Gemfibrozil is commonly used in the reduction of triglycerides and cholesterol in the body and is the generic name for the medication known as Lopid. By using medications such as gemfibrozil to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream this ultimately lowers the risk of serious health complications such as heart attacks, heart disease, strokes, and other heart related illnesses.
Gemfibrozil is not appropriate for all patients and some patients with certain types of illnesses may not be able to tolerate the medication. The doctor should be sure to assess a thorough medical evaluation prior to prescribing this medication to avoid potentially serious health effects. Patients with a medical history which includes kidney disease, liver disease, or gallbladder disease may not be able to take gemfibrozil or may require careful monitoring, tests, or special dosing while taking this medication, depending on the disease, the severity of the disease, and the overall health condition of the patient.
Patients who are pregnant or nursing should avoid taking gemfibrozil. Gemfibrozil was evaluated by the American Food and Drug Administration and it was not able to be determined whether or not this medication posed a serious risk of harm or birth defects to a developing fetus. It was also unable to be determined whether or not gemfibrozil passes through the mother’s breast milk and causes harm to a nursing baby. The FDA rated gemfibrozil a pregnancy risk category C.
Patients should only take the amount of medication prescribed by the doctor. Patients should never alter their dose of gemfibrozil without a physician’s consent. Patients who miss a dose should simply take the dose when they remember, or skip the dose entirely if it is almost time for the next scheduled dose. Taking too much gemfibrozil may result in an overdose which would be considered a medical emergency. If an overdose of gemfibrozil is suspected, the patient should receive prompt medical attention. An overdose may present with symptoms which include diarrhea, muscle pain, dehydration, vomiting, and headache.
There is a potential for side effects when taking gemfibrozil, some of which might be serious. Serious side effects and allergic reactions can present dangerous health situation which require immediate medical attention. Patients experiencing an allergic reaction may present with swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, face, or throat, difficulty breathing, and hives. Additional serious side effects might include jaundice, nausea, low fever, vomiting, pale stools, dark urine, excessive fatigue, swelling of the legs or feet, high fever, chills, blood in the urine, muscle aches, muscle pain, muscle cramping, chest pain, rash, severe itching, shortness of breath, irregular heart rate, sore in the mouth or on the lips, or any other symptom that causes severe discomfort.
In most cases, patients do not experience such difficult side effects and most patients report symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, fatigue or drowsiness, disinterest in sexual activity, and indigestion. Patients taking gemfibrozil who experience any type of uncomfortable side effect should report it to the prescribing physician. In some cases, lowering the dose of gemfibrozil can alleviate more uncomfortable side effects.
Patients taking gemfibrozil should never take any other medications, prescription, over the counter, or otherwise, without first consulting with a health care professional as some medications may cause interactions with gemfibrozil. Herbal supplements and vitamins should also be considered a medication and verified through a physician prior to adding it to a daily regimen. Medications with known interactions with gemfibrozil include anticoagulants and blood thinners, insulin, oral diabetes medications, and additional medication used for lowering cholesterol or triglycerides.
Gemfibrozil has the following structural formula:
• Molecular formula of gemfibrozil is C15H22O3
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 5-(2,5-dimethylphenoxy)-2,2-dimethyl-pentanoic acid
• Molecular weight is 250.333 g/mol
• Gemfibrozil available : 600mg tablets
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