Gemfibrozil

Pronunciation

Generic Name: gemfibrozil (jem-FYE-broe-zil)
Brand Name: Lopid

Gemfibrozil is used for:

Treating high blood cholesterol and triglycerides. It is used along with an appropriate diet.

Gemfibrozil is an antihyperlipidemic agent. It works by lowering the blood levels of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ("bad") cholesterol by reducing their production by the liver. It also increases blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ("good") cholesterol.

Do NOT use gemfibrozil if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in gemfibrozil
  • you have liver problems, severe kidney problems, gallstones, or gallbladder disease
  • you are taking an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (eg, simvastatin) or repaglinide

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using gemfibrozil:

Some medical conditions may interact with gemfibrozil. 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 or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems, an underactive thyroid, or diabetes
  • if you have very high blood triglyceride levels, are overweight, or drink alcohol regularly
  • if you are taking estrogen

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with gemfibrozil. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, simvastatin) because the risk of side effects, such as muscle pain, weakness, and kidney problems, may be increased
  • Oral anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of side effects, including the risk of bleeding, may be increased
  • Bexarotene or oral antidiabetic agents (eg, glyburide, repaglinide, pioglitazone) because their actions and the risk of their side effects may be increased by gemfibrozil
  • Sulfonylureas (eg, glipizide) because their effectiveness may be decreased by gemfibrozil

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if gemfibrozil 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 gemfibrozil:

Use gemfibrozil as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take gemfibrozil by mouth twice a day 30 minutes before morning and evening meals, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • If you also take a bile acid-binding resin (eg, colestipol), do not take it within 2 hours before or after taking gemfibrozil. Check with your doctor if you have questions.
  • Take gemfibrozil on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
  • If you miss a dose of gemfibrozil, 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 gemfibrozil.

Important safety information:

  • Gemfibrozil may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use gemfibrozil with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using gemfibrozil.
  • For best results, gemfibrozil should be used along with exercise, a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet, and a weight loss program if you are overweight. Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take gemfibrozil before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Additional monitoring of your dose or condition may be needed if you are also taking high-dose niacin (1 g or more per day).
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, blood cholesterol, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use gemfibrozil. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use gemfibrozil with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially liver or kidney problems.
  • Gemfibrozil should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using gemfibrozil while you are pregnant. It is not known if gemfibrozil is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking gemfibrozil.

Possible side effects of gemfibrozil:

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:

Diarrhea; indigestion; stomach pain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); blurred vision; burning, numbness, or tingling; decreased sexual ability; depression; fever, chills, or sore throat; irregular heartbeat; joint pain; muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (with or without fever and fatigue); painful or frequent urination; persistent or severe diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, or 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. Symptoms may include diarrhea; joint and muscle pain; nausea and vomiting; stomach cramps.

Proper storage of gemfibrozil:

Store gemfibrozil at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep gemfibrozil out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about gemfibrozil, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Gemfibrozil 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 gemfibrozil 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 gemfibrozil. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to gemfibrozil. 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 gemfibrozil.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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.

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