Niacinamide is required for the function of fats and sugars in the body and to maintain healthy cells. Niacin is converted to niacinamide when it is taken in amounts greater than what is needed by the body. Unlike niacin, niacinamide doesn't help treat high cholesterol.
People use niacinamide to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency and related conditions such as pellagra. It is also used for acne, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, aging skin, skin discoloration, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
Do not confuse niacinamide with niacin, NADH, nicotinamide riboside, inositol nicotinate, or L-tryptophan. These are not the same.
Uses & Effectiveness
Likely Effective for
- A disease cause by niacin deficiency (pellagra). Niacinamide prescription products are US FDA approved for preventing and treating pellagra. It's sometimes preferred over niacin because it doesn't cause flushing, a side effect of niacin treatment.
Possibly Effective for
- Acne. Applying a cream containing niacinamide seems to improve the appearance of skin in people with acne.
- Diabetes. Taking niacinamide by mouth might help slow the progression of type 1 diabetes. But it doesn't seem to prevent diabetes.
- High levels of phosphate in the blood (hyperphosphatemia). In people who need hemodialysis due to kidney failure and have high levels of phosphate, taking niacinamide by mouth seems to help decrease phosphate levels.
- Nonmelanoma skin cancer. Taking niacinamide by mouth seems to help prevent new skin cancer or precancerous spots from forming in people with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer.
- Osteoarthritis. Taking niacinamide by mouth seems to improve joint flexibility and reduce pain and swelling in people with osteoarthritis.
Possibly Ineffective for
When applied to the skin: Niacinamide is possibly safe. Niacinamide cream might cause mild burning, itching, or redness.
Special Precautions and Warnings
When applied to the skin: Niacinamide is possibly safe. Niacinamide cream might cause mild burning, itching, or redness. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Niacinamide is likely safe when taken in recommended amounts. The maximum recommended amount while pregnant or breast-feeding is 30 mg daily for those under 18 years of age, and 35 mg daily for those over 18 years of age.
Children: Niacinamide is likely safe when taken by mouth in the recommended amounts by age. Children should avoid taking niacinamide doses above the daily upper limits, which are 10 mg for children 1-3 years of age, 15 mg for children 4-8 years of age, 20 mg for children 9-13 years of age, and 30 mg for children 14-18 years of age.
Diabetes: Niacinamide might increase blood sugar. People with diabetes who take niacinamide should check their blood sugar regularly.
Gallbladder disease: Niacinamide might make gallbladder disease worse.
Kidney dialysis: Taking niacinamide seems to increase the risk of low platelet levels in people with kidney failure who are on dialysis.
Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Niacinamide might make ulcers worse. Don't use it if you have ulcers.
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) interacts with NIACINAMIDE
Carbamazepine is broken down by the body. Niacinamide might decrease how fast the body breaks down carbamazepine. But it isn't clear if this is a major concern.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with NIACINAMIDE
Niacinamide might slow blood clotting. Taking niacinamide along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
Primidone (Mysoline) interacts with NIACINAMIDE
Primidone is broken down by the body. Niacinamide might decrease how fast the body breaks down primidone. But there isn't enough information to know if this is a major concern.
Be cautious with this combination
Niacinamide is also found in many foods, including meat, fish, milk, eggs, vegetables, and cereals. The amount that should be consumed on a daily basis is called the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). In males, the RDA is 16 mg NE. In females, the RDA is 14 mg NE. While pregnant, the RDA is 18 mg NE. While breast-feeding, the RDA is 17 mg NE. In children, the RDA depends on age. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.