Gemfibrozil is a drug used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in people with high cholesterol. Other drugs, especially members of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor drug family, are more commonly used.
In a randomized study of 21 men with combined hyperlipidemia, ten to twelve weeks of gemfibrozil therapy reduced coenzyme Q10 blood levels to the levels seen in healthy men.1 The clinical significance of this finding is unknown.
In a randomized study of 21 men with combined hyperlipidemia, ten to twelve weeks of gemfibrozil therapy reduced alpha- and gamma-tocopherol blood levels to the levels seen in healthy men.2 The clinical significance of this finding is unknown and may reflect a normal physiological response to a reduction in serum cholesterol levels.
Niacin (not niacinamide) and gemfibrozil have successfully raised HDL (good) cholesterol levels, both alone and in combination.3
Monascus purpureus, a form of red yeast, is fermented with rice to produce a dietary supplement, Cholestin®, that contains low levels of lovastatin, a drug otherwise available only by prescription. Gemfibrozil taken with the prescription drug lovastatin has been reported to cause rhabdomyolysis, a potentially life-threatening muscle disease.4 People taking gemfibrozil should avoid lovastatin-containing products, including Cholestin®, until more is known. The levels of lovastatin in Cholestin® are significantly lower than those given of the drug as a single agent. Cholestin® also contains numerous other compounds that may alter the interaction of lovastatin and gemfibrozil.
1. Aberg F, Appelkvist EL, Broijersen A, et al. Gemfibrozil-induced decrease in serum ubiquinone and alpha- and gamma-tocopherol levels in men with combined hyperlipidaemia. Eur J Clin Invest 1998;28:235–42.
2. Aberg F, Appelkvist EL, Broijersen A, et al. Gemfibrozil-induced decrease in serum ubiquinone and alpha- and gamma-tocopherol levels in men with combined hyperlipidaemia. Eur J Clin Invest 1998;28:235–42.
3. Zema MJ. Gemfibrozil, nicotinic acid and combination therapy in patients with isolated hypoalphalipoproteinemia: a randomized, open-label, crossover study. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000;35:640–6.
4. Garnett WR. Interactions with hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors. Am J Health Syst Pharm 1995;52:1639–45 [review].
Last Review: 05-01-2013
Copyright © 2013 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com
Please read the disclaimer about the limitations of the information provided here. Do NOT rely solely on the information in this article. The Aisle7 knowledgebase does not contain every possible interaction.
The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.