Acipimox

  • Take acipimox capsules with or just after food.
  • Side-effects which are common during the first few days are flushing and headache.
  • Remember to follow your doctor's advice about eating a healthy diet, taking exercise, stopping smoking and cutting back on alcoholic drinks.

About acipimox

Type of medicine A lipid-regulating medicine
Used for Treatment of lipid disorders
Also called Olbetam®
Available as Capsules

Lipid is another word for fat. Lipids are easily stored in your body and serve as a source of energy. Triglycerides and cholesterol are lipids. They are made naturally in your body from the food you eat. When the concentration of lipids in your blood is too high, it is called hyperlipidaemia.

Having high levels of lipids is unlikely to make you feel ill, but it can cause problems if left untreated, as these fats can build up in your blood vessels, causing problems such as heart disease. Some people are able to control their condition by following a healthy diet and taking regular exercise, although medicines like acipimox are prescribed when additional help is needed.

Acipimox lowers the levels of lipids in your blood. It does this by preventing the release of fats from the tissues in your body which act as storage areas. This lowers your risk of heart and blood vessel disease.

Before taking acipimox

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking acipimox it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have kidney problems.
  • If you have a stomach ulcer.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

How to take acipimox

  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about acipimox and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take the capsules exactly as your doctor has told you. It is usual to take one capsule either two or three times a day. Your doctor will tell you which is the right dose for you and this dose will also be on the label of the pack to remind you.
  • Take the capsules with a snack or just after eating a meal. It is a good idea to swallow them with a drink of water.
  • Try to take your doses at the same times each day, as this will help you to remember to take them. If you do forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time to take your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. Your doctor will want to do some blood tests from time to time to check on your lipid levels.
  • Your doctor will give you advice about eating a healthy diet, reducing the amount of salt in your diet, stopping smoking and taking regular exercise. Following this advice will also help you to reduce your risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease and is an important part of managing your condition. Cutting down on the amount of alcohol you normally drink can also help.
  • Treatment with acipimox is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Continue to take the capsules unless you are advised otherwise by your doctor. If you stop taking acipimox, your fat levels may increase again.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with acipimox.

Can acipimox cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Common acipimox side-effects - these affect around 1 in 10 people who take this medicine What can I do if I experience this?
Flushing, feeling hot This is more likely at the beginning of your treatment and should reduce as your body gets used to acipimox
Indigestion, stomach pain Stick to simple meals (avoid rich or spicy foods)
Headache This is more likely at the beginning. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Itching, feeling weak If either of these becomes troublesome, speak with your doctor

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store acipimox

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.