Fenofibrate is used along with a proper diet to help lower "bad" cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It works by increasing the natural substance (enzyme) that breaks down fats in the blood. Fenofibrate belongs to a group of drugs known as "fibrates." Lowering triglycerides in people with very high triglyceride blood levels may decrease the risk of pancreas disease (pancreatitis). However, fenofibrate might not lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of fenofibrate. In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Fenofibrate comes in different types of capsules and tablets which provide different amounts of the medication. Do not switch between different forms or brands of this medication unless directed by your doctor. Some forms of this drug should be taken with food but others may be taken with or without food. Ask your pharmacist about your brand of fenofibrate. It is important to take this medication correctly so that the drug has the greatest benefit. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are also taking certain other drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take fenofibrate at least 1 hour before or at least 4 to 6 hours after taking these medications. These medications can bind to fenofibrate, preventing your body from fully absorbing the drug. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your cholesterol/triglycerides level will not lower faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol/triglycerides do not feel sick. It is very important to continue to follow your doctor's advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 2 months before you get the full benefit of this medication.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. This medication may rarely cause gallstones and liver problems. If you notice any of the following unlikely but serious side effects, tell your doctor right away: persistent nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine. This drug may rarely cause muscle problems (which can rarely lead to a very serious condition called rhabdomyolysis). Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these symptoms: muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine). Rarely, this medication has caused severe lowering of HDL ("good" cholesterol) levels. This is the opposite of what should happen to your HDL levels (paradoxical reaction). Your HDL cholesterol levels should be checked regularly. Keep all of your laboratory appointments. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bleeding/bruising, unusual tiredness. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain, sudden pain/redness/swelling usually in the leg, signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, swollen lymph nodes, chills, cough). A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
See also How to Use section. Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: "blood thinners" (such as warfarin). Fenofibrate is very similar to fenofibric acid. Do not use medications containing fenofibric acid while using fenofibrate.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.