FENOFIBRATE (fen oh FYE brate) treats high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood. It works by decreasing bad cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL) in your blood. It belongs to a group of medications called fibrates. Changes to diet and exercise are often combined with this medication.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
High blood sugar (diabetes)
Low thyroid levels
Take medications that treat or prevent blood clots
An unusual or allergic reaction to fenofibrate, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Do not cut, crush or chew this medication. Swallow the tablets whole. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.
Some brands of this medication may be taken with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Other brands of this medication should be taken with food. Ask your care team or pharmacist if you should take this medication with or without food.
Take bile acid sequestrants at a different time of day than this medication. Take this medication 1 hour BEFORE or 4 to 6 hours AFTER bile acid sequestrants.
Talk to your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
This medication may interact with the following:
Bile acid sequestrants like cholestyramine, colesevelam, and colestipol
Certain medications for cholesterol like atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin
Certain medications for diabetes, like glipizide or glyburide
Certain medications that suppress the body's immune response like cyclosporine and tacrolimus
Supplements like red yeast rice
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
Gallbladder problems—severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever
Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing of skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
Muscle injury—unusual weakness or fatigue, muscle pain, dark yellow or brown urine, decrease in amount of urine
Pancreatitis—severe stomach pain that spreads to your back or gets worse after eating or when touched, fever, nausea, vomiting
Rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
Unusual bruising or bleeding
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
Runny or stuffy nose
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips, or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
Taking this medication is only part of a total heart healthy program. Your care team may give you a special diet to follow. Avoid alcohol. Avoid smoking. Ask your care team how much you should exercise.
Your care team may tell you to stop taking this medication if you develop muscle problems. If your muscle problems do not go away after stopping this medication, contact your care team.
This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
This medication may cause a decrease in vitamin B12. You should make sure that you get enough B12 while you are taking this medication. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your care team.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Keep the container tightly closed. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, empty the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.