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What are the Common Gemfibrozil Side Effects?

Melanie Smeltzer
Melanie Smeltzer

Gemfibrozil is a medication that, when used alongside a healthy diet, is said to help reduce lipid levels in the body. Although this drug is thought to be effective, it may come with some side effects. Many gemfibrozil side effects are mild and can include stomach and digestive issues, and fatigue. More severe reactions may present themselves in the form of anemia, gallstones, and muscle aches. This medication may also alter other drugs, which can potentially lead to side effects.

It is not uncommon for people to experience some discomfort when starting a new drug, but gemfibrozil side effects are usually mild. These reactions may include digestive troubles such as stomachache, indigestion, and vomiting. Others may experience feelings of dizziness, fatigue or headache. In many cases, these symptoms are not severe, and are generally short lived.

Stomach and digestive issues are common side effects of gemfibrozil.
Stomach and digestive issues are common side effects of gemfibrozil.

Although most reactions are considered temporary and mild, others may be more severe, and some may even indicate a potentially dangerous problem. Some of these gemfibrozil side effects can include feelings of depression, a loss of sexual ability, and an irregular heartbeat. Allergic reactions may also be present, and can manifest in the form of an itchy rash or hives, a hoarse voice, or swelling of the face or mouth. This medication may also cause a serious but uncommon condition called rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis can cause a breakdown of muscle tissue, which will usually result in symptoms such as tenderness, weakness, and pain in the muscles, as well as fever and fatigue.

Certain gemfibrozil side effects can be brought about by other medications. This drug is said to increase the effectiveness of anti-clotting medications, which in turn can increase the risk of bleeding. It may also boost the level of certain anti-diabetic medications in the bloodstream, which may increase the chance of developing low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.

Many patients are discouraged from taking gemfibrozil with statins, as the combination can potentially result in muscle or kidney problems. Some immunosuppressant medications may make it more difficult for the body to eliminate gemfibrozil, which can also cause ailments of the kidneys. In addition, this drug may negatively interact with some anti-cancer medications. One of the most common side effects of this combination is a marked elevation of triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Because of these interactions, many doctors will alter the dosage of either medication, or possibly recommend that the patient stop taking one or the other.

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    • Stomach and digestive issues are common side effects of gemfibrozil.
      By: Julija Sapic
      Stomach and digestive issues are common side effects of gemfibrozil.