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Gemfibrozil

Gemfibrozil

what is gemfibrozil and how does it work?

Gemfibrozil is used along with a proper diet to help lower fats (triglycerides) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It may also help to lower "bad" cholesterol (LDL). Gemfibrozil belongs to a group of drugs known as "fibrates." It works by decreasing the amount of fat produced by the liver. Lowering triglycerides in people with very high triglyceride blood levels may also decrease the risk of pancreas disease (pancreatitis). However, gemfibrozil might not lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about the risk and benefits of gemfibrozil.

How to use Gemfibrozil

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day (30 minutes before your morning and evening meals). Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

If you also take certain other drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take gemfibrozil at least 1 hour before or at least 4-6 hours after taking these medications. These products can react with gemfibrozil, preventing its full absorption.

Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same times each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol/triglycerides do not feel sick.

It is very important to continue to follow your doctor's advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 3 months before you get the full benefit of this drug.

Drug interactions

Anticoagulants: Gemfibrozil potentiates the action of warfarin and indanedione anticoagulants.[citation needed]

Statin drugs: Concomitant administration of fibrates (including gemfibrozil) with statin drugs increases the risk of muscle cramping, myopathy, and rhabdomyolysis.[citation needed]

Gemfibrozil inhibits the activation of the liver's Cytochrome P450 system and CYP2C8, reducing hepatic metabolism of many drugs, and prolonging their half lives and duration of action.

Drugs metabolized by the Cytochrome P450 system include:

  • Many antidepressants
  • Many antipsychotics
  • Many antiepileptics
  • Theophylline and other methylxanthine drugs
  • Several anesthetic agents
  • Oral contraceptive pills
  • Statins
  • Warfarin
  • Selexipag

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

What are the side effects of gemfibrozil?

Common side effects of gemfibrozil include:

  • upset stomach,
  • stomach pain,
  • diarrhea,
  • headache,
  • tiredness,
  • nausea, and
  • vomiting.

Muscle aches and pain also occur. Rarely, these muscle-related symptoms are associated with damage to muscles that releases chemicals into the blood that that can damage the kidney. Muscle damage is of greatest concern when gemfibrozil is combined with statins. The formation of gallstones and gallbladder surgery have been associated with the use of gemfibrozil. Pancreatitis, abnormal blood liver tests, as well as reduced red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells (leukopenia) and blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) also have been reported.

Gemfibrozil Dosage

Depending on the condition being treated, the recommended dose of this drug may be 600 milligrams (mg) 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner.

You should take gemfibrozil around the same time each day.

Gemfibrozil Overdose

If you suspect an overdose, you should contact a poison-control center or emergency room immediately. You can call a poison-control center at (800) 222-1222.

Missed Dose of Gemfibrozil

If you miss a dose of gemfibrozil, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular medication schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one.

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