Adverse Effects of Niacin In Emergent Psychosis

George R. Heninger, MD; Malcolm B. Bowers, MD
JAMA. 1968;204(11):1010-1011. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140240066028.
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To the Editor:—  Since 1962, several reports have described the apparently successful treatment of schizophrenia with repeated large doses (up to 3 gm daily) of niacin, either as niacin or niacinamide.1-5 All of these studies used a reduction in length of hospitalization as the indicator of drug effect, and although the niacin-treated patients spent fewer days in the hospital, the use of only this one measure of outcome and the lack of replication by other investigators limit the general applicability of the studies. In the New York Times (March 31, 1966), there was a report of successful treatment in three to five days of 13 out of 17 (acute and chronic) schizophrenic patients by administering orally 1 to 2 gm of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), better known as nadide. Subsequently there have been two published reports which fail to demonstrate any therapeutic effects of this compound.6,7Even though


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