Lopid (Gemfibrozil) Dosage and Side Effects
LOPID lowers very high levels of “bad cholesterol” (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and fatty acids (triglycerides) in the blood. It also helps raise levels of the “good cholesterol” (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL). LOPID is also prescribed for people who are at risk of getting pancreatitis because of very high triglyceride levels.
Proper Use of this medication
Depending on the condition being treated, the recommended dose of this drug may be 600 milligrams (mg) 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner.
You should take LOPID around the same time each day.
If you suspect an overdose, you should contact a poison-control center or emergency room immediately.
Missed Dose of LOPID
If you miss a dose of LOPID, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular medication schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one.
Common Side Effects of LOPID
You should tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or do not go away:
- Mild stomach pain, upset stomach, or diarrhea
- Cold symptoms, such as a stuffy nose or sneezing
Serious Side Effects of LOPID
You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
- Blurred vision
- Signs of infections (such as fever or persistent sore throat)
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Unusual fatigue
- Irregular heartbeat
- Numbness or tingling of the arms or legs
- Severe stomach/abdominal pain
- Persistent vomiting/nausea
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Dark-colored urine
Warnings and Precautions
This medication controls high triglycerides and low HDL, but it does not cure them. You should continue to take LOPID even if you feel well.
You should tell your doctor if you have liver, kidney, or gallbladder disease before taking LOPID. If you have a history of gallstones, you should also tell your physician.
Avoid consuming foods that are high in fat or cholesterol while taking LOPID, or the medicine will not be as effective at lowering cholesterol.
You shouldn’t combine LOPID with any drug in the statin family of cholesterol-reducing medicines because that could increase the risk of a condition known as rhabdomyolysis (muscle injury), which can cause kidney damage and even death.
Your doctor may want to test your blood often to determine if LOPID is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects. You should keep all medical and laboratory appointments while you are taking this medicine.
Pregnancy and LOPID
LOPID is an FDA Pregnancy Category C drug, which means it’s unknown whether it will harm an unborn baby. You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking this medication.
It’s also not known whether LOPID passes into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. You should not breastfeed while taking LOPID.
Interactions with this medication
You should tell your doctor about all prescription, nonprescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you’re taking, especially:
- Anticoagulants (blood thinners), such as warfarin (Coumadin)
- Cholesterol-lowering medications (statins), such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), rosuvastatin (Crestor), and pravastatin (Pravachol)
- Colchicine (Colcrys)
- Colestipol (Colestid)
- Cholestyramine (Questran)
- Repaglinide (Prandin, Prandimet)
LOPID and Alcohol
Alcohol may interfere with treatment. You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking LOPID.
LOPID and Other Interactions
LOPID can cause drowsiness or dizziness. You should use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing any other task that requires you to be alert until you know how this medication will affect you.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.