Last updated on RxList: 10/19/2021
Advicor Side Effects Center

What Is Advicor?

Advicor (niacin extended-release and lovastatin) is a combination of vitamin B3 and a cholesterol-lowering medication used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides (types of fat) in the blood. Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides can help prevent heart disease and coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis), conditions that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and vascular disease. Advicor is also used to lower the risk of heart attack in people with high cholesterol who have already had a heart attack.

What Are Side Effects of Advicor?

Common side effects of Advicor include:

  • flushing (warmth, redness, itching, and tingling of the skin, especially of the face and neck),
  • sweating,
  • headache,
  • dizziness, or chills within 2 to 4 hours after taking this medication.

Flushing may persist for a few hours. These side effects should improve or go away after several weeks as your body adjusts to Advicor.

Other side effects of Advicor include:

Dosage for Advicor

Starting dose of Advicor is a single 500 mg/20 mg tablet once daily at bedtime. Maximum dose is 2000 mg/40 mg daily.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Advicor?

Advicor may interact with cyclosporine, danazol, gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, blood thinner, niacin, nicotinic acid, or nicotinamide (or vitamin supplements that contain niacin), other cholesterol-lowering drugs, antibiotics, or HIV /AIDS medicine. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Advicor During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

Advicor must not be used during pregnancy. Lovastatin may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor to discuss using at least 2 forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) while taking this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended.

Additional Information

Our Advicor (niacin extended-release and lovastatin) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


How to Lower Your Cholesterol & Save Your Heart See Slideshow
Advicor Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • irregular heartbeats;
  • severe warmth or redness under your skin;
  • vision problems; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • abnormal liver function tests;
  • itching, dry skin;
  • cough;
  • skin discoloration; or
  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Advicor (Niacin XR and Lovastatin)


What is cholesterol? See Answer
Advicor Professional Information



In controlled clinical studies, 40/214 (19%) of patients randomized to ADVICOR discontinued therapy prior to study completion. Of the 214 patients enrolled 18 (8%) discontinued due to flushing. In the same controlled studies, 9/94 (10%) of patients randomized to lovastatin and 19/92 (21%) of patients randomized to NIASPAN also discontinued treatment prior to study completion secondary to adverse events. Flushing episodes (i.e., warmth, redness, itching and/or tingling) were the most common treatment-emergent adverse events, and occurred in 53% to 83% of patients treated with ADVICOR. Spontaneous reports with NIASPAN and clinical studies with ADVICOR suggest that flushing may also be accompanied by symptoms of dizziness or syncope, tachycardia, palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, burning sensation/skin burning sensation, chills, and/or edema.

Adverse Reactions Information

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice. The adverse reaction information from clinical studies does, however provide a basis for identifying the adverse events that appear to be related to drug use and for approximating rates.

The data described in this section reflect the exposure to ADVICOR in two double-blind, controlled clinical studies of 400 patients. The population was 28 to 86 years-of-age, 54% male, 85% Caucasian, 9% Black, and 7% Other, and had mixed dyslipidemia.

In addition to flushing, other adverse events occurring in 5% or greater of patients treated with ADVICOR are shown in Table 10 below.

Table 10: Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events in ≥ 5% of Patients (Events Irrespective of Causality; Data from Controlled, Double-Blind Studies)

Adverse Event ADVICOR NIASPAN Lovastatin
Total Number of Patients 214 92 94
Cardiovascular 163 (76%) 66 (72%) 24 (26%)
Flushing 152 (71%) 60 (65%) 17 (18%)
Body as a Whole 104 (49%) 50 (54%) 42 (45%)
Asthenia 10 ( 5%) 6 ( 7%) 5 ( 5%)
Flu Syndrome 12 ( 6%) 7 ( 8%) 4 ( 4%)
Headache 20 ( 9%) 12 (13%) 5 ( 5%)
Infection 43 (20%) 14 (15%) 19 (20%)
Pain 18 ( 8%) 3 ( 3%) 9 (10%)
Pain, Abdominal 9 ( 4%) 1 ( 1%) 6 ( 6%)
Pain, Back 10 ( 5%) 5 ( 5%) 5 ( 5%)
Digestive System 51 (24%) 26 (28%) 16 (17%)
Diarrhea 13 ( 6%) 8 ( 9%) 2 ( 2%)
Dyspepsia 6 ( 3%) 5 ( 5%) 4 ( 4%)
Nausea 14 ( 7%) 11 (12%) 2 ( 2%)
Vomiting 7 ( 3%) 5 ( 5%) 0
Metabolic and Nutrit. System 37 (17%) 18 (20%) 13 (14%)
Hyperglycemia 8 ( 4%) 6 ( 7%) 6 ( 6%)
Musculoskeletal System 19 ( 9%) 9 (10%) 17 (18%)
Myalgia 6 ( 3%) 5 ( 5%) 8 ( 9%)
Skin and Appendages 38 (18%) 19 (21%) 11 (12%)
Pruritus 14 ( 7%) 7 ( 8%) 3 ( 3%)
Rash 11 ( 5%) 11 (12%) 3 ( 3%)

Note: Percentages are calculated from the total number of patients in each column.

See also the full prescribing information for niacin extended release (Niaspan) and lovastatin products.

The following adverse events have also been reported with niacin, lovastatin, and/or other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, but not necessarily with ADVICOR, either during clinical studies or in routine patient management.

Body as a Whole: chest pain; abdominal pain; edema; chills; malaise
Cardiovascular: atrial fibrillation; tachycardia; palpitations, and other cardiac arrhythmias; postural hypotension, orthostasis; hypotension; syncope
Eye: toxic amblyopia; cystoid macular edema; ophthalmoplegia; eye irritation, blurred vision, progression of cataracts
Gastrointestinal: activation of peptic ulcers and peptic ulceration; dyspepsia; vomiting; anorexia; constipation; flatulence, pancreatitis; hepatitis; fatty change in liver; jaundice; and rarely, cirrhosis, fulminant hepatic necrosis, and hepatoma, eructation, fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure
Metabolic: gout, decreased glucose tolerance
Musculoskeletal: muscle cramps; myopathy; rhabdomyolysis; arthralgia, myalgia
Nervous: dizziness; insomnia; dry mouth; paresthesia; anxiety; tremor; vertigo; peripheral neuropathy; psychic disturbances; dysfunction of certain cranial nerves, nervousness, burning sensation/skin burning sensation, peripheral nerve palsy
Psychiatric depression
Skin: hyper-pigmentation; acanthosis nigricans; urticaria; alopecia; dry

There have been rare postmarketing reports of cognitive impairment (e.g., memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion) associated with statin use. These cognitive issues have been reported for all statins. The reports are generally nonserious, and reversible upon statin discontinuation, with variable times to symptom onset (1 day to years) and symptom resolution (median of 3 weeks).

Clinical Laboratory Abnormalities


Elevations in serum transaminases (see WARNINGS - Liver Dysfunction), CPK and fasting glucose, and reductions in phosphorus. Niacin extended-release tablets have been associated with slight elevations in LDH, uric acid, total bilirubin, amylase and creatine kinase. Lovastatin and/or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have been associated with elevations in alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase and bilirubin, and thyroid function abnormalities.


Niacin extended-release tablets have been associated with slight reductions in platelet counts and prolongation in PT (see WARNINGS).

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Neither niacin nor lovastatin is a narcotic drug. ADVICOR has no known addiction potential in humans.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Advicor (Niacin XR and Lovastatin)

© Advicor Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Advicor Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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