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Awareness of Heart Disease in Women Remains Low

MAPLE GROVE, Minn., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ --Cardiovascular disease (commonly referred to as heart disease) is the leading cause of death for women worldwide. (1) Almost every minute, a woman in the U.S. dies from heart disease. Despite the prevalence of heart disease in women, a 2005 American Heart Association study showed that 92% of primary care physicians and 83% of cardiologists were not aware of the fact that more women than men die of heart disease each year. (1)

"Major initiatives are under way to increase awareness of the fact that more women than men die each year of heart disease, yet awareness remains low," states Mark Evenstad, president of Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.  "At Upsher-Smith, we are committed to women's health so we are working to increase awareness of Slo-Niacin®, a niacin dietary supplement. Niacin is clinically proven to help manage cholesterol, a major factor in heart health."

One of the major factors contributing to heart disease is cholesterol. To be considered healthy, one's total cholesterol number should be less than 200 mg/dL, but the average cholesterol level in an adult American is about 203 mg/dL.(2,3) Beginning at age 45, more women than men have total cholesterol greater than 200 mg/dL. (4)

"Everyone with elevated cholesterol should be aware of their cholesterol management options," states Evenstad. "Slo-Niacin® is a well established and affordable option."

Niacin, or nicotinic acid, is a type of B vitamin that aids in the function of the digestive system, skin, nerves and heart health. The adult body needs at least 14-16 mg of niacin daily to function properly.(5) First used in the 1950s, niacin is the oldest of today's commonly used agents for lowering cholesterol.(6)

Slo-Niacin® is a nonprescription dietary supplement that, when used under the care and monitoring of a healthcare provider, has been clinically proven to raise HDL ("good cholesterol"), and lower LDL ("bad cholesterol"), total cholesterol, and triglycerides on its own and in combination with other cholesterol-lowering agents, such as statins.(7, 10-12)

The SLIM study, published last year in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, evaluated the effects of Slo-Niacin® and Lipitor® given separately and together. With proper monitoring and dosing, combination therapy was shown to have a greater effect on cholesterol levels than either agent alone. Monotherapy with Slo-Niacin® decreased median triglyceride levels 15%, mean LDL 12% and increased HDL 8%.(7) Persons already taking cholesterol-lowering drugs should contact their healthcare provider before taking niacin because of possible side effects.(8)

Dietary supplement niacin is sold in three forms: immediate-release, controlled-release and "flush-free." Immediate-release niacin can be inconvenient because it requires relatively small doses to be taken several times a day and the side effects, such as flushing, can be problematic. Controlled-release niacin, such as Slo-Niacin®, contains nicotinic acid and is less likely to cause flushing. Inositol hexaniacinate and nicotinamide, both referred to as "flush-free" niacin, prevent flushing but have not been shown to have any effect on cholesterol levels. Only nicotinic acid has been shown to have beneficial effects on cholesterol.(6)

Slo-Niacin® Tablets utilize a patented polygel® controlled-release delivery system, not available in other dietary supplement niacin products, which assures the gradual and measured release of niacin. It is designed to reduce the incidence of flushing commonly associated with niacin use.(8)

As an affordable dietary supplement, Slo-Niacin® is economical and often costs less than an insurance co-payment. At approximately $16 per month for 100 500-mg tablets, Slo-Niacin® helps heart health without hurting your wallet.(9) Patients should talk with their healthcare provider about how Slo-Niacin® may help them.

Three dosage strengths (250 mg, 500 mg, and 750 mg) of Slo-Niacin® Tablets are available to meet the specific goals your set with your healthcare provider. But before using more than 500 mg daily, consult your healthcare provider, because niacin can cause side effects when used in high doses.(8) Proper monitoring by a healthcare provider can help manage side effects.  

Slo-Niacin® Tablets are manufactured by Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc., a trusted manufacturer of high quality prescription and dietary supplement products, and are conveniently available at pharmacies and other retailers nationwide. For more information, contact a healthcare professional, call 1-800-654-2299 or visit for more information, coupons and a store locator.

About Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.

Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. is a rapidly growing pharmaceutical company that manufactures and markets both prescription and consumer products. Privately held since 1919, the company strives to recognize the unmet healthcare needs of our customers. Over the last 20 years that Upsher-Smith has been manufacturing Slo-Niacin®, more than 10 million bottles have been sold. Upsher-Smith prides itself in providing safe, effective, and economical therapies to the ever-challenged healthcare environment. For additional information about Upsher-Smith, visit

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease.

Important Safety Information

Read the information leaflet provided with each bottle of Slo-Niacin® Tablets.

Do not use Slo-Niacin® Tablets if you have a known sensitivity or allergy to niacin.  Do not take niacin unless under your doctor's supervision if you have heart disease (particularly, recurrent chest pain or recent heart attack), gallbladder disease, gout, arterial bleeding, glaucoma, diabetes, impaired liver function, stomach ulcers, or are pregnant or lactating.  Before taking more than 500 mg/day, call your doctor. If you are taking high blood pressure or cholesterol-lowering drugs, call your doctor before taking niacin due to possible interactions. Case reports of unexplained muscle-related complaints, including discomfort, weakness, or tenderness, have been documented with HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors in combination with niacin. Increased uric acid, glucose, and abnormal liver function tests have been reported in persons taking 500 mg/day or more.  Discontinue use and call your doctor immediately if you experience persistent flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, not feeling well), loss of appetite, decreased and dark-colored urine, muscle discomfort or weakness, irregular heartbeat or vision problems.  Niacin may cause temporary flushing, itching and tingling, feelings of warmth and headache, particularly when beginning, increasing dosage or changing brands. This safety information is not all-inclusive. For more information, contact your health care provider, call 1-800-654-2299, or visit


(1)  Women Heart - The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. Myths & Truths on Women & Heart Disease. Accessed January 15, 2010.

(2)  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Disease Facts., 2010. Page last updated: January 25, 2010.

(3)  American Heart Association. April 13, 2009.

(4)  MedlinePlus. Heart Disease Affects Women of All Ages. Accessed January 15, 2010.

(5)  MedlinePlus. Niacin. http://www.nlm/ Accessed December 17, 2009.

(6) Harvard Health Letter. "Niacin into the void: Failure of HDL cholesterol drug may be this B vitamin's big chance." April 2007.

(7) Knopp RF, Retzlaff BM, Fish B et al. "The SLIM study: Slo-Niacin® and Atorvastatin Treatment of Lipoproteins and Inflammatory Markers in Combined Hyperlipidemia." Journal of Clinical Lipidology, Volume 3, Issue 3, Pages 167-178.

(8) Slo-Niacin product information.

(9) website. Accessed June 23, 2008.

(10) Lavie CJ, Mailander L, Milani. "Marked benefit with sustained-release niacin therapy in patients with "isolated" very low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and coronary heart disease." Am J Cardiol. 1992;69:1083-1085.

(11) Squires RW, Allison TG, Gau GT, et al. "Low-Dose, Time-Release Nicotinic Acid: Effects in Selected Patients With Low Concentrations of High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol." Mayo Clin Proc. 67:855-860, 1992.

(12) Gray DR, Morgan T, Chretien SD, Kashyap ML. "Efficacy and Safety of Controlled-Release Niacin in Dyslipoproteinemic Veterans." Ann Intern Med. 1994;121:252-258.

Lipitor® is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc.

SOURCE Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.



SOURCE Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.
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