Side Effects of Gemfibrozil
Common gemfibrozil side effects include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fatigue. Uncommon reactions include weight loss, acute appendicitis, and headache. Let your healthcare provider know immediately about any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if you also have a fever or feel ill). These could indicate a potentially life-threatening muscle problem.
As with any medicine, side effects can occur with gemfibrozil (Lopid®); however, not everyone who takes the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
The use of gemfibrozil has been associated with a rare but serious side effect known as rhabdomyolysis (serious breakdown of muscle). Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if accompanied by a fever or unusual tiredness (see Lopid and Muscle Pain).
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with gemfibrozil. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of gemfibrozil side effects with you.)
Common Gemfibrozil Side Effects
Gemfibrozil has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking the drug were documented and then compared to those that occurred in another group of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients).
As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, the most common side effects of gemfibrozil included:
- Heartburn or indigestion -- in up to 19.6 percent of people
- Abdominal (stomach) pain -- up to 9.8 percent
- Diarrhea -- up to 7.8 percent
- Fatigue -- up to 3.8 percent
- Nausea or vomiting -- up to 2.5 percent.