Nicotinic acid (NA) and a retard derivative, sorbinicate, were investigated for their effects on blood rheology and platelet function, after oral administration, in two groups of patients with lower limb atherosclerosis obliterans — the second group having diabetes also.
Red cell deformation and blood plasma viscosity were studied in the nondiabetic group (single dose of NA, 100 mg, and sorbinicate, 400 mg); release of platelet malondialdehyde (MDA) (single dose of NA, 100 mg, and sorbinicate, 800 mg), and the platelet regeneration time (before and after sorbinicate 400 mg × 3/die for 7 days) were studied in the diabetic group.
Both drugs induced a significant improvement in red cell deformation, a reduction of blood and plasma viscosity and of MDA release.
Sorbinicate induced a lengthening of the platelet regeneration time as well. The reduction of blood viscosity was related to increased red cell deformation whereas the reduction of plasma viscosity was related to the decrease in blood fibrinogen.
Neither drug affected the blood cholesterol or triglycerides and both induced a significant fall in NEFA, which might account in part for the improved platelet function. Sorbinicate, which is known to be without effects of NA, seems to exert the same beneficial effects of NA on blood viscosity, red cell deformation and platelet function.