Nicotinamide (NAM), also known as niacinamide, is a form of vitamin B3 found in food and used as a dietary supplement and medication. As a supplement, it is used by mouth to prevent and treat pellagra (niacin deficiency). While nicotinic acid (niacin) may be used for this purpose, nicotinamide has the benefit of not causing skin flushing. As a cream, it is used to treat acne. Side effects are minimal. At high doses liver problems may occur. Normal amounts are safe for use during pregnancy. Nicotinamide is in the vitamin B family of medications, specifically the vitamin B3 complex. It is an amide of nicotinic acid. Foods that contain nicotinamide include yeast, meat, milk, and green vegetables. Nicotinamide was discovered between 1935 and 1937. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Nicotinamide is available as a generic medication and over the counter. In the United Kingdom a 60 g tube costs the NHS about £7.10. Commercially nicotinamide is made from either nicotinic acid or 3-cyanopyridine. In a number of countries grains have nicotinamide added to them.


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