What Is Gemfibrozil Used For?
What is gemfibrozil used for? Gemfibrozil can help lower the risk of developing heart disease, chest pain, or a stroke by reducing triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the body. It is prescribed to people who are unable to lower their triglycerides and cholesterol to a desirable level through lifestyle modifications alone.
Gemfibrozil (Lopid®) is a medication that has been licensed to treat several conditions. Gemfibrozil uses include:
- Lowering triglyceride levels in patients with hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides). Triglycerides are fat-like substances found in the body.
- Reducing a person's risk of developing coronary heart disease as a result of having low HDL cholesterol levels in addition to high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Lowering cholesterol levels in patients 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 (bad cholesterol). Gemfibrozil also raises HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
High levels of cholesterol in the blood can accumulate on the walls of arteries, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This, in turn, can result in decreased blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart, brain, and other areas of the body. This can greatly increase a person's risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, angina (chest pain), heart attack, and stroke.
Gemfibrozil has been licensed for the treatment of high cholesterol in addition to a low-cholesterol diet and exercise. It works by lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol, and apo B. It also raises HDL cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol.
In general, cholesterol treatment is aimed at lowering LDL cholesterol levels enough to reduce the risk of developing complications associated with high cholesterol (see Effects of High Cholesterol). If you are at a higher risk, you will have a lower LDL goal.
(Click High Cholesterol Risk to determine your cholesterol risk and find out what your LDL cholesterol level should be.)