Skip to main content


Generic name: clofibrate [ kloe-FIB-rate ]
Brand name: Atromid-S
Drug class: Fibric acid derivatives

What is clofibrate?

Clofibrate is used to lower high levels of cholesterol (a type of fat) in the blood. Clofibrate is especially good at lowering triglycerides and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) (a form of cholesterol).

Clofibrate may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about clofibrate?

Follow any diet or exercise plan outlined by your doctor. Diet and exercise are very important factors in controlling cholesterol.

Call your doctor immediately if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat, severe stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, fever and chills, a sore throat, a flulike feeling, blood in your urine, a decrease in urination, muscle cramps, muscle pain, muscle weakness, painful joints, swelling in your ankles or legs, or sudden weight gain. These could be early signs of serious side effects.

Who should not take clofibrate?

Do not take clofibrate if you have liver disease, kidney disease, or biliary cirrhosis.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism),

  • diabetes, or

  • an ulcer in your stomach or intestines.

You may not be able to take clofibrate, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Clofibrate may be passed into the system of an unborn baby. Clofibrate can build up dangerously in unborn babies, who do not yet have the ability to break down and pass this drug from the body. Do not take clofibrate without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

Clofibrate passes into breast milk. Since babies do not yet have the ability to break down this drug, a dangerous buildup could occur. Do not take clofibrate without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take clofibrate?

Take clofibrate exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Clofibrate can be taken with food to lessen stomach upset.

Do not crush, chew, or break the capsules. Swallow them whole.

Clofibrate is usually taken several times a day. Follow the directions your doctor has given to you.

Store clofibrate at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call a poison control center near you.

What should I avoid while taking clofibrate?

Follow any diet or exercise plan outlined by your doctor. Diet and exercise are very important factors in controlling cholesterol.

Clofibrate side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking clofibrate and seek emergency medical attention:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • chest pain or an irregular heart beat;

  • severe stomach pain with nausea and vomiting;

  • fever and chills, a sore throat, or a flu-like feeling;

  • blood in your urine or a decrease in urination;

  • swelling of your ankles or legs;

  • muscle cramps, muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle pain;

  • joint pain; or

  • sudden weight gain.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take clofibrate and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • bloating or flatulence;

  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;

  • headache;

  • dizziness or drowsiness; or

  • impotence.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

Clofibrate dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipidemia:

500 mg orally 4 times a day.

What other drugs will affect clofibrate?

Clofibrate may increase the effects of the following drugs, which could lead to dangerous side effects:

  • anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin); and

  • insulin or oral medications used to treat diabetes such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase), tolbutamide (Orinase) or tolazamide (Tolinase).

Clofibrate is generally not recommended for use with other cholesterol-lowering drugs such as lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), atorvastatin (Lipitor), and gemfibrozil (Lopid). A serious reaction involving the muscles and kidneys may occur if these drugs are taken together and can result in death.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with clofibrate. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Further information

  • Your pharmacist has more information about clofibrate written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Clofibrate is available with a prescription under the brand name Atromid-S. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Atromid-S 500 mg--red, hard-gelatin capsules

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.