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Journal of Clinical Lipidology
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 121 - 131

A systematic review on evidence of the effectiveness and safety of a wax-matrix niacin formulation

Andrew P. Dunatchik, Matthew K. Ito and Carlos A. Dujovne    

Abstract: Niacin is a uniquely efficacious therapy in the treatment of dyslipidemia because of its broad spectrum of beneficial effects on every aspect of the lipid profile and because it has been shown to reduce both total mortality and coronary death. However, niacin therapy is hindered by its side-effect profile, which appears to be dependent on its formulation with immediate-release niacin, associated with a greater incidence of flushing, and sustained-release niacin, associated with greater liver function test (LFT) abnormalities and hepatotoxicity. One such sustained-release niacin nutritional supplement formulation, Endur-acin (Endurance Products Company, Tigard, OR), claims to have clinical evidence to support its use in the treatment of dyslipidemias, which prompted us to systematically review the literature. We identified four published papers in which the authors reported the results of two separate clinical trials and one pharmacokinetic study that fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. Endur-acin significantly reduced total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio with mean reductions up to 19%, 26%, and 20%, respectively, at a dose of 2000 mg/day. Less-impressive benefits were also seen with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (+10%) and serum triglycerides (−23%). Mean LFT elevations of up to 1.6-fold were seen at the 2000 mg per day dose, however, not exceeding three times the upper limit of normal, with abnormal results occurring at similar frequency in placebo and one patient experiencing marked gastrointestinal symptoms and a hepatitis-like syndrome with reversible elevated LFT. Short-term randomized controlled trials suggest Endur-acin is effective in modifying serum lipids, although study limitations prevent a comprehensive evaluation of safety.

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