Gemfibrozil - oral
Gemfibrozil - oral
Gemfibrozil is used along with a proper diet to help lower fats (triglycerides) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It may also help to lower "bad" cholesterol (LDL). Gemfibrozil belongs to a group of drugs known as "fibrates." It works by decreasing the amount of fat produced by the liver. Lowering triglycerides in people with very high triglyceride blood levels may also decrease the risk of pancreas disease (pancreatitis). However, gemfibrozil might not lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about the risk and benefits of gemfibrozil.
In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, drinking less alcohol, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day (30 minutes before your morning and evening meals).
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
If you also take certain other drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take gemfibrozil at least 1 hour before or at least 4-6 hours after taking these medications. These products can react with gemfibrozil, preventing its full absorption.
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same times each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol/triglycerides do not feel sick.
It is very important to continue to follow your doctor's advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 3 months before you get the full benefit of this drug.
Stomach upset, stomach/abdominal pain, or unusual taste may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
This medication may rarely cause gallstones and liver problems. If you notice any of the following unlikely but serious side effects, tell your doctor right away:
This drug may rarely cause muscle problems (which can rarely lead to a very serious condition called rhabdomyolysis). Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these symptoms:
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur:
In the US -
Before taking gemfibrozil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other "fibrates" (such as fenofibrate); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
This medication can slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include elagolix, pioglitazone, selexipag, a certain combination product used to treat chronic hepatitis C (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir/dasabuvir), among others.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as cholesterol/triglyceride levels, kidney/liver function tests, complete blood count) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised August 2018.
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