Although used less
frequently than other cholesterol-lowering medications, there are times when
other drug treatments, such as fibrates, may be appropriate.
The cholesterol-lowering drugs called fibrates are primarily effective in
lowering triglycerides and, to a lesser extent, increasing HDL (good) cholesterol
Medications in this class include fenofibrate (Antara, Lofibra, Tricor, Triglide)
Fibrates are generally not considered first- or even second-choice drugs for
lowering cholesterol, because they are not very effective at lowering LDL cholesterol.
They are used when help is needed to bring down triglycerides, often in combination
with other cholesterol-lowering medications that do lower LDL cholesterol.
Fibrates have been shown to lower triglycerides by 20 -50% and to increase
HDL cholesterol by 10 - 15%.
The most common side effects include gastrointestinal symptoms (including
stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and constipation) and an increased
risk of developing gallstones.
Fibrates can increase the effect of medications that thin the blood (such
as warfarin). Your health care provider should monitor this closely, as well
as your liver function, which may be affected by fibrates.
When fibrates are taken together with statins, there is an increased risk
of muscle tissue breakdown and kidney failure. The safety and effectiveness
of fibrates in children is not known.
Review Date: 10/31/2006
Reviewed By: Alan Greene, M.D., F.A.A.P., Department of Pediatrics, Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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