Gemfibrozil helps lower your cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels.
Excessive cholesterol and triglycerides in your body can clog up your blood vessels. This can lead to many health problems such as stroke and heart diseases, including heart attack.
Gemfibrozil is meant to be taken as part of a complete cholesterol management programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Take Gemfibrozil exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take Gemfibrozil on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before meals. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Gemfibrozil must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Gemfibrozil even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Gemfibrozil unless instructed by your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- bile duct or gall bladder disease
as Gemfibrozil may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Gemfibrozil with repaglinide (medicine for diabetes).
Inform your doctor if you have thyroid disease.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience muscle pain, weakness or tenderness especially if it is accompanied by fever or general body discomfort.
For as long as you are taking Gemfibrozil, you will need to have regular blood tests to monitor your body's response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these blood tests.
Common side effects of Gemfibrozil include any of the following: indigestion, stomach pain, nausea, wind, loss of appetite, headache and tiredness.
Gemfibrozil may cause dizziness and blurred vision. If you feel dizzy or if you cannot see clearly, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
- persistent muscle pain, muscle cramps, numbness or weakness
- severe stomach pain or pain near the stomach area
- yellowing of the skin or the eyes
- brown or dark-coloured urine
- unusual tiredness
- swollen eyes or mouth, breathlessness
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Remember not to take Gemfibrozil with repaglinide (medicine for diabetes).
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- warfarin (blood-thinning medicine)
- other cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. atorvastatin, lovastatin or simvastatin
- diabetes medicines e.g. chlorpropamide, glipizide, rosiglitazone, insulin
- ciclosporin (a medicine used for organ transplants and rheumatoid illness)
- a herbal or food supplement called red yeast rice
Gemfibrozil should not be taken at the same time as colestipol. Colestipol reduces the effectiveness of Gemfibrozil when taken at the same time. If you are taking colestipol, take Gemfibrozil at least 2 hours before or after you have taken colestipol.
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Gemfibrozil.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.