Three Of A Kind: Fibrates



Fibrates, which are derived from fibric acid, are used to increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol in people who need to keep their high cholesterol under control. These medications lower the levels of fat in the blood that are the cause of dangerous high cholesterol levels. There are three types of fibrates-gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, and clofibrate. Each has its own unique characteristics that can lower high cholesterol, and your doctor will choose the one that will be safest and most effective for you. In those with very high levels of cholesterol in their body, these may be prescribed along with statins. No official studies have been done to compare each of the three medications. However each has unique side effects that may be important to patients with more than just high cholesterol problems.

Gemfibrozil is shown to reduce the risk of heart attack from high cholesterol or coronary artery disease. It is also effective in reducing the factors of those suffering from or in risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Fenofibrate has the lowest chance of side effects in the three medications. It is the safest to take with statins because it does not interfere with your bodies' ability to break them down. Clofibrate is the most dangerous and least prescribed of the three fibrates, but is prescribed when the other two medications do not effectively lower high cholesterol levels in the patient. The dangerous side effects include developing bile duct cancer and frequent gallstones.

This type of medication is usually recommended to those who have high levels of triglycerides. If not under control, this can cause diabetes, heart disease, and an under-active thyroid gland among many other dangerous conditions. Lifestyle changes are also part of high cholesterol therapy using fibrates. Saturated fats should be cut out of the diet completely, and high carbohydrates should also be avoided. Regular exercise will also keep the body in good shape while combating the bad cholesterol that is present.

Food, lifestyle, and genetics are the causing factors of dangerously high cholesterol levels in the body. Your doctor will decide if fibrates are ideal for your symptoms based on your needs and risk level. The side effects of fibrates are moderately low depending on which medication is prescribed to you. If your doctor decides that it is also necessary for you to take statins, some of the risk for certain side effects could be increased and it is always recommended that you stay under constant supervision of a doctor.


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