Background and objectives: Niacinamide inhibits intestinal sodium/phosphorus transporters and reduces serum phosphorus in open-label studies. A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial was performed for assessment of the safety and efficacy of niacinamide.
Design, setting, participants, & measurements: Hemodialysis patients with phosphorus levels > or =5.0 mg/dl were randomly assigned to 8 wk of niacinamide or placebo, titrated from 500 to 1500 mg/d. After a 2-wk washout period, patients switched to 8 wk of the alternative therapy. Vitamin D analogs and calcimimetics were held constant; phosphorus binders were not changed unless safety criteria were met.
Results: Thirty-three patients successfully completed the trial. Serum phosphorus fell significantly from 6.26 to 5.47 mg/dl with niacinamide but not with placebo (5.85 to 5.98 mg/dl). A concurrent fall in calcium-phosphorus product was seen with niacinamide, whereas serum calcium, intact parathyroid hormone, uric acid, platelet, triglyceride, LDL, and total cholesterol levels remained stable in both arms. Serum HDL levels rose with niacinamide (50 to 61 mg/dl but not with placebo. Adverse effects were similar between both groups. Among patients who were > or =80% compliant, results were similar, although the decrease in serum phosphorus with niacinamide was more pronounced (6.45 to 5.28 mg/dl) and the increase in HDL approached significance (49 to 58 mg/dl).
Conclusions: In hemodialysis patients, niacinamide effectively reduces serum phosphorus when co-administered with binders and results in a potentially advantageous increase in HDL cholesterol. Further study in larger randomized trials and other chronic kidney disease populations is indicated.