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Adverse Effects of Niacin In Emergent Psychosis

A. Hoffer, MD
JAMA. 1969;207(7):1355. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03150200121025.
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To the Editor:—  Drs. Heninger and Bowers (204:1010, 1968) make a series of false assertions inexcusable in the year 1968. The most flagrant is their statement: "Even though the claims of successful niacin therapy in schizophrenia have not received independent support..." On the contrary, there has been a good deal of support. At least half a dozen private psychiatric hospitals have used the mega vitamin B3 approach for up to ten years and the number of psychiatrists using it in their practice is growing quickly (J Schizo2:3, 1967).A critic may maintain all these investigators were naive or foolish or deluded or had an extraordinary placebo effect upon their patients but he can not truthfully say there has been no independent support. Drs. Heninger and Bowers obviously do not demand double-blind experiments since they make sweeping claims based upon two cases in which treatment or self-treatment


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