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Is Nicotinic acid preferred for high lipid levels?

Q: My father underwent CABG (Bypass surgery) two years back. He is non-diabetic, has borderline hypertension and has hyperlipidemia. His lipid profile shows normal cholesterol etc but the triglyceride level has increased to 167. He is taking atorvastatin. Now the doctor has advised to stop atorvastatin and start taking Nialip-375 (composition-nicotinic acid, from Dr Reddys Lab), one tablet daily. But I have found from the net that nicotinic acid has many side effects. Can it be taken by stopping atorvastatin? Does it also help in lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol apart from lowering triglyceride?

A:While nicotinic acid can be given to patients of high triglycerides, first line treatment is generally fibrates such as bezafibrate (Bezalip - Nicholas) or fenofibrate (Lipicard - USV) or gemfibrozil (Lopid - Parke Davis). Atorvastatin is usually prescribed for high total cholesterols and high LDL-cholesterols.

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