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Altostrata

Vitamin B3 (niacin, niacinamide)

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Altostrata

Some people undergoing withdrawal find niacin to be helpful while others get bad reactions. What's your experience?

Edited by Altostrata
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Nadia

Just tried it this morning for the first time, 250mg. It didn't seem to do anything, so I took 250mg more. Not sure I feel anything.

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Altostrata

The orthomolecular folks swear by large amounts of niacin at night for sleep.

 

Niacin can cause flushing and maybe itching, which some people find intolerable.

 

Niacinamide is gentler. I get niacinamide in 100mg tablets (Source Naturals) and take 100mg in the morning and another 200mg at night, on the theory it will contribute to relaxation into sleep.

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Nadia

Do you feel it's more of a long-term use effect, and subtle, like magnesium, maybe?

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Altostrata

I was told by a knowledgeable doctor that niacinamide helps stabilize the nervous system. I guess its effect is subtle in that regard.

 

When I took a larger amount at night, I used to feel it making me drowsy. I'm not that hypersensitive anymore.

 

Shanti has said niacin has helped stabilize her hallucination symptoms.

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Jemima

I haven't taken niacin by itself, but back in the beginning when I was really sick from withdrawal and hypersensitive to nearly everything, a B-complex pill sent me right up the wall. I'm taking the same thing again because I read that it helps with tinnitus. I do feel slightly more energetic, but nowhere close to clinging to the ceiling fixture. (I've only been taking it for two days.)

 

I'm not terribly hopeful about it helping with tinnitus. I've had it off and on for as long as I can remember. Withdrawal from Lexapro just made it much worse. Mine, I think, is due to inflammation down deep inside the ear so my next experiment is going to be an herbal ear drop solution composed of garlic, eucalyptus oil, and grapefruit seed oil, all three of which have antibiotic properties. Cross fingers.

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Altostrata

I would not take a mixed vitamin B supplement. Other B vitamins may be activating.

 

Take the various B vitamins one at a time, at fractional doses to see how you react.

 

I took an expensive mixed B vitamin supplement for tinnitus for years (before withdrawal) and it did nothing for me.

 

If you tinnitus is from inflammation, it may be a bacterial infection and should be treated with an antibiotic.

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Jemima

I would not take a mixed vitamin B supplement. Other B vitamins may be activating.

 

Take the various B vitamins one at a time, at fractional doses to see how you react.

 

I took an expensive mixed B vitamin supplement for tinnitus for years (before withdrawal) and it did nothing for me.

 

If you tinnitus is from inflammation, it may be a bacterial infection and should be treated with an antibiotic.

 

I remember reading, way back when, that it's important to take all of the B complex vitamins because taking only one can cause a deficiency in the others. In any event, I've decided to use a bit of nutritional yeast in my meals instead. It seems like food and herbs are far gentler and more effective than pills.

 

Did your tinnitis eventually go away, Alto? I don't remember you ever mentioning it in your posts. Of course I've no doubt missed quite a few of them, having come on board many months after you started the forum.

 

Antibiotics do work for the tinnitus, but not for long, and I don't want to go on them long term. Two winters ago I was given a Z-Pack (Azithromycin) for a lung infection and it knocked out both the lung infection and the tinnitus in a few days. However, the tinnitus was back in two months. That's why I'd like to find a safe home remedy that I can use indefinitely.

 

The recipe for ear drops above isn't mine, but came from a book called, Herbal Antibiotics written by Stephen Harrad Buhner, an experienced, professional herbalist. All three ingredients are antibiotics unto themselves, and they're diluted in olive oil to make the drops. It sounds odd to us now, but an old fashioned remedy for earache was crushing a clove of garlic into a piece of gauze and putting it in the affected ear.

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Altostrata

If antibiotics work for the tinnitus, that indicates it's an infection responding to the antibiotics.

 

Please see an otolaryngologist about this!

 

I had pre-existing tinnitus that arose from a head cold that got into my right ear. If I had had antibiotics, I might not have the permanent ringing I have now.

 

No, it never went away. I've had it for 30 years.

 

B12 supplementation can mask an accompanying folate deficiency, and vice versa. Usually, you get plenty of folate, from multivitamins and enriched foods.

 

There is no particular reason to take a mixed B vitamin supplement.

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Jemima

B12 supplementation can mask an accompanying folate deficiency, and vice versa. Usually, you get plenty of folate, from multivitamins and enriched foods.

 

There is no particular reason to take a mixed B vitamin supplement.

 

I learned my lesson. After two days of B complex supplementation, including nutritional yeast, I started having spells of irritability and increased light sensitivity again. I'm going to leave the entire B spectrum alone for now.

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Shanti

Yes, Niacin is wonderful for me. It helps with the hallucinations. I've taken large doses, up to 2500 mg. and it didn't affect my w/d. I now take 1500 mg. of the flush free capsules a day.

 

Edited to add that I only take large doses because that is how you take it for hallucinations. Otherwise I don't see a reason to take that much.

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bruno2016

I use niacin for detox purposes. I use large doses, though. I usually use 2-3 grams before working out and entering the sauna. A nutritionist recommended I do this along with some bentonite clay after I did a hair analysis which showed fairly high levels of heavy metals. I did a urine heavy metals test a year later and everything except lead was normal. I think there is some debate to the accuracy of these heavy metal tests but oh well. Seems like some people find them useful.

 

I cant say whether the large doses actually make me feel better or not. I guess I sort of feel cleaner after the flush and the sauna.

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Altostrata

Hi, Zepp! Still going for dramatic remedies, I see.

 

As you know, I'm not a big fan of megadoses for nervous systems made hypersensitive by withdrawal. That much niacin isn't good for your liver. Please watch out for this.

 

According to naturopaths, saunas are supposed to be relaxing, increasing parasympathetic (calming) activity -- if you can stand the heat. I got to be heat sensitive from withdrawal, so I haven't tried them.

 

Please add your sauna experience here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/

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Shanti

Well, I've said many times how it helps me with auditory and visual hallucinations and hypnogonic hallucinations (vivid visions upon falling asleep, like waking dreams). It is undeniable how much it helps. If I go two days without it, the visions and voices are back. I call Niacin my cure for Schizophrenia. I was taking Orthomolecular doses at first, like 5,000+ mg, but I find it works just as well taking 1,000 mg a day. As far as relieving any other symptoms, I haven't noticed anything. Only the hallucinations and dreams. It hasn't aggravated my withdrawal symptoms at all either. It's a supplement I can thankfully tolerate.

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Altostrata

I think you're making a very rational decision justified by a risk-benefit analysis, Shanti, and I am very, very happy it's working for you.

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Meimeiquest

I've been looking for a way to stop the manic-y states that drive me to drop Wellbutrin faster than I want to/should. I'm going to try Niacin....just took first dose. Someone on the list in the past used it for schizophrenic-type symptoms.

 

So I got a book recommended by mercola.com: Niacin: The Real Story by Hoffer, Saul, and Foster. It is not the best written book...Hoffer and Saul died during the writing process! Hoffer was 91 and is sort of the father of Niacin therapy. He was an ortho molecular psychiatrist....they are the doctors who prescribe high dose vitamin therapy for everything. If 10% of what he says is true, it's a horrible indictment against mainstream medicine. Psychiatric conditions that might benefit include schizophrenia, alcoholism, and PTSD. He says severe trauma can change one's nutritional requirements for life. High doses of niacin are really as complicated as a prescription. I would recommend reading the book before starting Niacin. And the usual applies....supplements usually don't work out well for WD. And even if I am "saved" from mania, it might be just because I got my Wellbutrin dose low enough.

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Jemima

It's truly mind-boggling how ignorant doctors are about nutrition and its role in health. In the developed world, we put food in our mouths two or more times a day which is digested and circulated throughout every system in our bodies, yet doctors don't seem to think it's important. WTF??? :o

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Meimeiquest

Thanks for moving that....sorry to make extra work. What boggles my mind is that doctors truly believe hyper supplementation is dangerous.....and antipsychotics are safe.

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Altostrata

Yes, the irony!!!

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compsports

Thanks for moving that....sorry to make extra work. What boggles my mind is that doctors truly believe hyper supplementation is dangerous.....and antipsychotics are safe.

 

Actually, hyper supplementation can be dangerous but as usual with mainstream doctors, they make this an either or situation. All alternative medicine is bad and all western medicine is good.

 

CS

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Meimeiquest

Yes, I don't think supplementation is always good....it's already apparent I can only tolerate a little, at bedtime, at least for now.

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CrazyMom

Niacin and niacinamide give me very bad heart palpitations when I get anywhere near 200mg. A side effect apparently. I have a family history of heart rhythm problems so it's out. It was REALLY bad the last time. Thank goodness I wasn't having a huge anxiety issue at the time (I was preparing for future withdrawal).

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CrazyMom

Could my negative reaction to naicin be partly due to the psych meds I'm on or being in mild benzo withdrawal? I assumed it was just my personal physiology.

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Altostrata

It's because your nervous system is sensitized to all substances affecting the nervous system, including niacin.

 

I just talked to a knowledgeable doctor about niacinamide, a gentler version of niacin. He said it might help increase GABA, the calming neurotransmitter.

 

But if you have a bad reaction to niacin or niacinamide, reduce the dosage or don't take it.

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GiaK

I did not read this whole thread...just wanted to say I had a REALLY BAD REACTION...to the "gentler" kind of niacin, as Alto called it...It seriously set me back months...I was in a period of relative improvement and oh boy...it was ugly and devastating at the time...

 

just letting people know the spectrum...we're all weird...I suspect my sensitivity to this substance in particular is benzo related as I've seen it with other benzo folks...but I am not sure of that. But CrazyMom, I do think it may be the benzo withdrawal part of your picture...

 

and it certainly was anything but calming to my nervous system...

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Iggy131313

gia, can you tolerate omega 3 fish oil? do you know if it contains histomine? thanks

 

it makes sense to me that if this particular suppliment effects gaba that people who have had a bad benzo w/d would react badly to it...im not ready to try it yet as Im too unstable to know whats causing what but I will keep this one in mind

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GiaK

before I was aware of my histamine issues I took fish oil and did not notice anything about it...but my histamine levels were sky high due to other foods I was eating so there is no way of knowing in my experience to date...I've not tried to introduce fish oil since I started eating to lower my histamine...it's too risky and there is no clear data on histamine content out there...some people seem to tolerate it while others do not...fish in general cannot be eaten (with some exceptions) so fish oil until I know more is not something I'll add for a while.

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Iggy131313

I was wondering about histomine content in fish oil, I have looked online but cant find anything, hmmm, thats what puts me off taking it but i think it would be really beneficial.if AI could tolerate it, only one way to find out I guess...

 

there is no histomine test in the uk at the moment (what a joke) but im hoping that a certain Dr I know is going to get one sorted out, then it would be worth having histomine levels checked, taking fish oil ofr a week and then being tested again

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Iggy131313

are the histomine issues GI related or can the symptoms be anything??

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GiaK

they're systemic...can affect all systems, yes

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Meimeiquest

In the end, it did nothing for me. I flushed at 125mg on the slow-release form, and then quit. I got the idea from the book that if you really need it, you will have a high flush point.

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Phil

From what I've read, Niacin liberates histamine, which could be a problem for those of us unable to clear it from our body. 

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Altostrata

Please provide sources for that information.

 

The niacinamide form does not create the flush. Theoretically, it provides fuel for GABA, which is a good thing.

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Nadia

I've tried niacinamide now a few times for my morning anxiety, and sometimes it really seems to affect me. I feel weird... like my heart is going slower or my blood pressure drops or something.

 

One morning I had a lucid dream after falling into a light sleep after taking it. I was even able to fly at will in the dream! So... it does SOMETHING. But it also makes me feel down the rest of the day, and my anxiety seems to get worse afterward. So I try not to take it too many days in a row.

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Altostrata

It's supposed to support the production of GABA, a calming hormone.

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