Lowering Cholesterol With Fibrate Drugs

Fibrates are fibric acid derivative drugs that help lower especially triglyceride levels in the bloodstream. The following article discusses few points on

lowering cholesterol with fibrate drugs.

Fibrate drugs lower triglyceride levels, a type of fat in the body. They modestly help in improving the good cholesterol levels and are not that effective in lowering bad cholesterol levels.

How Fibrates help lower cholesterol?

Fibrates reduces the liver's ability to produce VLDL i.e very low density lipoprotein which is a triglyceride carrying protein in the bloodstream. Thus the triglycerides in the blood become less and help in lowering total cholesterol.

Very high levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream cause pancreatitis condition (inflammation of pancreas resulting in severe abdominal pain and serious illness). Fibrates thus help in preventing pancreatitis by lowering triglyceride levels in the bloodstream.

Bad cholesterol levels are not lowered by fibrate drugs. But, if the patient is at risk of having low good cholesterol levels and high blood triglyceride levels, the physicians recommend fibrates along with other medications. Because, combination of fibrates with statin medications only can help in lowering bad cholesterol levels along with raising good cholesterol levels and lowering triglyceride levels.

Fibrates also help in preventing the heart attack risks when heart disorders are associated with low good cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. A research study on gemfibrozil, a fibrate drug showed that it reduced the risk of heart attacks, but did not show any effect on cholesterol levels.

Lowering Cholesterol With Fibrate Drugs – Are There Any Side Effects?

Though fibrates drugs help in lowering cholesterol levels to a certain extent, they produce some side effects. They include:

  • Stomach upset, nausea and diarrhea. Mild liver irritation is also observed, but sometimes can be severe and can only subside when the drug is stopped.
  • Long-term use of the medication can cause gallstones.
  • Fibrates can lead to muscle damage when taken along with statins for prolonged periods.
  • When taken along with blood thinners like warfarin, they increase their effectiveness. But, overdose can lead to excessive bleeding.


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