The International Diabetes Foundation reports that 25 percent of the world's population suffers from metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that pose health risks such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A high level of triglycerides is among the conditions that contribute to metabolic syndrome. In order to avoid complications from metabolic syndrome, doctors utilize a number of treatments to help lower triglyceride levels, including the prescription drug fenofibrate. In France, China, Russia, Sweden, Lebanon and other European and Asian countries, delayed-release fenofibrate is available under the brand name Lipanthyl. Despite its effectiveness, Lipanthyl is not for everyone as it presents several risks for side effects and complications in some patients.
Common Side Effects
Approximately 13 percent of Lipanthyl users report headaches, making this the most common side effect of the drug. Dizziness, pharyngitis, diarrhea, abdominal pain, indigestion, nausea, back or joint pain, respiratory infections, insomnia, constipation, muscle pains and sinus infections are also common.
Other Side Effects
Lipanthyl also has the potential to cause other troublesome or annoying, but not dangerous, side effects. Additional gastrointestinal side effects of the drug include belching, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain and bloating. Some patients experience neurological side effects from Lipanthyl, such as fatigue, dizziness and weakness. It is also possible to develop increased sensitivity to the sun or an itchy skin rash while taking the drug.
There are some medications that produce unwanted side effects when used in conjunction with Lipanthyl. For example, taking cyclosporine with Lipanthyl may damage your kidneys. When combined with blood thinners like warfarin, Lipanthyl increases your risk of uncontrollable bleeding during surgery or following an injury. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors like lovastatin increase your risk for developing serious damage to your muscles.
Lipanthyl has the potential to cause serious medical complications. Some patients develop a shortage of oxygen-carrying red blood cells or anemia while undergoing treatment with the drug. Infrequently, use of Lipanthyl results in inflammation of the pancreas or liver. Cirrhosis or scarring of your liver is another possible risk of the drug. In rare instances, Lipanthyl usage causes rhabdomyolysis, a serious medical condition where your muscles are broken down by your body. As this breakdown occurs, the fibers that form muscle tissues or myoglobin enters your bloodstream. Myoglobin in this form has the potential to block the tubes inside of your kidneys, leading to sudden kidney failure.
Because Lipanthyl causes toxic effects upon the fetus, doctors rarely prescribe the drug for pregnant women. Additionally, it is rarely prescribed for children under 18. Because it increases sensitivity to the sun in some patients, avoid tanning beds and use adequate sunscreen while taking Lipanthyl. It is important to visit your doctor regularly during Lipanthyl treatment in order to monitor your triglyceride levels.