Safety, tolerance, and efficacy of extended-release niacin monotherapy for treating dyslipidemia risks in persons with chronic tetraplegia: A randomized multicenter controlled trial

Mark S. Nash, John E. Lewis, Trevor A. Dyson-Hudson, Yaga Szlachcic, Florence Yee, Armando J. Mendez, Ann M. Spungen, William A. Bauman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Objective To test the safety, tolerance, and efficacy of extended-release niacin monotherapy on dyslipidemia in persons with chronic tetraplegia. Design Placebo-controlled, blinded, multicenter, randomized controlled trial. Setting Three spinal cord injury research/rehabilitation centers. Participants Persons with chronic tetraplegia (N=54) and low plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. Intervention Extended-release niacin monotherapy (48 weeks; n=31) on a dose-titration schedule versus matched placebo (n=23). Main Outcome Measures Safety was assessed by using percentages of treatment-emergent adverse events and increased levels of hepatic transaminases, uric acid, glycosylated hemoglobin, and fasting glucose. Tolerance was assessed by using participant reports for frequency and intensity of adverse effects of extended-release niacin. Primary effectiveness outcomes were fasting HDL-C level and plasma total cholesterol (TC)/HDL-C ratio. Secondary outcomes included plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and TC levels and LDL-C/HDL-C ratio. Results Significant increases in fasting HDL-C levels (24.5%) were accompanied by decreases in TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C ratios, LDL-C levels, and TC levels (all P<.05). No evidence of sustained hepatotoxicity or hyperglycemia was observed. Treatment-emergent withdrawals (12.9%) accompanied flushing (n=1), hypotension/presyncope (n=1), and diarrhea (n=2). One subject experienced transient hyperuricemia. Other drug-reported symptoms did not differ from those for placebo. Conclusions Extended-release niacin monotherapy is safe, tolerated, and effective for most persons with chronic tetraplegia. Special precautions for changes in bowel habits and postadministration hypotension should be observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-410
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011



  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Niacin
  • Randomized controlled trial, publication type
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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