- 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.
What is the dosage for gemfibrozil?
The recommended dose of gemfibrozil is 600 mg twice daily (30 minutes before breakfast and dinner).
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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.
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