Gemfibrozil is used with diet changes (restriction of cholesterol and fat intake) to reduce the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides (other fatty substances) in the blood in certain people with very high triglycerides who are at risk of pancreatic disease (conditions affecting the pancreas, a gland that produces fluid to break down food and hormones to control blood sugar). Gemfibrozil is also used in people with a combination of low high-density lipoprotein (HDL; 'good cholesterol') levels and high low-density lipoprotein (LDL; 'bad cholesterol') and triglyceride levels to reduce the risk of heart disease. Gemfibrozil is in a class of lipid-regulating medications called fibrates. It works by reducing the production of triglycerides in the liver.
Gemfibrozil comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day, 30 minutes before the morning and evening meals. Take gemfibrozil at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take gemfibrozil exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Gemfibrozil controls high triglycerides and low HDL but does not cure them. Continue to take gemfibrozil even if you feel well. Do not stop taking gemfibrozil without talking to your doctor.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Be sure to follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. You can also visit the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) website for additional dietary information at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/chol_tlc.pdf.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
A medication similar to gemfibrozil has caused cancer, gallbladder disease, and stomach pain leading to appendectomy. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Gemfibrozil may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from light, excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
joint and muscle pain
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to gemfibrozil.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 08/15/2014
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2015. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.