What is gemfibrozil?

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 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 people with high cholesterol and triglycerides who have not been helped by other treatment methods.

Gemfibrozil may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to gemfibrozil or have certain conditions. Be sure your doctor knows if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • severe kidney disease; or
  • gallbladder disease.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, or gallbladder disease. You may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use gemfibrozil.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether gemfibrozil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Gemfibrozil will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and joint or muscle pain.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • sharp pain in your upper stomach (especially after eating);
  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes);
  • blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights; or
  • pain or burning when you urinate.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • heartburn, upset stomach;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain;
  • dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • drowsiness, tired feeling;
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • cough or cold symptoms;
  • numbness or tingly feeling;
  • joint or muscle pain;
  • mild skin rash; or
  • blurred vision.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before taking this gemfibrozil, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
  • insulin or diabetes medication you take by mouth; or
  • another cholesterol-lowering drug such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altocor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), fluvastatin (Lescol, Lescol XL), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with gemfibrozil. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Lopid and gemfibrozil

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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