What is gemfibrozil
helps reduce cholesterol and triglycerides (types of fat)
in the blood. High levels of fat in the blood are associated
with an increased chance of heart disease, strokes, and other
may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this
General medical information about gemfibrozil
Follow any special diet and exercise plan recommended
by your doctor while taking this medication. Diet and exercise
are very important factors in controlling cholesterol.
Who should not take gemfibrozil Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
- any type of liver disease--you need a
properly functioning liver to break down gemfibrozil and
remove it from your body;
- any kidney diseases--gemfibrozil
may make kidney disease worse; or
- gallbladder disease--gemfibrozil
increases the risk that gallbladder disease will recur.
Gemfibrozil is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This
means that it is not known whether gemfibrozil will harm
an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first
talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
not known whether gemfibrozil passes into breast milk. Do
not take this medication without first talking to your doctor
if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should take gemfibrozil Take gemfibrozil exactly as directed by your doctor.
If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist,
nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
is usually taken twice daily, 30 minutes before breakfast
and dinner. Follow your doctor's instructions.
not stop taking gemfibrozil unless directed by your doctor.
It may take up to 3 months for you to see the effects of
Store gemfibrozil at room temperature
away from moisture and heat.
If you miss a dose: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember up to
2 hours late. If more than 2 hours have passed, skip the
dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled
dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
What happens if you overdose: An overdose of this medication is unlikely to threaten
life. Call an emergency room or poison control center for
Symptoms of a gemfibrozil overdose include
diarrhea, headache, and muscle pain.
Avoid while taking gemfibrozil Avoid fatty foods. They decrease the absorption of
gemfibrozil. Try to decrease the total amount of fatty foods
you eat and also do not take gemfibrozil at the same time
as fatty foods.
Tobacco also decreases the absorption
of gemfibrozil. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about
options available to help you quit a tobacco habit.
Use caution driving, operating machinery, and performing
other hazardous activities until you know how gemfibrozil
affects you. It may cause some drowsiness or dizziness,
especially at the start of therapy.
Possible side effects of gemfibrozil If you experience any of the following serious side
effects, stop taking gemfibrozil and contact your doctor
or seek medical attention:
- an allergic reaction
(difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling
of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
pain, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat;
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or clay-colored stools;
- yellowing of your skin or eyes (jaundice);
rash or itching;
- sores in your mouth or on your
- swollen legs or feet;
- chills, fever,
or blood in your urine; or
- muscle aches, pain,
Other, less serious side effects may
be more likely to occur. Continue to take gemfibrozil and
talk to your doctor if you experience
- headache, dizziness, or drowsiness; or
decreased sex drive.
Side effects other than those
listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any
side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
What other drugs will affect gemfibrozil Gemfibrozil may increase the effects of the following
drugs, which could lead to dangerous side effects:
Anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin) may increase
the risk of bleeding. A reduction in your anticoagulant
dosage may be necessary.
- Oral antidiabetic medications
such as chlorpropamide (Diabenese), glipizide (Glucotrol),
glyburide (Micronase, DiaBeta, Glynase), tolbutamide (Orinase),
tolazamide (Tolinase), and acetohexamide (Dymelor) may cause
low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
- Insulin also may
- Other cholesterol-lowering
drugs such as lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor),
pravastatin (Pravachol), and fluvastatin (Lescol) may increase
damage to kidneys and muscles.
Gemfibrozil may have
decreased activity if taken with birth control pills or
with estrogens. Try to take these medications at different
times of the day.
Gemfibrozil may have increased
activity if it is taken with thyroid medications. Also try
to take these medications at different times of the day.
other than those listed here may also interact with gemfibrozil.
Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription
or over-the-counter medicines.