gemfibrozil (generic name)

This medicine is only for patients whose blood fats are not controlled by diet
(jem FI broe zil)
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What is this medicine?

GEMFIBROZIL (jem FI broe zil) can help lower blood fats and cholesterol for people who are at risk of getting inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) from having very high amounts of fats in their blood. This medicine is only for patients whose blood fats are not controlled by diet.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • cataracts
  • gallbladder disease
  • heart disease
  • kidney or liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to gemfibrozil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine 30 minutes before a meal. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • bexarotene
  • ezetimibe
  • other cholesterol medicines like clofibrate and fenofibrate
  • repaglinide
  • statin-type cholesterol lowering drugs like atorvastatin, cerivastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, or simvastatin

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • warfarin
  • red yeast rice

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your blood fats and other tests will be measured from time to time.

This medicine is only part of a total cholesterol-lowering program. Your health care professional or dietician can suggest a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet that will reduce your risk of getting heart and blood vessel disease. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and keep a proper exercise schedule.

If you are diabetic, close regulation and monitoring of your blood sugars can help your blood fat levels. This medicine may change the way your diabetic medicine works, and sometimes will require that your dosages be adjusted. Check with your doctor or health care professional.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • cold or flu-like symptoms
  • dark yellow or brown urine
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pain
  • pain or difficulty passing urine
  • stomach pain with nausea and vomiting
  • unusual tiredness
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • blurred vision
  • decreased sexual function or desire
  • headache
  • stomach gas, heartburn

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light and humidity. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: April 29, 2009
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