Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sundown Naturals Niacin 500 mg Time Release Caplets

Pros: Well priced compared to other Niacin brands
Cons: Really big pills, Pills are dusty and hard to swallow without gagging from it

After switching to over-the-counter Niacin, I have been on a search to find a decent option that is not expensive and does not have any other issues.  That is how I found the 500mg time release niacin caplets from Sundown Naturals.  In the end though, I cannot say that these are the Niacin pills that I want to be taking for a long time.  They are less expensive than other options, but they have their issues and just have not won me over.

My biggest issue overall with Niacin in general is that I take 2000mg of Niacin a day on my doctor's orders, so for almost all of the OTC options, I have to take 4 pills to get my dosage.  I don't mind with small pills, but with larger pills this can be a real pain.

Sundown Naturals Time Release 500Mg Niacin Caplets Basics

The Niacin pills from Sundown come in a 500Mg form.  Unlike some other Niacin brands of the same dosage though, these pills are almost horse-pill size.  You do get more pills than other comparable Niacin brands that I have come across though.  So even though the pills are bigger, you are getting more pills for the money you spend.

The Time-Release Niacin Caplets from Sundown seem to be on average, cheaper than other Niacin brands that are available in my local CVS and Walmart pharmacy area.

The other thing I have noticed with these pills is that they seem to be dusty.  I don't know if they are grinding against one another in transit, or if they are just made this way.  When you handle them, your hands get covered in what seems to be ground up pill dust.

These are time-release caplets, not flush free Niacin.

Niacin interacts with a lot of drugs and also shouldn't be taken if you have certain medical conditions.  It's best to only take it if it has been recommended to you by your doctor.  In my case, it's being used in combination with other medications to manage my cholesterol.


I honestly could live with the larger pill size if only because the Sundown Naturals are cheaper than other Niacin options, but I cannot live with the dusty nature of the pills.  Having taken a number of pills through the years, I can swallow a handful of pills without any trouble, but taking these, more times than not, the dustiness of the pills make me want to cough and/or gag when I am taking them.  Coming from someone taking as many pills as I have had over the years, that is saying something.

In all honesty when I go through the two bottles of the Sundown Niacin that I have (it was a buy one get one free sale at CVS),  I will probably switch back to the Slo-Niacin that I was taking.  The pills were smaller, they did not have the dust issue, and I could swallow them without any problem, even though they are more expensive than Sundown's pills.

They have worked just as well as other Niacin pills that I have taken and the side effects (hot flashes) seem to be about the same as with other OTC Niacin pills.  I have found that you should make sure you are taking the Niacin pills either while you are eating, or right before you eat and you need to have some fatty food that you are eating, otherwise the hot flash is almost unavoidable.  Also, taking asprin helps reduce the side effects and since I take a small daily aspirin, I make sure I take it before the Niacin.  Between the aspirin and making sure to eat, the hot flashes are reduced. The only time I get the hot flashes is when I take the pills and don't eat right away.

Final Thoughts

Considering how well seasoned I am with taking pills, the fact that I have trouble swallowing these pills without coughing or choking makes me unable to recommend them to others.  They are less expensive than other options, but they do have some issues.

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