How Does It Work?Gemfibrozil is part of a class of drugs known as fibric acid derivatives. It is believed to work by slowing down the production of triglycerides and VLDL in the liver. The medication also causes an increase in HDL cholesterol. Depending on the type of cholesterol problem you have, gemfibrozil may decrease LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Effects of GemfibrozilSince gemfibrozil can lower both cholesterol and triglyceride levels while raising HDL, a person can decrease his or her risk of developing certain health problems in the future by taking it.
In previous clinical research studies, people taking gemfibrozil 900 to 1600 mg daily were able to:
- Reduce triglycerides by 20 to 50 percent
- Raise HDL cholesterol by 10 to 35 percent
- Reduce LDL cholesterol by 5 to 20 percent.*
(*In studies where people had triglyceride levels greater than 400 mg/dL, the medication actually raised LDL levels.)
Studies have also shown that people taking gemfibrozil can significantly reduce their risk of coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death.
When and How to Take ItSome general considerations for when and how to take gemfibrozil include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth twice a day. You should take it with a glass of water 30 minutes before morning and evening meals.
- If upset stomach occurs, gemfibrozil can be taken with milk or a light snack.
- The medication should be taken at the same time every day to help maintain an even level in the blood. Do not take it more often than directed.
- For gemfibrozil to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.