Gemfibrozil

Gemfibrozil helps to lower cholesterol. Gemfibrozil should be used together with lifestyle changes such as diet, weight-loss, and exercise.

Gemfibrozil Overview

Reviewed: September 15, 2013
Updated: 

Gemfibrozil is a prescription medication used with diet and exercise to reduce elevated LDL ("bad" cholesterol) and triglyceride levels while raising HDL ("good cholesterol"). This medication belongs to a group of drugs called fibrates. It works by reducing the production of triglycerides in the liver and by causing an increase in HDL.

Gemfibrozil comes in tablet form. It is taken twice daily, 30 minutes before morning and evening meals.

Common side effects include heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea.

Gemfibrozil may cause dizziness and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how gemfibrozil affects you.

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Gemfibrozil Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Gemfibrozil

Gemfibrozil is a prescription medication used:

  • to treat very high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people at risk of pancreatic disease
  • to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications in people with high cholesterol and triglycerides who have not been helped by other treatment methods

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Gemfibrozil Brand Names

Gemfibrozil may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Gemfibrozil Drug Class

Gemfibrozil is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Gemfibrozil

Common side effects include:

  • heartburn
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue

Gemfibrozil may cause dizziness and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how gemfibrozil affects you.

This is not a complete list of gemfibrozil side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Gemfibrozil Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

This is not a complete list of gemfibrozil drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Gemfibrozil Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with gemfibrozil, including the following:

  • muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • blurred vision
  • anemia
  • changes in liver function
  • changes in kidney function

A medication similar to gemfibrozil has caused cancer, gallbladder disease, and stomach pain. Talk to your doctor about the risks associated with gemfibrozil.

Gemfibrozil may cause dizziness and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how gemfibrozil affects you.

Do not take gemfibrozil if you:

  • are allergic to gemfibrozil or to any of its ingredients
  • have liver dysfunction
  • have kidney dysfunction
  • have gallbladder disease
  • are taking repaglinide (Prandin)

Gemfibrozil Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of gemfibrozil, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

However, you are advised to eat a low-fat and low-choelsterol diet. Follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietition.

Inform MD

Before taking gemfibrozil, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Escpecially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to gemfibrozil or to any of its ingredients
  • have kidney disease
  • have liver disease
  • have gallbladder disease
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Gemfibrozil and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X - are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Gemfibrozil falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

Gemfibrozil and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if gemfibrozil crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using gemfibrozil.

Gemfibrozil Usage

Take gemfibrozil exactly as prescribed.

Gemfibrozil comes in oral tablet form and is taken 2 times a day, 30 minutes before the morning and evening meals.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take 2 doses of gemfibrozil at the same time.

Gemfibrozil Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated

The recommended dose of gemfibrozil for adults is 1200 mg divided into 2 doses a day. It should be taken 30 minutes before the morning and evening meals.

Gemfibrozil Overdose

If you take too much gemfibrozil, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If gemfibrozil is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if an overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store gemfibrozil at room temperature.
  • Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.