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Brand Name: Supralip, Fibril, Triocor, Lipantil
Generic Name: Fenofibrate
See also Fibril (Fenofibrate)
How does Supralip work?High levels of fats (lipids) such as cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood (hyperlipidaemia).
Supralip tablets contain the active ingredient fenofibrate, which is a type of medicine called a fibrate. (NB. Fenofibrate is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.) Fenofibrate is used to lower the levels of fats (lipids) called cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
For the sake of simplicity, there are two sorts of cholesterol; a 'bad' sort called low density lipoprotein (LDL) and a 'good' sort called high density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is deposited in the arteries and increases the risk of heart disease by clogging and narrowing the arteries (atherosclerosis), while HDL actually protects the arteries against this.
Triglycerides are another type of 'bad fat' that increase the risk of hardened arteries.
Fenofibrate works mainly by stimulating the action of an enzyme that breaks down triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. This is called lipoprotein lipase and is found in muscle and fat tissue. Stimulating this enzyme increases the breakdown of triglycerides and LDL in the blood.
Fenofibrate also increases levels of HDL cholesterol. The overall effect is lowered levels of "bad fats" and raised levels of "good fats" in the blood.
Fibrates have an important role in the prevention of coronary heart disease. They reduce the risk of excess cholesterol and triglycerides being deposited in the major blood vessels of the heart (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis limits the amount of blood and therefore oxygen being carried to the heart muscle. This can cause chest pain (angina) and in severe cases can result in a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
This medicine is used when blood lipid levels cannot be lowered by diet and exercise alone. It is important to continue to follow a cholesterol-lowering diet and exercise regime while taking fenofibrate. Discuss this with your doctor.
What is Supralip used for?
You should should continue to follow a cholesterol-lowering diet during treatment with this medicine. Discuss this with your doctor.
This medicine may very rarely have side effects on the muscles. For this reason you should inform your doctor immediately if you experience any muscular symptoms such as pain, tenderness, cramps, or weakness while taking this medicine, particularly if it is accompanied by a fever or feeling generally unwell. Your doctor may need to check for side effects on the muscles by taking a blood test to measure the level of a compound called creatinine kinase in your blood. If this is the case, the test should not be done following strenuous exercise.
You should have regular blood tests to monitor your liver function (liver function tests) while taking this medicine. These should be every three months for the first 12 months of treatment. Symptoms that may suggest a problem with your liver include unexplained itching, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice), unusually dark urine or pale stools, nausea and vomiting and abdominal pains. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms while taking this medicine.
Supralip tablets should be stored in their original package and not transferred to other containers in order to protect them from moisture.
Use with caution in
Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
History of muscle disease.
Low levels of the protein albumin in the blood (hypoalbuminaemia).
People who drink large amounts of alcohol.
Not to be used in
Decreased kidney function.
Decreased liver function.
Liver damage occurring due to disorder of the bile ducts (biliary cirrhosis).
Gall bladder disease.
Long-term (chronic) or sudden (acute) inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), except when this is a result of very high triglyceride levels (hypertriglyceridaemia).
People who have ever had a skin reaction to UV light while taking other fibrate medicines or ketoprofen.
Allergy to peanut (arachis) oil, soya lecithin or related products.
Rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption (Supralip tablets contain lactose).
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
The safety of this medicine during pregnancy has not been established. It should not be used by pregnant women. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
It is not known if this medicine passes into breast milk. For this reason, the manufacturer states that it should not be used by women who are breastfeeding. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
Take this medication with or after food.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Disturbances of the gut such as diarrhoea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
Balance problems involving the inner ear (vertigo).
Skin reactions such as rash and itch.
Abnormal reaction of the skin to light, usually a rash, redness or blistering (photosensitivity).
Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
Abnormal blood clot in a blood vessel, eg in the leg (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism).
Hair loss (alopecia).
Alteration in results of liver function tests.
Muscle pain, inflammation, cramps or weakness.
Muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis).
Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis).
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
There is an increased risk of side effects on the muscles (myopathy) if fenofibrate is taken in combination with other fibrate medicines, or statins used for lowering cholesterol such as simvastatin. These should be used with caution with fenofibrate. If you are taking another fibrate or a statin in combination with this medicine you should inform your doctor immediately if you experience any muscular symptoms (see warning above).
Fenofibrate increases the anti-blood-clotting effect of anticoagulant medicines such as warfarin, thus increasing the risk of bleeding. For this reason, if you are taking an anticoagulant medicine your doctor may need to decrease your dose when you start taking fenofibrate as well. Your blood clotting time (INR) should be regularly monitored so that your anticoagulant dose can be adjusted as necessary.
If you take fenofibrate in combination with the immunosuppressant medicine ciclosporin, there may be a risk of a decline in your kidney function. For this reason, people taking both these medicines should have their kidney function closely monitored.
Fenofibrate may enhance the blood sugar lowering effects of insulin and sulphonylurea medicines for diabetes, such as glibenclamide or gliclazide. If you are taking one of these medicines to control diabetes, you should be aware that fenofibrate may cause unpredictable drops in your blood sugar and your doctor may need to reduce your dose of antidiabetic medicine.