Active Ingredients

Gemfibrozil – Effect, Application & Risks


Gemfibrozil is a medicinal substance that belongs to the so-called fibrates . As such, gemfibrozil is administered to treat diseases and disorders of lipid metabolism . In addition, it can also be taken for dietary purposes. This allows weight loss to be achieved.

What is gemfibrozil?

Gemfibrozil is a fibrate taken orally. The term fibrate summarizes various active ingredients in human medicine that are used to treat greatly increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood ( hyperlipoproteinemia , HLP for short).

Gemfibrozil is therefore primarily indicated for diseases and disorders of lipid metabolism . By administering the cholesterol levels, vascular deposits and blood fat levels can be significantly reduced. It is also possible to reduce the risk of vasoconstriction by taking gemfibrozil and to slow down constrictions that are already taking place.

In chemistry and pharmacology, the medicinal substance is described by the molecular formula C 15 – H 22 – O 3 , which corresponds to a moral mass of 250.34 g/mol. The white, waxy and crystalline powder is processed into film-coated tablets that the patient takes independently. These are marketed under the trade name Gevilon®.

Pharmacological effect on body & organs

Gemfibrozil achieves its effectiveness through activity at the receptor level. Here the fat metabolism of the human body is intervened. This leads to a connection to the so-called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPARα for short). This binding causes a synthesis of lipoprotein lipases from triglycerides. Lipases are water-soluble enzymes that break down ester bonds in neutral fat. Lipoprotein lipases are able to break down the lipoproteins found in the blood , which prepares them well for cellular uptake.

Due to the synthesis of lipoprotein lipases and triglycerides caused by gemfibrozil, the triglyceride content in the blood decreases. In addition, the VLDL and LDL values ​​​​are also reduced. LDL cholesterol increases the risk of having a stroke or heart attack . The literature describes gemfibrozil reducing LDL levels by between 10% and 20%. The moderate level of HDL, on the other hand, should be able to be increased by between 5% and 20%.

Medicinal Application & Use for Treatment & Prevention

Gemfibrozil is moving to adjunctive treatments for lipid metabolism diseases and disorders. In addition to a diet or other measures such as exercise, gemfibrozil is the second mainstay of therapy. According to current therapeutic practice, however, gemfibrozil represents the last resort. The drug is therefore not the first choice.

In advance, an attempt must or should be made to treat the lipid metabolism in a different way. A change in diet, sufficient exercise and weight reduction can all be considered. In addition, it must be checked whether the patient cannot be successfully treated beforehand with drugs from the statin group.

As described in the scientific literature, it has been proven that taking gemfibrozil can reduce the risk of a heart attack and the likelihood of coronary artery disease. Gemfibrozil is currently indicated primarily for type III hyperlipidemia or type IV hypertriglyceridemia.

Gemfibrozil is subject to pharmacy and prescription requirements in Germany and other European Union countries. The active ingredient is therefore only available in pharmacies and may not be released without a doctor’s certificate. When taking it, the instructions of the doctor treating you must be followed.

Risks & side effects

Since gemfibrozil is an effective drug, its use is not entirely risk-free. Pay attention to contraindications and side effects .

A contraindication is when taking gemfibrozil does not bring about the desired effects from a medical point of view, but rather leads to serious risks. There is also talk of a contraindication. In these cases, the intake or administration must be avoided. A contraindication to gemfibrozil is allergy or hypersensitivity to gemfibrozil or other members of the fibrate group.

It should also not be taken in the case of acute functional disorders of the liver or kidneys . This also applies to pregnant women , as the effects on unborn life have not yet been fully clarified.

In addition, interactions with other medications must be taken into account. These can occur especially with blood sugar-lowering drugs such as repaglinide or statins . The attending physicians must be informed.

Undesirable side effects are also possible as part of the treatment. However, this is not mandatory. So far, a connection between the intake of gemfibrozil and the formation of gallstones has been established. Other side effects include an increased risk of carcinoma , hypokalemia , or rhabdomyolysis . The latter is particularly noticeable through severe, sudden muscle pain .

In addition, the patient’s blood count and fat levels must be checked during the treatment period. An examination of the liver values ​​may also be necessary.

In addition, gemfibrozil impairs the ability to drive. After taking it, you should not drive. The operation of heavy machines or devices must also be avoided.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.