Gemfibrozil

Generic name: gemfibrozil (jem FYE broe zil)
Brand name: Lopid
Dosage forms: oral tablet (600 mg)
Drug class: Fibric acid derivatives

Gemfibrozil helps reduce cholesterol and triglycerides (fatty acids) in the blood. High levels of these types of fat in the blood are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis (clogged arteries).

Gemfibrozil is used together with diet to treat very high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with pancreatitis.

Gemfibrozil is also used to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications in certain people with high cholesterol and triglycerides who have not been helped by other treatment methods.

Warnings

You should not take gemfibrozil if you have severe liver or kidney disease, gallbladder disease, or if you are also taking repaglinide, dasabuvir, or simvastatin.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use gemfibrozil if you are allergic to it, if you have:

  • severe liver disease;
  • severe kidney disease;
  • gallbladder disease; or
  • if you are also taking repaglinide, dasabuvir, or simvastatin.

To make sure gemfibrozil is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had::

  • gallstones; or
  • if you also take warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven).

It is not known whether gemfibrozil will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I take gemfibrozil?

Take gemfibrozil exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Gemfibrozil is usually taken 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Gemfibrozil is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

You may need frequent medical tests. Even if you have no symptoms, tests can help your doctor determine if this medicine is effective.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Gemfibrozil for Hyperlipidemia:

600 mg orally twice a day, 30 minutes before the morning and evening meals

Uses: As an adjunct to diet in the following situations: to treat hypertriglyceridemia in Types IV and V hyperlipidemia in patients who present at risk for pancreatitis and who do not respond adequately to diet; to reduce the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) only in Type IIb patients without a history of or symptoms of existing CHD who have not responded adequately to other pharmacologic agents and nonpharmacologic interventions and who have low high density lipoprotein (HDL), elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL), and elevated triglycerides

Usual Adult Dose of Gemfibrozil for Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL):

600 mg orally twice a day, 30 minutes before the morning and evening meals

Uses: As an adjunct to diet in the following situations: to treat hypertriglyceridemia in Types IV and V hyperlipidemia in patients who present at risk for pancreatitis and who do not respond adequately to diet; to reduce the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) only in Type IIb patients without a history of or symptoms of existing CHD who have not responded adequately to other pharmacologic agents and nonpharmacologic interventions and who have low high density lipoprotein (HDL), elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL), and elevated triglycerides

Usual Adult Dose of Gemfibrozil for Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IV (Elevated VLDL):

600 mg orally twice a day, 30 minutes before the morning and evening meals

Uses: As an adjunct to diet in the following situations: to treat hypertriglyceridemia in Types IV and V hyperlipidemia in patients who present at risk for pancreatitis and who do not respond adequately to diet; to reduce the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) only in Type IIb patients without a history of or symptoms of existing CHD who have not responded adequately to other pharmacologic agents and nonpharmacologic interventions and who have low high density lipoprotein (HDL), elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL), and elevated triglycerides

Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipoproteinemia Type V (Elevated Chylomicrons + VLDL):

600 mg orally twice a day, 30 minutes before the morning and evening meals

Uses: As an adjunct to diet in the following situations: to treat hypertriglyceridemia in Types IV and V hyperlipidemia in patients who present at risk for pancreatitis and who do not respond adequately to diet; to reduce the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) only in Type IIb patients without a history of or symptoms of existing CHD who have not responded adequately to other pharmacologic agents and nonpharmacologic interventions and who have low high density lipoprotein (HDL), elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL), and elevated triglycerides

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertriglyceridemia:

600 mg orally twice a day, 30 minutes before the morning and evening meals

Uses: As an adjunct to diet in the following situations: to treat hypertriglyceridemia in Types IV and V hyperlipidemia in patients who present at risk for pancreatitis and who do not respond adequately to diet; to reduce the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) only in Type IIb patients without a history of or symptoms of existing CHD who have not responded adequately to other pharmacologic agents and nonpharmacologic interventions and who have low high density lipoprotein (HDL), elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL), and elevated triglycerides

Usual Adult Dose for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease:

600 mg orally twice a day, 30 minutes before the morning and evening meals

Uses: As an adjunct to diet in the following situations: to treat hypertriglyceridemia in Types IV and V hyperlipidemia in patients who present at risk for pancreatitis and who do not respond adequately to diet; to reduce the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) only in Type IIb patients without a history of or symptoms of existing CHD who have not responded adequately to other pharmacologic agents and nonpharmacologic interventions and who have low high density lipoprotein (HDL), elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL), and elevated triglycerides

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking gemfibrozil?

Avoid eating foods high in fat or cholesterol, or gemfibrozil will not be as effective.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may interfere with your treatment.

Gemfibrozil side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to gemfibrozil: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, gemfibrozil can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sharp pain in your upper stomach (especially after eating);
  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes);
  • pain or burning when you urinate;
  • blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights; or
  • low blood cell counts - pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet.

Common gemfibrozil side effects may include:

  • stomach pain, indigestion, diarrhea;
  • numbness or tingly feeling;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • blurred vision;
  • muscle or joint pain; or
  • loss of interest in sex, impotence.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088