Lopid® is a brand name of the generic medication gemfibrozil. This medication is called a fibrate, a type of lipid-regulating medicine. It acts on the liver to reduce the production of triglycerides, which is a type of fat. Lopid® is prescribed for people with dangerously high triglycerides who may be at risk of developing pancreatic cancer. A doctor may also prescribe it for patients with a combination of high triglycerides, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
Patients typically take Lopid® twice daily, about 30 minutes prior to consuming breakfast and supper, or as directed by the prescribing physician. As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, patients must also eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet as directed by the doctor. Cardiovascular exercise on most, if not all, days of the week is strongly recommended. Patients who are overweight should lose excess fat with a doctor-approved weight loss plan. Alcohol consumption must be avoided while taking the medication.
Lopid® is not intended for use by children, as safety has not been established, as of 2011. Elderly patients should use this drug with caution, as they may be more susceptible to the possible side effects. While taking this cholesterol medication, patients will undergo periodic lab tests to ensure safety and effectiveness. The doctor will likely order tests to check the patient's liver and kidney function, as well as blood cholesterol levels.
Some side effects may occur. Patients may notice heartburn or stomach pain as well as diarrhea and indigestion. The doctor should be informed if these side effects become severe or if they do not go away. Patients should go to the emergency room immediately if they experience problems breathing, tightness in the chest, or facial swelling. These are signs of an allergic reaction. Other serious side effects can include jaundice, numbness, and an irregular heart rate. Painful urination, fever, and chills can occur, along with dizziness and unusual fatigue. Blurred vision, joint and muscle pain, and weakness are also possible.
Other medical conditions should be disclosed to the prescribing doctor. People may be unable to take Lopid® if they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Diabetes, kidney problems, and an underactive thyroid may also prevent one from taking this drug.
Certain medications may interact with Lopid®. Those taking blood thinners, sulfonylureas, or oral diabetes drugs may be unable to take this cholesterol medication. It may also interact with other cholesterol-lowering medicines, such as atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin.