What It's For & How To Take
Fenofibrate is used to help break down cholesterol and triglycerides so they may be removed from the body more quickly. This medication used along with other medication, to help lipid disorders.
You may have extra cholesterol over time from either overproduction or an increased intake. Excess cholesterol leads to a buildup of cholesterol inside your blood vessels. The buildup of cholesterol on a blood vessel wall hardens and is known as plaque. The inside of your vessels become narrow, and blood flow may be decreased.
As your blood vessel narrows, you will have a decreased supply of blood to the rest of your body. This narrowing of your blood vessels is called atherosclerosis. Next, if the plaque ruptures, it can form a clot which may lead to either a stroke or a heart attack.
Fenofibrate is usually taken once daily, with or without food. Take your medication at the same time each day. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, just skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.
Depending on your specific therapy, your doctor may have you do some blood tests before you begin therapy and at regular intervals after you have started your fenofibrate. Do not miss your lab appointments. The blood work is done to make sure the medication is helping to lower the cholesterol and to see if your body is tolerating the medication.
Warnings & Cautions
- If fenofibrate is taken with other medications used to treat cholesterol, the chance for side effects may increase. This combination may cause a condition associated with increasing muscle pain. This condition begins with muscle weakness, unusual tiredness and possibly a fever. You may also experience yellow eyes, dark urine, nausea or abdominal pain. This may cause muscle and liver damage if not acted upon. If you experience these side effects, contact your doctor immediately.
- Caution is advised against taking this medication if you are pregnant. If you are currently taking this medication and think you might be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Do not breastfeed while taking this medication.
- Even though fenofibrate has been shown to help decrease cholesterol and other fatty substances in your blood, it has not been shown to decrease the chance of a stroke or a heart attack. Discuss this with your doctor if you have any questions as to why you have been prescribed this medication.
Interactions & Side Effects
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if fenofibrate is safe for you to take.
- Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don't take them very often.
- Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have a history of liver disease, gallbladder disease, kidney disease, muscle pain or weakness, thyroid disorder or a history of alcohol or substance abuse.
- While taking fenofibrate, you may feel some mild stomach pain, back pain, headache or a runny nose. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
- Call your doctor right away if you have any significant muscle pain, unusual tiredness, unusual bleeding, fever, yellowing of your eyes, dark urine, nausea or abdominal pain.
- Call emergency 911 if you have any symptoms of a heart attack such as chest and left arm pain, shortness of breath and sweating or if you have symptoms of a stroke such as weakness on one side of your body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, and confusion.