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Fenofibrate is used with a low-fat diet, exercise, and sometimes with other medications to reduce the amounts of fatty substances such as cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and to increase the amount of HDL (high-density lipoprotein; a type of fatty substance that decreases the risk of heart disease) in the blood. Build-up of cholesterol and fats along the walls of the arteries (a process known as atherosclerosis) decreases the blood flow and, therefore, the oxygen supply to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body. This increases the risk of heart disease, angina (chest pain), strokes, and heart attacks. Although fenofibrate decreases the levels of fatty substances in the blood, it has not been shown to decrease the risk of heart attacks or strokes. Fenofibrate is in a class of medications called antilipemic agents. It works by speeding the natural processes that remove cholesterol from the body.
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. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol/triglycerides do not feel sick.
Fenofibrate may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: