What is LDL cholesterol?

What is LDL cholesterol?

Low-density lipoprotein is abbreviated as LDL.

It’s sometimes called “bad” cholesterol. It is considered bad because it carries cholesterol through the bloodstream to different tissues, including the arteries. The higher the levels of LDL, the greater the risk of heart disease.1

A higher LDL level increases your risk of heart disease, so you want to have lower LDL numbers.
Higher LDL, Higher risk

What are the risks of high LDL?

If there is too much LDL in your blood, LDL can slowly accumulate in the walls of the arteries. This is called plaque. Plaque can narrow your blood vessels and make them less flexible. This condition is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.1

This process can happen to blood vessels anywhere in your body, including your heart. If the arteries in the heart are blocked by plaque, this decreases blood flow to the heart and could lead to chest pain (angina) or even a heart attack.1

What can cause high LDL cholesterol levels?1,2

Genetics: They partially determine how much LDL the body manufactures and how efficiently it is removed from the blood
Lack of physical activity
Being overweight
Diets that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol
Menopause

How do you know if you have high LDL cholesterol?

The recommended way to find out if you have high LDL cholesterol is through a blood test called a lipoprotein profile.1 After a 9- to 12-hour fast, your doctor will take a small sample of blood for the test to determine your cholesterol level.1

What is
HDL cholesterol?

Learn now

What do your cholesterol
numbers mean?

Find out

What is
NIASPAN?

Learn now

*Up to $70 maximum savings per month for NIASPAN.

Or your state’s language.

Eligibility: Available to patients with commercial prescription insurance coverage for NIASPAN, TRILIPIX, or TRICOR who meet eligibility criteria. Copay assistance program is not available to patients receiving prescription reimbursement under any federal, state, or government-funded insurance programs (for example, Medicare [including Part D], Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, TRICARE, Department of Defense, or Veterans Affairs programs) or where prohibited by law or by the patient’s health insurance provider. If at any time a patient begins receiving prescription drug coverage under any such federal, state, or government-funded healthcare program, patient will no longer be able to use the NIASPAN, TRILIPIX, or TRICOR Savings Card and patient must call Customer Service at 844.415.0681 to stop participation. Patients residing in or receiving treatment in certain states may not be eligible. Patients may not seek reimbursement for value received from the NIASPAN, TRILIPIX, or TRICOR Savings Card from any third-party payers. Offer subject to change or discontinuance without notice. Restrictions, including monthly maximums, may apply. This is not health insurance. Please see full Terms and Conditions.

Terms and Conditions

Pharmacist instructions:

  • Please submit the copay card authorized for all commercially insured patients by the patient’s primary insurance as a secondary transaction to Customer Service.
  • When you use this card, you are confirming that you have not submitted and will not submit a claim for this prescription for reimbursement under any federal, state, or government-funded healthcare program, such as Medicare (including Part D), Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, TRICARE, Department of Defense, or Veterans Affairs programs.
  • Pharmacists with questions, please call Customer Service at 844.415.0681.

USES and IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION You Should Know About NIASPAN® (niacin extended-release) tablets3

Uses

NIASPAN® (niacin extended-release) tablets are a prescription medication used along with diet when a low-cholesterol diet and exercise alone are not enough.

  • NIASPAN raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides in people with abnormal cholesterol levels.
  • NIASPAN is also used to lower the risk of heart attack in people who have had a heart attack and have high cholesterol.
  • In people with coronary artery disease and high cholesterol levels, NIASPAN, when used with a bile acid-binding resin (another cholesterol medicine), can slow down or lessen the buildup of plaque (fatty deposits) in your arteries.

Taking NIASPAN with another cholesterol-lowering medicine (simvastatin) does not reduce heart attacks or strokes more than taking simvastatin alone.

Important Safety Information

  • NIASPAN is not for people with liver problems, stomach ulcers, serious bleeding problems, or those allergic to any product ingredient.
  • Severe liver damage has occurred when switching to a long-acting niacin (NIASPAN) from immediate-release niacin. Do not switch between forms of niacin without talking to your healthcare provider.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, as this could be a sign of a serious side effect. This risk increases when NIASPAN is taken, particularly in the elderly, diabetics, and those with kidney or thyroid problems.
  • NIASPAN should be used with caution if you consume large amounts of alcohol and/or have a past history of liver disease.
  • Your healthcare provider should do blood tests before and during treatment to check liver enzyme levels, as these can increase with treatment.
  • NIASPAN can cause an increase in blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar levels more frequently during the first few months or with NIASPAN dose changes.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have kidney problems or a history of gout. NIASPAN can cause an increase in uric acid levels.
  • The most common side effects with NIASPAN are flushing, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, increased cough, and itching.
  • Flushing (warmth, redness, itching, and/or tingling of the skin) is a common side effect of NIASPAN therapy. It may vary in severity and is more likely to happen when starting NIASPAN or during dose increases. Flushing may get better after several weeks of consistent NIASPAN use. Talk to your doctor about how the symptoms of flushing are different from symptoms of a heart attack. By dosing at bedtime, flushing will likely occur during sleep. If awakened by flushing, get up slowly, especially if feeling dizzy or faint, or taking blood pressure medications.
  • If you are taking another cholesterol medication called a bile acid-binding resin (e.g., colestipol, cholestyramine) along with NIASPAN, take these medicines at least 4 to 6 hours apart.
  • Some medicines should not be taken with NIASPAN. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including aspirin, any cholesterol medication, blood pressure medication, blood thinner medication, or any products containing niacin or nicotinamide.

For more information, talk with your healthcare provider.

References: 1. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol With TLC. NIH Publication No. 06-5235. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/chol_tlc.pdf. Published December 2005. Accessed May 14, 2018. 2. Mayo Clinic. High cholesterol. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/symptoms-causes/syc-20350800. Accessed May 14, 2018. 3. NIASPAN [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc.

Please see the full Prescribing Information for NIASPAN and discuss it with your healthcare provider.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org for assistance.

*Up to $70 maximum savings per month for NIASPAN.

Or your state’s language.

Eligibility: Available to patients with commercial prescription insurance coverage for NIASPAN, TRILIPIX, or TRICOR who meet eligibility criteria. Copay assistance program is not available to patients receiving prescription reimbursement under any federal, state, or government-funded insurance programs (for example, Medicare [including Part D], Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, TRICARE, Department of Defense, or Veterans Affairs programs) or where prohibited by law or by the patient’s health insurance provider. If at any time a patient begins receiving prescription drug coverage under any such federal, state, or government-funded healthcare program, patient will no longer be able to use the NIASPAN, TRILIPIX, or TRICOR Savings Card and patient must call Customer Service at 844.415.0681 to stop participation. Patients residing in or receiving treatment in certain states may not be eligible. Patients may not seek reimbursement for value received from the NIASPAN, TRILIPIX, or TRICOR Savings Card from any third-party payers. Offer subject to change or discontinuance without notice. Restrictions, including monthly maximums, may apply. This is not health insurance. Please see full Terms and Conditions.

Terms and Conditions

Pharmacist instructions:

  • Please submit the copay card authorized for all commercially insured patients by the patient’s primary insurance as a secondary transaction to Customer Service.
  • When you use this card, you are confirming that you have not submitted and will not submit a claim for this prescription for reimbursement under any federal, state, or government-funded healthcare program, such as Medicare (including Part D), Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, TRICARE, Department of Defense, or Veterans Affairs programs.
  • Pharmacists with questions, please call Customer Service at 844.415.0681.

If you have any questions about AbbVie’s NIASPAN.com website that have not been answered, click here. This website and the information contained herein is intended for use by U.S. residents only, is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to replace a discussion with a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider and take into consideration the unique characteristics of each patient.

USES and IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION You Should Know About NIASPAN® (niacin extended-release) tablets3

Uses

NIASPAN® (niacin extended-release) tablets are a prescription medication used along with diet when a low-cholesterol diet and exercise alone are not enough.

  • NIASPAN raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides in people with abnormal cholesterol levels.
  • NIASPAN is also used to lower the risk of heart attack in people who have had a heart attack and have high cholesterol.
  • In people with coronary artery disease and high cholesterol levels, NIASPAN, when used with a bile acid-binding resin (another cholesterol medicine), can slow down or lessen the buildup of plaque (fatty deposits) in your arteries.