Generic Name: fenofibrate (FEN-oh-FYE-brate)
Brand Name: Examples include Fenoglide and Tricor
Fenofibrate is used for:
Lowering high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. It also increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ("good") cholesterol levels. It is used along with an appropriate diet.
Fenofibrate is a lipid-lowering agent. It works by increasing a certain substance that helps to remove triglycerides from the blood. This also helps the body to decrease the amount of other bad cholesterol in the blood.
Do NOT use fenofibrate if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in fenofibrate or to fenofibric acid
- you have gallbladder problems, liver problems (eg, cirrhosis, hepatitis), or persistent abnormal liver function tests
- you have severe kidney problems or are receiving dialysis
- you are breast-feeding
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using fenofibrate:
Some medical conditions may interact with fenofibrate. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of diabetes, an underactive thyroid, heart problems (eg, heart blood vessel problems), gallbladder problems (eg, gallstones), pancreatitis, kidney or liver problems, or muscle problems
- if you have a history of blood clots in your veins (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism)
- if you are very overweight, have an inactive lifestyle, have a poor diet, or you drink alcohol or have a history of alcohol abuse
- if you have trouble swallowing
- if you are taking a beta-blocker (eg, propranolol), estrogen, or thiazide diuretic (eg, hydrochlorothiazide)
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with fenofibrate. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Colchicine or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) (eg, simvastatin) because the risk of serious muscle problems may be increased
- Immunosuppressants (eg, cyclosporine) or other medicines that may harm the kidney (eg, aminoglycoside antibiotics [eg, gentamicin], amphotericin B, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] [eg, ibuprofen], tacrolimus, vancomycin) because they may increase the risk of fenofibrate's side effects. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the kidney
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by fenofibrate
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if fenofibrate may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use fenofibrate:
Use fenofibrate as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Some brands of fenofibrate should be taken with food. Some brands may be taken with or without food. Ask your pharmacist if you should take your brand of fenofibrate with food.
- Swallow fenofibrate whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing. Do not take chipped or broken tablets. If you cannot swallow fenofibrate whole, tell your doctor. You may need a different medicine.
- Take fenofibrate with a full glass of water (8 oz [240 mL]).
- If you also take a bile acid-binding resin (eg, cholestyramine), do not take it within 4 to 6 hours before or 1 hour after taking fenofibrate. Check with your doctor if you have any questions.
- Take fenofibrate on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking fenofibrate at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
- Continue to take fenofibrate even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of fenofibrate, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use fenofibrate.
Important safety information:
- Fenofibrate may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use fenofibrate with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose, change your dose, or stop taking fenofibrate without checking with your doctor.
- Follow the diet, exercise, and weight loss program given to you by your health care provider.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take fenofibrate before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Muscle problems (myopathy) may occur with fenofibrate. The risk of muscle problems may be greater in elderly patients and in people who have kidney problems or low thyroid function. It may also be greater in those who take fenofibrate with certain other medicines (eg, colchicine; HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors [statins], such as simvastatin). Tell your doctor right away if you notice any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have a fever or general body discomfort.
- Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, blood cholesterol, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use fenofibrate. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use fenofibrate with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially muscle problems.
- Fenofibrate should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if fenofibrate can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant or plan to become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using fenofibrate while you are pregnant. It is not known if fenofibrate is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking fenofibrate.
Possible side effects of fenofibrate:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Back pain; constipation; headache; nausea; runny or stuffy nose.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); calf or leg pain, swelling, redness, or tenderness; chest pain; coughing up blood; dark urine; decreased urination; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; loss of appetite; muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially along with fever or unusual tiredness); pale stools; red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; shortness of breath; stomach pain; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of fenofibrate:
Store fenofibrate between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep fenofibrate out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about fenofibrate, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Fenofibrate is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take fenofibrate or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about fenofibrate. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to fenofibrate. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using fenofibrate.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.