What is fenofibrate for?

Tricor

SIDE EFFECTS

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adverse events reported by 2% or more of patients treated with fenofibrate (and greater than placebo) during the double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, regardless of causality, are listed in Table 1 below. Adverse events led to discontinuation of treatment in 5.0% of patients treated with fenofibrate and in 3.0% treated with placebo. Increases in liver function tests were the most frequent events, causing discontinuation of fenofibrate treatment in 1.6% of patients in double-blind trials.

Table 1. Adverse Reactions Reported by 2% or More of Patients Treated with Fenofibrate and Greater than Placebo During the Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trials

Urticaria was seen in 1.1% vs. 0%, and rash in 1.4% vs. 0.8% of fenofibrate and placebo patients respectively in controlled trials.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of fenofibrate. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure: myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, pancreatitis, acute renal failure, muscle spasm, hepatitis, cirrhosis, anemia, arthralgia, decreases in hemoglobin, decreases in hematocrit, white blood cell decreases, asthenia, severely depressed HDL-cholesterol levels, and interstitial lung disease. Photosensitivity reactions have occurred days to months after initiation; in some of these cases, patients reported a prior photosensitivity reaction to ketoprofen.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Tricor (Fenofibrate)

They shouldn’t be, and it’s sneaky. Read on.

As you know, when a branded medication loses patent protection it will face generic competition, and generics are much cheaper. A drug company can change its brand name drug to a slightly different dosage which allows it to extend its patent. It’s legal, but you will see how crazy it is.

For those of you on Tricor, Trilipix or the generic fenofibrate you should know what has gone on. Abbott Laboratories used this strategy to avoid generic competition for its branded formulations of fenofibrate. This is a medication to lower triglycerides and it is questionable anyway whether it lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease, but they have made quite a bit of money on this drug.

Abbott reformulated fenofibrate several times in the face of generic competition as it lost patent protection:

  • Abbott first made fenofibrate available at 67 mg, 134 mg and 200 mg dosages (Tricor-1), then reformulated to 54 mg and 160 mg dosages (Tricor-2), then reformulated again to 48 mg and 145 mg dosages (Tricor-3, currently available).

  • Fenofibrate was most recently reformulated again to 45 mg and 135 mg dosages (Trilipix).
  • Please look at how similar these dosages are but know that despite these very similar dosages, pharmacies cannot dispense the cheaper, generic that is nearly equivalent when physicians write a prescription for the brand name unless it’s the exact same dose.
  • Shocking thing is that Abbott made over 1 billion dollars in 2012 on Trilipix which was basically the same medication as the generic version . . . just off by a few milligrams.

How can your doctor help?

  • Instead of writing prescriptions for the branded formulation (Trilipix) your doctor can write prescriptions for the generic formulation of fenofibrate at the dosage for which it has been FDA-approved.
  • So instead of Tricor or Trilipix (which is 45 mg or 135 mg), you can get fenofibrate at 48 mg, 145 mg, or 160 mg dosages and save a ton of money.
  • Goodrx is great for showing you the generic fenofibrate and the doses that are available. Go that route on this.

Dr O.

  • TriCor

    Generic Name: fenofibrate (FEN oh FYE brate)
    Brand Names: TriCor

    Medically reviewed by P. Thornton, DipPharm Last updated on Mar 31, 2019.

    • Overview
    • Side Effects
    • Dosage
    • Professional
    • Interactions
    • More

    What is TriCor?

    TriCor (fenofibrate) belongs to a group of drugs known as “fibrates.” It helps reduce cholesterol and triglycerides (fatty acids) in the blood. High levels of these types of fat in the blood are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis (clogged arteries).

    TriCor is used along with a proper diet to help to treat high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels.

    In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help TriCor work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking.

    Important Information

    You should not take TriCor if you have liver disease, gallbladder disease, severe kidney disease, or if you are breast-feeding a baby.

    Fenofibrate can cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which can lead to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, or dark urine.

    Before taking this medicine

    You should not take TriCor if you are allergic to fenofibrate, or if you have:

    • severe kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

    • liver disease; or

    • gallbladder disease.

    Do not breast-feed while using this medicine, and for at least 5 days after your last dose.

    To make sure TriCor is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

    • kidney disease;

    • liver disease; or

    • gallbladder problems.

    Fenofibrate can cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which can lead to kidney failure. This happens more often in women, in older adults, or people who have kidney disease, diabetes, or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

    It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

    TriCor is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

    How should I take TriCor?

    Take TriCor exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

    TriCor may be taken with or without food. Follow the directions on your medicine label.

    Swallow the tablet or capsule whole and do not crush, chew, dissolve, or open it.

    You may need frequent medical tests. Even if you have no symptoms, tests can help your doctor determine if TriCor is effective.

    TriCor is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and other medications. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

    Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

    TriCor dosing information

    Usual Adult Dose of TriCor for Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL):
    145 mg orally once a day.

    Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL):
    145 mg orally once a day.

    Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IV (Elevated VLDL):
    48 to 145 mg orally once a day.
    Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipoproteinemia Type V (Elevated Chylomicrons + VLDL):
    48 to 145 mg orally once a day.
    Usual Geriatric Dose of TriCor for Hyperlipoproteinemia:
    48 mg orally once a day. Increases in dosage should occur only after evaluating the effects on renal function and lipid levels at this dose, with a maximum recommended dose of 145 mg/24 hours.

    What happens if I miss a dose?

    Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

    What happens if I overdose?

    Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

    What should I avoid while taking TriCor?

    Avoid eating foods high in fat or cholesterol, or TriCor will not be as effective.

    Avoid drinking alcohol. It can raise triglyceride levels and may increase your risk of liver damage.

    TriCor side effects

    Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to TriCor (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

    In rare cases, fenofibrate can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, or dark colored urine.

    Also call your doctor at once if you have:

    • sharp stomach pain spreading to your back or shoulder blade;

    • loss of appetite, stomach pain just after eating a meal;

    • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

    • fever, chills, weakness, sore throat, mouth sores, unusual bruising or bleeding;

    • chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood; or

    • swelling, warmth, or redness in an arm or leg.

    Common TriCor side effects may include:

    • runny nose, sneezing; or

    • abnormal laboratory tests.

    This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

    What other drugs will affect TriCor?

    Some medicines can make TriCor much less effective when taken at the same time. If you take any of the following medicines, take your dose 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after you take the other medicine.

    • cholestyramine;

    • colesevelam; or

    • colestipol.

    Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

    • other cholesterol lowering medicines;

    • colchicine;

    • a blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven; or

    • drugs that weaken the immune system such as cancer medicine, steroids, and medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection.

    This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with fenofibrate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

    Further information

    Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use TriCor only for the indication prescribed.

    Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

    Copyright 1996-2020 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.01.

    Medical Disclaimer

    More about TriCor (fenofibrate)

    • Side Effects
    • During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
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    • 15 Reviews
    • Generic Availability
    • Drug class: fibric acid derivatives
    • FDA Approval History

    Consumer resources

    • Tricor
    • Tricor (Advanced Reading)

    Other brands: Lofibra, Antara, Triglide, Fenoglide, Lipofen

    Professional resources

    • Tricor (FDA)
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    Related treatment guides

    • Hyperlipoproteinemia
    • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa, Elevated LDL
    • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb, Elevated LDL VLDL
    • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IV, Elevated VLDL
    • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type V, Elevated Chylomicrons VLDL
    • Hypertriglyceridemia

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