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What is Gemfibrozil?

Article Details
  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 16 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Gemfibrozil is a drug that helps to control high levels of fatty acids, also known as triglycerides, and cholesterol in the blood. It is typically prescribed to patients with pancreatic disease who have high levels of these substances in their arteries. Gemfibrozil can also reduce risk of other problems such as heart attack, angina, and stroke. The drug works by helping to prevent clogged arteries. It is usually prescribed in conjunction with a diet and exercise regime.

The drug works by lowering the growth of triglycerides in the liver. This helps to prevent the accumulation of fats and cholesterol in the arteries, which can lead to the decrease of blood and oxygen being delivered to other parts of the body. A lipid-regulating drug, gemifibrozil is part of a class of medications known as fibrates.

Gemfibrozil is taken orally two times a day, before meals. It is typically prescribed to be taken at the same times each day so that the body receives a steady stream of the medication. Patients are usually advised to keep taking the drug until advised by a doctor to stop, even if they are feeling well.

Patients taking gemfibrozil are usually prescribed the drug in conjunction with a balanced program of health improvement. It is most effective when combined with a healthy diet and regular program of moderate exercise. Doctors typically provide advice in both of these areas in order to ensure that the drug provides optimum benefit.

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Gemfibrozil patients must consume a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Good foods to eat include fish, vegetables, egg whites, and fat-free dairy products. Fatty foods should be avoided, such as pastries, meat, fried food, and dairy products with fat.

While taking gemfibrozil, patients are monitored regularly. In addition to blood tests, liver and kidney functions are examined in order to track progress. This helps the doctor to determine whether the drug is working and if diet or dosage changes are needed.

Patients who have liver, gallbladder, or severe kidney disease are typically advised not to take gemfibrozil. Though it has not been determined to be unsafe for pregnant women or nursing mothers, individuals in this situation are usually required to consult a doctor before taking the drug. It is not safe for patients taking repaglinide or cerivastatin to take gemfibrozil.

Serious side effects of gemfibrozil include jaundice, painful urination, heartburn, and pain in the upper stomach. There are also several problems that could affect the eyes, such as generalized pain, blurred vision, or the appearance of halos around lights. All of these conditions should be discussed with a doctor.

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