- What is gemfibrozil?
- Is gemfibrozil available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for gemfibrozil?
- Why is gemfibrozil prescribed to patients?
- What are the side effects of gemfibrozil?
- What is the dosage for gemfibrozil?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with gemfibrozil?
- Is gemfibrozil safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about gemfibrozil?
Why is gemfibrozil prescribed to patients?
Gemfibrozil is used for reducing elevated triglyceride levels that are high enough to cause pancreatitis. Because gemfibrozil raises HDL and decreases triglycerides it is prescribed for preventing coronary heart disease in individuals without a history or symptoms of coronary heart disease who have low HDL, high LDL and high triglycerides. Gemfibrozil is prescribed after other therapies have failed, and it is not intended for treating patients who only have low HDL. Gemfibrozil is used together with diet and exercise.
What are the side effects of gemfibrozil?
Common side effects of gemfibrozil include:
Muscle aches and pain also occur. Rarely, these muscle-related symptoms are associated with damage to muscles that releases chemicals into the blood that that can damage the kidney. Muscle damage is of greatest concern when gemfibrozil is combined with statins. The formation of gallstones and gallbladder surgery have been associated with the use of gemfibrozil. Pancreatitis, abnormal blood liver tests, as well as reduced red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells (leukopenia) and blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) also have been reported.
Which drugs or supplements interact with gemfibrozil?
Gemfibrozil can cause problems when used together with the statin family of cholesterol-reducing medications, for example:
- lovastatin (Mevacor),
- pravastatin (Pravachol),
- simvastatin (Zocor),
- fluvastatin (Lescol),
- rosuvastatin (Crestor), and
- atorvastatin (Lipitor)
Gemfibrozil can increase the effect of the blood thinner, warfarin (Coumadin), and thus may lead to bleeding. Therefore, patients on warfarin may need to have their doses of warfarin reduced when starting gemfibrozil.
Colestipol (Colestid) and cholestyramine (Questran) reduce the absorption of gemfibrozil and reduce its effectiveness if taken at the same time. Therefore, gemfibrozil should be administered one hour before or 4-6 hours after administering colestipol or cholestyramine.
Is gemfibrozil safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
The effect of gemfibrozil in pregnant women has not been well-studied. Gemfibrozil should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the unknown but potential risk to the fetus.
It is not known whether gemfibrozil is excreted in human milk.
What else should I know about gemfibrozil?
What preparations of gemfibrozil are available?
Tablets: 600 mg
How should I keep gemfibrozil stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature between 20 C – 25 C (68 F – 77 F).
How does gemfibrozil work?
Gemfibrozil is classified as a fibric acid derivative similar to fenofibrate (Tricor). It reduces triglycerides and increases cholesterol carried in high density lipoprotein (HDL) in the blood. HDL cholesterol is sometimes called "good" cholesterol because higher concentrations of HDL cholesterol in the blood are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Gemfibrozil modestly reduces low density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol. The mechanism of action of gemfibrozil is not known. The decrease in triglycerides is thought to be due in part to reduced production of triglycerides by the liver.
When was gemfibrozil approved by the FDA?
Gemfibrozil was approved in September 1993.
Gemfibrozil (Lopid) is a medication to reduce blood lipids and modify cholesterol levels. Gemfibrozil (Lopid) is prescribed to patients with elevated triglyceride levels high enough to cause pancreatitis, and to raise HDL cholesterol to prevent heart disease. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and efficacy during pregnancy information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
High cholesterol can be a dangerous condition. Take the Cholesterol Quiz to understand what high cholesterol means in terms of...
Picture of Cholesterol
Cholesterol carried in particles of low density (LDL cholesterol) is referred to as the "bad" cholesterol because elevated levels...
Lower Your Cholesterol, Save Your Heart
Need to lower your cholesterol levels? Use these smart diet tips to quickly and easily lower your blood cholesterol levels....
Cholesterol Drugs: What to Expect With Heart Medication
When diet and exercise aren't enough, should you turn to drugs? Learn cholesterol basics, drug classes, and available drugs along...
Cholesterol Levels: What the Numbers Mean
Do you know the different cholesterol levels and what they mean? Learn the alphabet soup of cholesterol testing: LDL, HDL, good,...
Heart Health Pictures: How to Lower Triglycerides
Learn 14 ways to lower triglycerides. Learn to keep your heart healthy and triglyceride levels in check with these diet,...
Cholesterol: High Triglyceride Foods to Avoid
High triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease. Lower triglyceride levels and reduce cholesterol by eating foods that...
Related Disease Conditions
High Blood Cholesterol
Second Source article from Government...
Cholesterol (Lowering Your Cholesterol)
High cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Getting your cholesterol and triglyceride...
A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart...
Fatty Liver (NASH)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NASH occurs due to the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver. Fatty liver...
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management....
How the Heart Works
The heart is a very important organ in the body. It is responsible for continuously pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood...
Heart Attack Treatment
A heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to...
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...
High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked Questions
Cholesterol occurs naturally in the body. High blood cholesterol levels increase a person's risk of developing heart disease,...
Heart Attacks in Women
Heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease is the leading cause of heart attacks. Women are more likely to die from a...
Low Cholesterol Diet
Cholesterol is naturally produced by the body, and is a building block for cell membranes and hormones. Low-density lipoprotein...
Heart Disease in Women
Heart disease in women has somewhat different symptoms, risk factors, and treatment compared to heart disease in men. Many women...
Heart Disease Treatment in Women
Heart disease treatment in women should take into account female-specific guidelines that were developed by the American Heart...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia) FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Can Fibrate Drugs Lower Cholesterol?
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.