The present invention relates to pretreating individuals with an effective amount of a flush inhibiting agent for a sufficient period of time prior to the start of single daily dose nicotinic acid therapy to reduce the capacity of nicotinic acid to induce flushing reactions in such individuals during nicotinic acid therapy. In accordance with the present invention, the flush inhibiting agents are administered orally one to four times a day, and preferably one to two times per day, for between about 7 to about 14 days prior to the start of the nicotinic acid therapy. Examples of flush inhibiting agents include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Aspirin is a preferred flush inhibiting agent and may be orally administered in daily doses of between about 80 mg to about 1000 mg, and preferably between about 80 mg and about 650 mg, and more preferably between about 80 mg and about 325 mg, during the pretreatment period. Also consistent with the present invention, the pretreatment therapy may be continued during and administered concurrently with the nicotinic acid therapy, in which the nicotinic acid is preferably administered once per day as a single dose during the evening hours or before or at bedtime. The nicotinic acid may be administered alone or in combination with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors as well as other lipid-altering agents, like cholestyramine and colestipol.
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