ulcer disease): Large amounts of niacin, a chemical that is released when inositol nicotinate breaks down in the body, might make peptic ulcer disease worse. Don’t use inositol nicotinate if you have ulcers.
Surgery: Inositol nicotinate might slow blood clotting. There is some concern that it might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking inositol nicotinate at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with INOSITOL NICOTINATE
Chronic use of inositol nicotinate might increase blood sugar. Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar. By increasing blood sugar, inositol nicotinate might decrease the effectiveness of diabetes medications. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with INOSITOL NICOTINATE
Inositol nicotinate might slow blood clotting. Taking inositol nicotinate along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
- Medications used for lowering cholesterol (Statins) interacts with INOSITOL NICOTINATE
Inositol nicotinate is changed in the body to niacin. Niacin can affect the muscles. Some medication used for lowering cholesterol can also affect the muscles. Taking niacin along with some medications used for lowering high cholesterol might increase the risk of muscle problems.
Some medications used for high cholesterol include cerivastatin (Baycol), atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and others.
- Nicotine patch (Transdermal nicotine) interacts with INOSITOL NICOTINATE
Inositol nicotinate is broken down in the body to niacin. Niacin can sometimes cause flushing and dizziness. The nicotine patch can also cause flushing and dizziness. Taking inositol nicotinate and using a nicotine patch can increase the possibility of becoming flushed and dizzy.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For blood circulation problems in the legs, feet and arms: The typical dosing range is 1500-4000 mg of inositol nicotinate daily given in 2-4 divided doses.