Gemfibrozil is licensed to treat high triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as to reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease. It is believed to work by slowing down the liver's production of triglycerides and VLDL. Gemfibrozil should be used along with diet and exercise. Some possible side effects of this drug include heartburn, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
What Is Gemfibrozil?
Gemfibrozil (Lopid®) is a prescription medication used to reduce levels of triglyceride (a fat-like substance) and cholesterol in the body. Lowering the amount of these substances may help prevent conditions such as:
It should be used in combination with diet and exercise.
- Lowering triglycerides in people with hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels). Very high triglyceride levels in the body increase the risk of developing a condition known as pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
Gemfibrozil can actually cause an increase in LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) for people with very high levels of triglycerides (greater than 400 mg/dL). Therefore, people who have this condition in addition to high LDL cholesterol should use this medication with extreme caution or not at all.
- Reducing a person's risk of developing coronary heart disease if they have low HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) levels in addition to high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Gemfibrozil should be used only if you have already tried to lower your cholesterol (and raise HDL) with diet, exercise, and other cholesterol-lowering medications.
- Lowering cholesterol levels in people with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). Gemfibrozil can reduce VLDL (very low density lipoprotein cholesterol), apo B (a component of cholesterol that is related to several heart disease risk factors), and, to a lesser extent, total cholesterol and LDL. The medication also raises HDL.