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What are the side effects of Fenolip?

Q: I have high triglycerides and am taking Fenolip 160 mg (fenofibrate) every day for the past 6 years. I also have gall bladder stones for the past few years. Can I continue this drug?

A:You have not given the level of triglyceride in blood. Fenofibrate (sold under various trade names such as Fenolip, Lipicard) is indicated in high triglycerides if other non-drug measures have not produced adequate response. First, secondary causes such as obesity (64 kg for a height of 157 cm is high), uncontrolled diabetes if present, should be dealt with. Then Step 1 diet (total fat less than 30% of total calories, no more than 10% saturated fat) should be given along with exercise (brisk walk for 45 minutes daily to cover no less than 4.5 km). This should be tried for six months. If above measures fail, then drug treatment with fenofibrate can be started. Dose not to exceed 160 mg daily. The medicine should always be taken with food since absorption on empty stomach is less. There is a small risk of muscle toxicity due to fenofibrate. Triglyceride levels should be determined every 3 months and treatment reviewed and re-evaluated. If necessary Omega 3 fatty acids (Cadvion) can be added. You have not stated whether your gall bladder (with stones) is functioning or not. If not, it should be removed to avoid more complications in future including the risk of cancer.


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