Clofibrate Side Effects

Not all side effects for clofibrate may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to clofibrate: oral capsule liquid filled

Along with its needed effects, clofibrate may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking clofibrate:

Rare
  • Chest pain
  • irregular heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • stomach pain (severe) with nausea and vomiting

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking clofibrate:

Rare
  • Blood in urine
  • cough or hoarseness
  • decrease in urination
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • swelling of feet or lower legs

Some side effects of clofibrate may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Diarrhea
  • nausea
Less common or rare
  • Decreased sexual ability
  • headache
  • increased appetite or weight gain (slight)
  • muscle aches or cramps
  • sores in mouth and on lips
  • stomach pain, gas, or heartburn
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to clofibrate: oral capsule

General

In general, the most common adverse effects due to clofibrate therapy are gastrointestinal in nature (especially nausea) and may subside over time or with a decreased dosage.

Gastrointestinal

Cholelithiasis and cholecystitis (sometimes requiring surgery or resulting in pancreatitis) occur more frequently in patients receiving clofibrate than in patients receiving placebo.

Gastrointestinal reactions may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gastritis, weight loss or gain, and gallstones (during prolonged therapy).

Musculoskeletal

Patients diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis are usually asymptomatic clinically several days after discontinuing clofibrate, but the muscle enzymes may remain elevated for a more prolonged period. Severe renal disease may increase the risk of myopathies, perhaps because of accumulation of the active metabolite clofibric acid.

Musculoskeletal effects (myopathy) typically occur as a "flu-like" syndrome (myalgia, cramps, muscle weakness, and arthralgia). Rhabdomyolysis with an accompanying increase in creatinine kinase and creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) has been reported in patients with renal disease.

Metabolic

Electrolyte disturbances like hyperkalemia have been reported in patients with renal insufficiency who receive clofibrate.

Nervous system

Central nervous system depressant effects may include fatigue, weakness, drowsiness, and/or dizziness. Headache has also been reported.

Hematologic

Hematologic adverse effects may include leukopenia, anemia, eosinophilia, agranulocytosis, and potentiation of anticoagulant effects. Because of these effects, some clinicians recommend periodic monitoring of blood counts.

Cardiovascular

Cardiovascular complications may include various arrhythmias and altered angina pectoris. Swelling and phlebitis have occurred at xanthomata sites.

Renal

Renal dysfunction (including dysuria, hematuria, proteinuria, and decreased urine output) has been reported. Acute renal failure and interstitial nephritis have also been reported.

Genitourinary

Decreased libido (primarily in men) and impotence have been reported.

Hepatic

Hepatic disorders may include elevated liver enzymes and/or hepatomegaly. (Liver biopsy, when performed in this setting, is usually normal.) Clofibrate should be used cautiously for patients with a history of jaundice or liver disease.

Dermatologic

Dermatologic reactions which occur in about 2% of patients may include urticaria, rash, dry skin, and alopecia. Erythema multiforme, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome have occurred rarely.

Hypersensitivity

One case of a hypersensitivity reaction occurring as eosinophilic pneumonia has been reported.

Other

Fever, which occurred on rechallenge with clofibrate, has been reported in one case.

Oncologic

Oncologic effects of tumor growth in rodents have been associated with many lipid-lowering drugs. Clofibrate has been associated with liver, pancreatic and testicular tumors in rats. Long-term clinical trials are needed to define the risk of cancer in humans.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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