Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Blood counts: Rarely, this medication will decrease the number of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection), red blood cells (which carry oxygen), and platelets (which help your blood to clot). Your doctor will do blood tests to monitor this. If you notice any signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, or sore throat), fatigue, or unusual bleeding or bruising, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Gallbladder disease: This medication may increase the risk for gallstones. If you have a history of gallbladder disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Muscle effects: When combined with medications in the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors class (commonly referred to as “statins”), there is an increased risk of muscle breakdown. If you are taking gemfibrozil and one of these medications, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
If you experience symptoms of muscle breakdown, such as generalized weakness, muscle pain, a general feeling of being unwell, with or without fever, contact your doctor immediately.
Pregnancy: Strict birth control methods must be used by women who may become pregnant while taking this medication. If you become pregnant despite using birth control, stop taking gemfibrozil and contact your doctor. Women who are planning to become pregnant should stop taking gemfibrozil several months before conception.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if gemfibrozil passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children.