What Is Fenofibrate Used For?
What is fenofibrate used for? This prescription drug, which is a type of fibrate, is commonly used to help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the blood. By increasing the rate at which triglycerides are broken down, the medication helps lower LDL cholesterol levels enough to reduce the risk of developing certain complications associated with high cholesterol and triglycerides.
Fenofibrate (Triglide®, Tricor®, Antara®, Lipofen®, Fenoglide®, or Lofibra®) is a medication that has been licensed to treat several conditions. Fenofibrate uses include:
- Improving cholesterol levels in people with unhealthy cholesterol levels (dyslipidemia) or high cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia). Fenofibrate can reduce both total and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
- Lowering triglyceride levels in patients with hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides). Triglycerides are fat-like substances found in the body.
High levels of cholesterol in the blood can accumulate on the walls of arteries (known as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries), leading to decreased blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart, brain, and other areas of the body. This can greatly increase a person's risk for developing conditions such as heart disease, angina (chest pain), a heart attack, and stroke.
Fenofibrate has been licensed for the treatment of high cholesterol in addition to a low cholesterol diet and exercise. It works by lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol, and apo B (a component of cholesterol that is related to several heart disease risk factors). It can also raise HDL cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol.
In general, cholesterol treatment is aimed at lowering LDL cholesterol levels enough to reduce the risk of developing complications associated with high cholesterol (see Effects of High Cholesterol). If you are at a higher risk, you will have a lower LDL goal.
(Click High Cholesterol Risk to see a list of risk factors that may affect your cholesterol level and a general guideline of ideal LDL cholesterol levels.)