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Gemfibrozil Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 3, 2022.


Commonly reported side effects of gemfibrozil include: malignant neoplasm, pancreatitis, dyspepsia, and cholelithiasis. Other side effects include: abdominal pain. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to gemfibrozil: oral tablet

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, gemfibrozil 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 gemfibrozil:

More common

  • Bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • cough or hoarseness
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • fever or chills
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • lower back or side pain

Incidence not known

  • Black, tarry stools
  • chest pain
  • dark-colored urine
  • indigestion
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • muscle cramps or spasms
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • muscular pain, tenderness, wasting, or weakness
  • pale skin
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stomach pain
  • swollen glands
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of gemfibrozil 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

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • belching
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • change in taste
  • diarrhea
  • heartburn
  • stomach discomfort or upset

Less common

  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • headache
  • nausea
  • sensation of spinning
  • skin rash, encrusted, scaly and oozing
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to gemfibrozil: compounding powder, oral tablet


The most frequently reported side effects were gastrointestinal reactions and included dyspepsia, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, acute appendicitis, constipation, and flatulence.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dyspepsia (19.6%)

Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain, acute appendicitis, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, flatulence

Rare (less than 0.1%): Pancreatitis

Frequency not reported: Colitis[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Rare (less than 0.1%): Peripheral neuropathy, paresthesia, dizziness, somnolence

Frequency not reported: Peripheral neuritis, convulsions, syncope, hyperesthesia, taste perversion, intracerebral hemorrhage[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, hepatic function abnormal

Frequency not reported: ALT increased, AST increased, bilirubin increased, alkaline phosphatase increased[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Atrial fibrillation

Frequency not reported: Extrasystoles, vasculitis, peripheral vascular disease[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Eczema, rash

Rare (less than 0.1%): Angioedema, urticaria, exfoliative dermatitis, dermatitis, pruritus, alopecia, photosensitivity reaction[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, vertigo

Rare (less than 0.1%): Creatine phosphokinase increased

Frequency not reported: Weight loss, viral infections, bacterial infections[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Myopathy, myalgia, painful extremities, arthralgia, synovitis, rhabdomyolysis, myositis, muscular weakness

Frequency not reported: Lupus-like syndrome, myasthenia[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Bone marrow failure, severe anemia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, eosinophilia, hemoglobin decreased, hematocrit decreased, WBC decreased

Frequency not reported: Anemia, bone marrow hypoplasia[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Blurred vision

Frequency not reported: Retinal edema, cataracts[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Erectile dysfunction

Frequency not reported: Impotence, male fertility decreased[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Libido decreased, depression

Frequency not reported: Confusion[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Laryngeal edema[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Renal dysfunction, renal failure[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hepatoma[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Positive antinuclear antibody, anaphylaxis[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Lopid (gemfibrozil)." Parke-Davis (2002):

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.