Expert opinion on drug safety

Safety and tolerability of extended-release niacin with laropiprant.

PMID 22133050


Niacin is one of the oldest drugs used in the treatment of dyslipidemia. Previously its use has been limited because of excessive flushing. Now an agent laropiprant (LRP) has been developed, which blocks the flushing pathway. Therefore, it is time to collate available information to assess the safety and tolerability of combining niacin with LRP. The authors searched PubMed and MEDLINE for literature published between January 2006 and July 2011, for safety and tolerability reports of extended-release niacin (ERN) with LRP. The addition of LRP to ERN, by reducing the side effect 'flushing', may enable lipidologists and physicians to use niacin more widely as part of lipid modification therapy, especially since the combination can be safely added to statins. However, it has to be accepted that the addition of LRP does not completely abolish flushing. The favorable safety profile supports the use of LRP to achieve higher therapeutic dosing of niacin.