What is Fenofibrate?
Fenofibrate is a cholesterol (LDL or bad cholesterol) and triglycerides (fatty acids) lowering drug. It increases the levels of (HDL or good cholesterol). Fenofibrate is prescribed along with a proper low fat diet to treat high cholesterol. Elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides can lead to atherosclerosis (clogged arteries). Fenofibrate, by lowering the triglycerides may reduce the risk of pancreatitis in people with high blood triglyceride levels. However, this medication might not be able to prevent heart attack or stroke.
Fenofibrate belongs to a group of drugs known as ?fibrates?. It is sold under various trade names, some of which are Tricor, Lipicard (made by USV), and Fenolip (made by Cipla).
Important Information about Fenofibrate
Do not take Fenofibrate (Tricor, Lipicard, Fenolip) if you are allergic to it, or if you have liver disease, gall bladder disease, severe kidney disease, if you are on dialysis, or if you are breast feeding a baby. You should let your doctor know if you have any of these conditions. Also let your doctor know if you have heart disease, diabetes, a thyroid disorder, or a history of pancreatitis or liver disease.
Avoid alcohol consumption as it can increase triglyceride levels, and may also damage your liver while you are taking Fenofibrate. Inform your doctor immediately if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, or dark colored urine. These conditions may be a sign of breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue (Rhabdomyolysis) which is a rare side effect of this medication.
Fenofibrate is an FDA pregnancy category C drug. It is not known whether this medication can harm an unborn baby if taken while being pregnant. Pregnant women must ask their doctor if it is safe to take this medication in their particular case. Fenofibrate can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor about the risk and benefits of using this medication while breast feeding.
Before taking Fenofibrate
Before taking Fenofibrate (Tricor, Lipicard, Fenolip), let your doctor know if you have heart disease, diabetes, a thyroid disorder, or a history of pancreatitis or liver disease.
How should I take Fenofibrate?
Take Fenofibrate strictly according to your doctor?s directions or according to the instructions on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also, do not take this medication after the prescribed period is over. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer the instructions in them for detailed information on that particular medication. Fenofibrate may be taken with or without food. Always store this medicine in a cool and dry place.
Fenofibrate is a part of a full line of treatment for blood pressure which includes diet restrictions, exercises, and other medicines. Follow a proper regimen of these things as directed by your doctor to keep your cholesterol levels in check. If you are also taking other cholesterol lowering drugs such as cholestyramine, colestipol, or colesevelam, take them at least 1 hour after or 4 hours before taking Fenofibrate.
What if I miss a dose?
If you happen to miss a dose of Fenofibrate, take it as soon as you remember it. Don?t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses at smaller intervals can cause overdose leading to severe symtpoms and conditions.
What if I overdose?
In case of an overdose of Fenofibrate, get emergency medical attention or call the Poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222.
Things and Activities to avoid while taking Fenofibrate
Avoid or limit alcohol consumption while taking Fenofibrate. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for any other restrictions while using this medicine.
Fenofibrate Side Effects
Inform your doctor immediately if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, or dark colored urine. These conditions may be a sign of breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue (Rhabdomyolysis) which is a rare side effect of Fenofibrate. This medication may sometimes cause gall stones and liver problems. Let your doctor know right away if you have severe stomach or abdominal pain, persistent nausea or vomiting, yellowing of skin or eyes, or dark urine while taking this medicine.
On rare occasions, Fenofibrate has caused a severe lowering of HDL or good cholesterol which is the exact opposite of what should have happened. Your cholesterol levels should be checked regularly while taking this medication.
The side effects mentioned here are the significant and most common ones that have be observed or reported. However, there may be other undocumented side effects due to Fenofibrate. Reporting your side effects to FDA by calling toll-free to 1-800-FDA-1088 is recommended.
Fenofibrate Dosing Information
Fenofibrate dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Your dosage will be determined by your doctor after examining you properly. Remember to follow your doctor?s advice properly for best results.
Interaction with other drugs
Other drugs can interact with Fenofibrate. Some of them are blood thinner like warfarin, medicines to treat bowel disorder, immunosuppresors, antiviral medications, chemotherapy, pain or arthritis medications (aspirin), or injected antibiotics. However, these are not the only drugs that can interact with Fenofibrate. Inform your doctor in advance if you use any other medicines or related products. Never start a new medicine without proper medical advice.