What is TriCor (Fenofibrate)?
Fenofibrate, also known as Tricor, reduces cholesterol and fatty acids in the blood. This drug treats conditions like atherosclerosis and dyslipidemia.
Fenofibrate is used in mixed or severe dyslipidemia cases as an adjunct to statins. This medication is also used when the patient cannot tolerate statins. Finally, fenofibrate is used for high-risk heart patients along with other medications.
Some early studies show promise for using Fenofibrate to protect the body from COVID infection.
How Fenofibrate works
Fenofibrate activates an enzyme in the body called lipoprotein lipase. This enzyme initiates the breaking down of fat in the blood stream. Once this process is active, the balance of lipids, glucose, and amino acids is altered. Triglyceride particles are eliminated in the blood stream as LDLs are changed from small and dense to large and buoyant. This change in shape renders them more efficient at moving the fat.
Fenofibrate also reduces uric acid levels in the body through urination. And Fenofibrate protects COVID patients from the severe effects of cytokine storm, which causes dangerous complications in progressed COVID infection.
Storage, dosage, how to use Fenofibrate
Fenofibrate is taken by mouth with or without food. Do not crush or chew the tablet. The standard dose is 160mg taken each day. If using the capsules, initial dose is 200mg a day. This can be increased to 267mg a day if needed. Be aware that to realise the benefits of this drug, one must follow diet and exercise plans too. Most patients are regularly monitored while receiving fibrate therapy. Labs and assessments help to determine the effectiveness of this medication. Follow the full instructions of the care plan written by the prescribing Provider.
The tablets and dosages:
- yellow 48mg tablet imprinted with the letters FI or with ‘a’ and FI
- white 145mg tablet imprinted with the letters FO or with ‘a’ and FO
Store at 77 degrees Fahrenheit(25C). Occasional temperature variations of 10-15F (5-8C) cooler or warmer are allowable but should not be frequent.
Common side effects while receiving Fenofibrate therapy are:
- runny nose
- abnormal laboratory test results
- back pain
- eye irritation
- increased sensitivity to sunlight
Call your Provider immediately if you experience the following:
- sharp stomach pain radiating to the back or to the shoulder blade
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain after eating
- jaundice of skin or eyes
- fever and chills
- sore throat
- mouth sores
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- chest pain
- sudden cough
- rapid breathing
- coughing up blood
- swelling, warmth, or redness in an arm or leg
Get emergency help immediately if you experience the following side effects:
- difficulty breathing
- swelling in the face or throat
- severe skin reaction
- sore throat
- burning eyes
- skin pain
- red or purple skin rash
- spreading skin rash
- skin blistering
- skin peeling
Warnings & Precautions
WARNING: Fenofibrate is contraindicated in liver disease.
WARNING: In rare cases Fenofibrate may cause a breakdown in skeletal muscle tissue. This condition leads to kidney failure. Call the Provider immediately if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness. If you experience fever, unusual tiredness, or dark colored urine, along with the above side effects, it is urgent that you contact the Provider.
WARNING: When Fenofibrate therapy is received while also using anticoagulants, frequent monitoring is required. Fenofibrate can prolong the prothrombin time/INR causing increased bleeding. Labs must continue until the INR re-stabilizes while using Fenofibrate.
Hypothyroidism must be corrected prior to beginning fenofibrate treatment.
Myopathy is a risk factor in fibrate treatment.
Do not take more than the prescribed dose. If accidental overdosing occurs, immediately contact your Provider.
Using Acenocoumarol, Warfarin, and Phenindione while taking fenofibrate interferes with coagulation. Routine monitoring of INR should be increased.
These drugs, used simultaneously with Tricor, may increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis.
If used while taking Ciclosporin, there is a chance of kidney toxicity. Renal function must be monitored during treatment.
Ezetimibe taken while taking fenofibrate increases the risk of gallstones.
Fenofibrate also decreases the efficacy of Ursodeoxycholic acid.
The following drugs used while taking Fenofibrate may increase the risk of hypoglycemia:
Some medications make Fenofibrate less effective. Fenofibrate needs to be taken either one hour before or 4-6 hours after taking the following medications:
Discuss other medication therapies you are taking with your Provider. The above drug interaction list is not comprehensive.
KNOWN SENSITIVITY TO FENOFIBRATE
If the patient has experienced an allergic reaction to Fenofibrate, they should not receive the drug again. Anaphylaxis has occurred in other patients. In some cases, the reaction was life-threatening, requiring emergency measures.
SEVERE KIDNEY DISEASE
Severe kidney disease patients are unable to efficiently clear this medication from their body. When the healthy functions of the kidneys are reduced by disease or hemodialysis, the medicine builds up in the body. Some kidney patients using Fenofibrate have experienced life-endangering effects.
ACTIVE LIVER DISEASE
Liver function is altered significantly during fenofibrate therapy. Patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, or any unexplained liver dysfunction, are more likely to experience severe side effects. These side effects are sometimes irreversible. Some cases have required liver transplants; some have resulted in death.
GALL BLADDER DISEASE
Fenofibrate may increase excretion of bile causing gallbladder stones. Subjects in studies confirm that there is a significant health risk in gallbladder disease patients when receiving Fenofibrate.
Unless pancreatitis is due to severe hypertriglyceridemia, taking this medication with a pancreatitis diagnosis is a strongly contraindicated condition. Severe outcomes to pancreatitis have been documented when Fenofibrate treatment was received.
An adverse effect of Fenofibrate is an allergic reaction of the skin to sunlight. In some cases, the reaction is toxic and has resulted in cancer. Any other phototoxic medications taken in concert with Fenofibrate exacerbate this adverse effect. Tell your Provider if you have photosensitivity.
Breastfed infants are at risk for disruption of their lipid metabolism. Women should NOT breastfeed during treatment, nor for five days after treatment.
Animal studies show an increased risk for aborted litters and skeletal malformations in newborns.