Fibrates are well-known type of cholesterol medication which effective in lowering the level of triglycerides. In addition to that ability, fibrates are also capable of lowering bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and increase good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein), despite the fact that the ability to lower bad cholesterol are fairly limited. In general, fibrates are used in patients who have hypertriglyceridemia.
Fibrates stands for fibric acid derivatives can also be used to prevent pancreatitis, because the pancreatitis itself are usually derived from the level of triglycerides that too high. Patients who have impaired heart function can use fibrates as well. The study results showed that fibrates can help improve heart function for patients who have cholesterol problems and heart. However, when used in the long term fibrates can cause gallstones.
Drugs belonging to fibrates are:
- Lopid (Gemfibrozil)
- Tricor (Fenofibrate)
- Atromid (Clofibrate)
The third type of the drug called Clofibrate already withdrawn its circulation because there are concerns that the drug can cause cancer, in addition to that the effectiveness against heart conditions are also minimal despite having the ability to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
Fibrates when combined with other types of drugs can help treatment needed. For example in the treatment of very high level of cholesterol, the use of statins in combination with fibrates will greatly help lower LDL bad cholesterol and triglycerides levels. However the use of the drugs should be monitored since they can cause muscle damage. Fibrates when combined with Warfarin, a blood-thinning medication (blood thinners) can also help treatment. When it was decided to use the combination of fibrates and Warfarin, the use of Warfarin should be adjusted in advance so as not to cause extreme thinning in the blood that lead to bleeding in the patients.
Fibrates also have side effects like other prescription drugs in general, including:
- Stomach upset
- Liver irritation (usually mild and reversible)
Note to the effect of liver irritation, use of fibrates generally increases the serum aminotransferase levels causing liver irritation and in some rare cases it can also be severe like becoming cirrhosis, fibrosis and chronic hepatitis. Keep in mind, the use of these drugs should using written prescription from the physicians and require periodic monitoring of doctors handled the case. So that in addition to the measured effectiveness, adverse side effects can also be avoided.