Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate. The effectiveness ratings for NIACINAMIDE are as follows:
Likely effective for…
- A disease caused by niacin deficiency (pellagra). Niacinamide is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these uses. Niacinamide is sometimes preferred over niacin because it does not cause “flushing,” (redness, itching, and tingling), a side effect of niacin treatment.
Possibly effective for…
- Acne. Early research shows that taking tablets containing niacinamide and other ingredients for 8 weeks improves skin appearance in people with acne. Other research shows that applying a cream containing it improves the appearance of skin in people with acne.
- Diabetes. Some research shows that taking niacinamide might help prevent the loss of insulin production in children and adults at risk for type 1 diabetes. It might also prevent the loss of insulin production and reduce the dose of insulin needed by children recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. However, it does not seem to prevent the development of type 1 diabetes in at-risk children. In people with type 2 diabetes, it seems to help protect insulin production and improve blood sugar control.
- High levels of phosphate in the blood (hyperphosphatemia). High blood levels of phosphate can be caused by reduced kidney function. In people with kidney failure who are on hemodialysis and have high levels of blood phosphate, taking niacinamide seems to help decrease phosphate levels when taken with or without phosphate binders.
- Head and neck cancer. Research shows that taking niacinamide while receiving radiotherapy and a type of treatment called carbogen might help control tumor growth and increase survival in some people with cancer of the larynx. Taking it while receiving radiotherapy and carbogen seems to benefit people with cancer of the larynx who are also anemic. It also seems to help people who have tumors that are deprived of oxygen.
- Skin cancer. Taking niacinamide seems to help prevent new skin cancer or precancerous spots (actinic keratosis) from forming in people with a history of skin cancer or actinic keratosis.
- Osteoarthritis. Taking niacinamide seems to improve joint flexibility and reduce pain and swelling in people with osteoarthritis. Also, some people with osteoarthritis who take it might need to take fewer pain medications.
Possibly ineffective for…
- Brain tumor. Early research shows that treating people with surgically removed brain tumors with niacinamide, radiotherapy, and carbogen does not improve survival compared to radiotherapy or radiotherapy and carbogen.
- Bladder cancer. Treating people with bladder cancer with niacinamide, radiotherapy, and carbogen does not appear to decrease tumor growth or improve survival compared to radiotherapy or radiotherapy and carbogen.
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…
- An eye disease that leads to vision loss in older adults (age-related macular degeneration or AMD). Early research suggests that taking niacinamide, vitamin E, and lutein for a year improves how well the retina works in people with age-related vision loss due to retina damage.
- Aging skin. Early research shows that taking niacinamide, vitamin E, and lutein for almost a year improves how well the retina works in people with age-related vision loss due to retina damage.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Early research shows that applying a cream containing 2% niacinamide decreases water loss and improves hydration, and reduces redness and scaling, in people with eczema.
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There is conflicting evidence regarding the usefulness in combination with other vitamins for the treatment of ADHD.
- Skin redness caused by injury or irritation (erythema). Early research shows that applying a cream reduces skin redness, dryness, and itching caused by the acne medication isotretinoin.
- Long-term kidney disease (chronic kidney disease or CKD). Early research shows that taking it does not help reduce itchiness in people with kidney disease.
- Dark skin patches on the face (melasma). Early research shows that applying moisturizers containing 5% niacinamide or 2% niacinamide with 2% tranexamic acid for 4-8 weeks helps lighten skin in people with darkened patches of skin.
- Cancer starts in white blood cells (non-Hodgkin lymphoma). Early research shows that taking it as part of treatment with a drug called vorinostat might help people with lymphoma go in to remission.
- A skin condition that causes redness on the face (rosacea). Early research shows that taking tablets containing niacinamide and other ingredients for 8 weeks improves skin appearance in people with rosacea.
- Rough, scaly skin on the scalp and face (seborrheic dermatitis). Early research shows that applying a cream containing 4% niacinamide can reduce redness and scaling of the skin in people with seborrheic dermatitis.
- Alzheimer disease.
- The decline in memory and thinking skills occurs normally with age.
- High blood pressure.
- Motion sickness.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate niacinamide for these uses.
Side Effects Of Niacinamide
- When taken by mouth: Niacinamide is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken in the recommended amounts. Unlike niacin, it does not cause flushing. However, niacinamide might cause minor side effects such as stomach upset, gas, dizziness, rash, itching, and other problems. To reduce the risk of these side effects, adults should avoid taking in doses greater than 35 mg per day.
When doses of over 3 grams per day are taken, more serious side effects can happen. These include liver problems or high blood sugar.
- When applied to the skin: Niacinamide is POSSIBLY SAFE. The cream might cause mild burning, itching, or redness.
Warnings & Precautions
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Niacinamide is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant and breastfeeding women when taken in the recommended amounts. The maximum recommended amount of niacin for pregnant or breast-feeding women is 30 mg per day for women under 18 years of age, and 35 mg per day for women over 18 years of age.
- Children: Niacinamide is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in the recommended amounts for each age group. But children should avoid taking doses of niacinamide 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.
- allergies: Niacinamide can make allergies more severe because they cause histamine, the chemical responsible for allergic symptoms, to be released.
- Diabetes: Niacinamide might increase blood sugar. People with diabetes who take niacinamide should check their blood sugar carefully.
- Gallbladder disease: Niacinamide might make gallbladder disease worse.
- Gout: Large amounts of niacinamide might bring on gout.
- Kidney dialysis: Taking niacinamide seems to increase the risk of low blood-platelet levels in people with kidney failure who are on dialysis.
- Liver disease: Niacinamide might increase liver damage. Don’t use it if you have liver disease.
- Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Niacinamide might make ulcers worse. Don’t use it if you have ulcers.
- Surgery: Niacinamide might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking niacinamide at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Dosage Of Niacinamide
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
General: Some dietary supplement products might not list niacinamide separately on the label. Instead, it might be listed under niacin. Niacin is measured in niacin equivalents (NE). A dose of 1 mg of niacinamide is the same as 1 mg NE. The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for niacinamide in adults are 16 mg NE for men, 14 mg NE for women, 18 mg NE for pregnant women, and 17 mg NE for lactating women.
- For acne: Tablets containing 750 mg of niacinamide, 25 mg of zinc, 1.5 mg of copper, and 500 mcg of folic acid (Nicomide) once or twice daily have been used. Also, 1-4 tablets containing niacinamide, azelaic acid, zinc, vitamin B6, copper, and folic acid (NicAzel, Elorac Inc., Vernon Hills, IL) have been taken daily.
- For vitamin B3 deficiency symptoms such as pellagra: 300-500 mg per day of niacinamide is given in divided doses.
- For diabetes: Niacinamide 1.2 grams/m2 (body surface area) or 25-50 mg/kg is used daily for slowing the progression of type 1 diabetes. Also, 0.5 grams of niacinamide three times daily is used to slow the progression of type 2 diabetes.
- For high levels of phosphate in the blood (hyperphosphatemia): Niacinamide from 500 mg up to 1.75 grams daily in divided doses is used for 8-12 weeks.
- For cancer of the larynx: 60 mg/kg of niacinamide is given 1-1.5 hours before inhaling carbogen (2% carbon dioxide and 98% oxygen) before and during radiotherapy.
- For skin cancers other than melanoma: 500 mg of niacinamide once or twice daily for 4-12 months.
- For treating osteoarthritis: 3 grams of niacinamide per day in divided doses for 12 weeks.
ON THE SKIN:
- Acne: A gel containing 4% niacinamide twice daily.
- General: The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for niacinamide in children are 2 mg for infants 0-6 months of age, 4 mg NE for infants 7-12 months of age, 6 mg NE for children 1-3 years of age, 8 mg NE for children 4-8 years of age, 12 mg NE for children 9-13 years of age, 16 mg NE for men 14-18 years of age, and 14 mg NE for women 14-18 years of age.
- For acne: In children at least 12 years of age, 1-4 tablets containing niacinamide, azelaic acid, zinc, vitamin B6, copper, and folic acid (NicAzel, Elorac Inc., Vernon Hills, IL) are taken daily.
- For pellagra: 100-300 mg of niacinamide is given daily in divided doses.
- For type 1 diabetes: 1.2 grams/m2 (body surface area) or 25-50 mg/kg of niacinamide is used daily for slowing the progression of or preventing type 1 diabetes.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.