Drug trade name: Lopid
Category: Fibrates for reducing cholesterol
Generic name: Gemfibrozil
Introduction and Quick Information:
Gemfibrozil (brand name Lopid) belongs to a group of drugs known as fibrates. Gemfibrozil is prescribed to reduce triglycerides (fatty acids) and level of cholesterol in the blood. Increased level of these harmful fats in blood is medically associated with an elevated health risk of clogged arteries (atherosclerosis).
Gemfibrozil is approved for treating very high levels of triglyceride and cholesterol in people with pancreatitis.
This medicine is also recommended to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart-related health issues in people with high triglycerides and cholesterol. These people may be under treatment for reducing harmful fats in blood.
Is Gemfibrozil Approved by U.S. FDA?
United States food and drug administration approved gemfibrozil in September 1993 for the treatment to reduce increased level of cholesterol and triglycerides in blood.
Usage and Benefits of Gemfibrozil:
Gemfibrozil is approved to treat more than one health issue. Gemfibrozil is a cholesterol modifying and blood lipid medicine that belongs to a group of drugs called fibrates. It helps to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce triglycerides in the blood. Increased level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in blood helps to reduce risks of heart attack and related condition. It also helps in reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in blood which is responsible for many health complications. Uses of Gemfibrozil include-
- Lowering Triglycerides: High levels of triglycerides in blood can have several health complications. Increased levels of triglycerides decrease blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain, heart and other vital organs to the body. Gemfibrozil is prescribed for treatment of increased triglycerides and healthcare provider often prescribes this medicine with a healthy diet and exercise routine. It works by enhancing the breakdown and reduces all fat like substances from blood so that blood and oxygen can flow properly
- Lowering Cholesterol: High levels of cholesterol in blood are responsible for many severe body discomforts. Increased cholesterol can also lead to life-threatening conditions. Increased cholesterol in the blood affects the supply of blood and oxygen to brain, heart and other essential organs of the body that further lead to several health complications such as heart disease, chest pain (angina), heart attack and stroke. Gemfibrozil is approved for the treatment of increased cholesterol in the body. This medicine is prescribed with low cholesterol diet for speedy recovery.
Gemfibrozil is not approved for use in children. On certain occasions, your healthcare provider may prescribe this medicine for other medical condition which has not listed in this medication guide.
Gemfibrozil Side Effects:
Side effects, as a matter of fact, will always be associated with medication and treatment. Gemfibrozil has some side effects that may put your health in danger. However, it does not mean that everyone who takes this medicine to treat certain health condition gets affected by an adverse reaction of the medicine. Side effects only occur when you ignore safety guidelines. Gemfibrozil’s side effects can prove to be serious for your health; hence you should discuss with your doctor every possible adverse reaction of the medicine before taking Gemfibrozil. Here are some medically known side effects of Gemfibrozil-
- Pale skin, Easy bruising
- Rapid heart rate, Trouble concentrating
- Weakness especially if you also have unusual tiredness, fever, and dark colored urine
- Sharp pain in your upper stomach
- Unexplained muscle pain
- Eye pain, Blurred vision,
- Jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes)
- Feeling light-headed or short of breath
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin
- Unusual bleeding
- Loss of interest in sex
- Mild joint or muscle pain
- Nausea, Vomiting
- Diarrhea, Upset stomach
- Mild stomach pain
- Dizziness, Drowsiness
- Difficulty having an orgasm
- Numbness or Tingly feeling
- Cold symptoms such as sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose
These are some common but serious side effects of gemfibrozil. However, there is a rare but serious gemfibrozil side effect known as rhabdomyolysis (serious muscle breakdown). If you experience any unexplained muscle weakness, tenderness and pain, seek immediate medical assistance.
General Recommended Dosage of Gemfibrozil:
Gemfibrozil dosage depends on a number of factors such as lifestyle, health condition (for which the person is taking this medicine), use of any specific medicine, any other medical condition, food habits etc. Some general considerations for people taking gemfibrozil are as follows:
- Healthcare providers generally prescribe this medicine with some basic lifestyle modifications. These lifestyle modifications may include exercise, limited consumption of alcohol, weight loss, eating a healthy & nutritious diet that should be low in saturated fats and cholesterol.
- Gemfibrozil should be taken half an hour before morning and evening meal with a glass of water.
- Gemfibrozil should be taken at the same time each day to maintain even level of Gemfibrozil in blood. Take this medicine as exactly as it was directed by the physician.
- You may be prompted to stop taking Gemfibrozil if side effects occur.
- You may get your dose adjusted if your age is 65 or above
- If you have kidney diseases than you must not take gemfibrozil for lowering down cholesterol and triglycerides in blood.
- Talk to your doctor if you have any doubt regarding your dosing schedule.
Do not try to adjust your dose unless your doctor allows you or wants you to do so. You should not try to make changes in your dosing schedule without telling your doctor.
In Case I Miss The Dose?
The consequences of missing the dose may not be known. But it can definitely increase your discomfort if you forget to take your dose on time. In case of missed dose, do not take a missed dose without informing your healthcare provider as you may need to reschedule your dosages. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed one as it could lead to overdose adverse reactions.
In case I Take Overdose?
An overdose of gemfibrozil can worsen your condition for which you are taking this medicine. In case of overdose, seek medical assistance to counter overdose adverse reactions. Do not forget to tell your healthcare provider about the overdose.
Drug Interactions of Gemfibrozil:
Interaction with other drugs can reduce effects of gemfibrozil or can lead to drug interaction side effects. There is a range of drugs that can interact with gemfibrozil and can affect its health benefits. You should have complete information about drug interaction of gemfibrozil so that you can prevent yourself from its negative health reactions. Here are some drugs that can potentially interact with gemfibrozil such as-
- a blood thinner such as Jantoven, warfarin
- insulin or diabetes medication
- other cholesterol-lowering drugs such as pravastatin, rosuvastatin, lovastatin, atorvastatin, simvastatin, fluvastatin
This is not a complete list of drug interactions of Gemfibrozil. You may ask your doctor to explain you drug interaction associated risk and adverse consequences.
Life Style and Food Habits You Must Follow When on Gemfibrozil:
Gemfibrozil is prescribed along with some lifestyle modifications. This includes a healthy diet, everyday workout, limited use of alcohol and other related things. These lifestyle modifications help this medicine to act fast and in a better way. As you know cholesterol increases due to poor food habits and an inactive lifestyle. It has been proven medically that every workout session can reduce cholesterol level along with other health benefits. Healthy diet helps to reduce cholesterol from blood and reduces related health issues. Apart from these lifestyle modifications, tell your doctor if you have any of these health conditions such as:
- heart disease
- gallbladder disease
- liver diseases or liver failure
- kidney disease or kidney failure
- an allergy to food, any medicines, dyes or preservatives
Tell your healthcare provider if you have been taking any prescribed or non-prescribed drugs before you start taking this medicine.
How Safe Is Gemfibrozil for Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers?
It has been categorized in US FDA pregnancy category: C. This medicine is prescribed during pregnancy but only after some medical tests. There is no known medical proof that could show gemfibrozil can harm unborn babies. However, you should tell your doctor if you are expecting or planning to become pregnant while taking this medicine. Do not breast-feed a child unless your healthcare provider allows you to do so.
Complications and Conditions Possible Due to Prolonged Use of Gemfibrozil:
Prolonged use of any medicine can harm your health and also worsen the condition for which you are taking that particular medicine. Do not take Gemfibrozil longer than recommended unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Availability of Gemfibrozil:
Gemfibrozil is being sold by every government and FDA approved drug store. You can also buy this medicine from online drug stores as there are plenty of drug stores at which gemfibrozil and other drugs are available at reasonable price. To buy this drug you should have doctor’s prescription since gemfibrozil is a prescription medicine.