Data from FDA - Curated by EPG Health - Last updated 15 June 2018

Indication(s)

INDICATIONS AND USAGE Gemfibrozil tablets, USP are indicated as adjunctive therapy to diet for: 1. Treatment of adult patients with very high elevations of serum triglyceride levels (Types IV and V hyperlipidemia) who present a risk of pancreatitis and who do not respond adequately to a determined dietary effort to control them. Patients who present such risk typically have serum triglycerides over 2000 mg/dL and have elevations of VLDL-cholesterol as well as fasting chylomicrons (Type V hyperlipidemia). Subjects who consistently have total serum or plasma triglycerides below 1000 mg/dL are unlikely to present a risk of pancreatitis. Gemfibrozil therapy may be considered for those subjects with triglyceride elevations between 1000 and 2000 mg/dL who have a history of pancreatitis or of recurrent abdominal pain typical of pancreatitis. It is recognized that some Type IV patients with triglycerides under 1000 mg/dL may, through dietary or alcoholic indiscretion, convert to a Type V pattern with massive triglyceride elevations accompanying fasting chylomicronemia, but the influence of gemfibrozil therapy on the risk of pancreatitis in such situations has not been adequately studied. Drug therapy is not indicated for patients with Type I hyperlipoproteinemia, who have elevations of chylomicrons and plasma triglycerides, but who have normal levels of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL). Inspection of plasma refrigerated for 14 hours is helpful in distinguishing Types I, IV, and V hyperlipoproteinemia. 2. Reducing the risk of developing coronary heart disease only in Type IIb patients without history of or symptoms of existing coronary heart disease who have had an inadequate response to weight loss, dietary therapy, exercise, and other pharmacologic agents (such as bile acid sequestrants and nicotinic acid, known to reduce LDL-and raise HDL-cholesterol) and who have the following triad of lipid abnormalities: low HDL-cholesterol levels in addition to elevated LDL-cholesterol and elevated triglycerides (see WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS , and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY ). The National Cholesterol Education Program has defined a serum HDL-cholesterol value that is consistently below 35 mg/dL as constituting an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease. Patients with significantly elevated triglycerides should be closely observed when treated with gemfibrozil. In some patients with high triglyceride levels, treatment with gemfibrozil is associated with a significant increase in LDL-cholesterol. BECAUSE OF POTENTIAL TOXICITY SUCH AS MALIGNANCY, GALLBLADDER DISEASE, ABDOMINAL PAIN LEADING TO APPENDECTOMY AND OTHER ABDOMINAL SURGERIES, AN INCREASED INCIDENCE IN NON-CORONARY MORTALITY, AND THE 44% RELATIVE INCREASE DURING THE TRIAL PERIOD IN AGE-ADJUSTED ALL-CAUSE MORTALITY SEEN WITH THE CHEMICALLY AND PHARMACOLOGICALLY RELATED DRUG, CLOFIBRATE, THE POTENTIAL BENEFIT OF GEMFIBROZIL IN TREATING TYPE IIA PATIENTS WITH ELEVATIONS OF LDL-CHOLESTEROL ONLY IS NOT LIKELY TO OUTWEIGH THE RISKS. GEMFIBROZIL IS ALSO NOT INDICATED FOR THE TREATMENT OF PATIENTS WITH LOW HDL-CHOLESTEROL AS THEIR ONLY LIPID ABNORMALITY. In a subgroup analysis of patients in the Helsinki Heart Study with above-median HDL-cholesterol values at baseline (greater than 46.4 mg/dL), the incidence of serious coronary events was similar for gemfibrozil and placebo subgroups (see Table I). The initial treatment for dyslipidemia is dietary therapy specific for the type of lipoprotein abnormality. Excess body weight and excess alcohol intake may be important factors in hypertriglyceridemia and should be managed prior to any drug therapy. Physical exercise can be an important ancillary measure, and has been associated with rises in HDL-cholesterol. Diseases contributory to hyperlipidemia such as hypothyroidism or diabetes mellitus should be looked for and adequately treated. Estrogen therapy is sometimes associated with massive rises in plasma triglycerides, especially in subjects with familial hypertriglyceridemia. In such cases, discontinuation of estrogen therapy may obviate the need for specific drug therapy of hypertriglyceridemia. The use of drugs should be considered only when reasonable attempts have been made to obtain satisfactory results with nondrug methods. If the decision is made to use drugs, the patient should be instructed that this does not reduce the importance of adhering to diet.

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Advisory information

contraindications
CONTRAINDICATIONS Hepatic or severe renal dysfunction, including primary biliary cirrhosis. Preexisting gallbladder disease (see WARNINGS ). Hypersensitivity to gemfibrozil. Combination therapy of gemfibrozil with repaglinide (see PRECAUTIONS ). Combination therapy of gemfibrozil with simvastatin (see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS ). Combination therapy of gemfibrozil with dasabuvir (see PRECAUTIONS ).
Special warnings and precautions
PRECAUTIONS 1. Initial Therapy – Laboratory studies should be done to ascertain that the lipid levels are consistently abnormal. Before instituting gemfibrozil therapy, every attempt should be made to control serum lipids with appropriate diet, exercise, weight loss in obese patients, and control of any medical problems such as diabetes mellitus and hypothyroidism that are contributing to the lipid abnormalities. 2. Continued Therapy – Periodic determination of serum lipids should be obtained, and the drug withdrawn if lipid response is inadequate after three months of therapy. 3. Drug Interactions (A) HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors: The concomitant administration of gemfibrozil with simvastatin is contraindicated (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS ). The risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis is increased with combined gemfibrozil and HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor therapy. Myopathy or rhabdomyolysis with or without acute renal failure have been reported as early as three weeks after initiation of combined therapy or after several months (see WARNINGS ). There is no assurance that periodic monitoring of creatine kinase will prevent the occurrence of severe myopathy and kidney damage. (B) Anticoagulants: CAUTION SHOULD BE EXERCISED WHEN WARFARIN IS GIVEN IN CONJUNCTION WITH GEMFIBROZIL. THE DOSAGE OF WARFARIN SHOULD BE REDUCED TO MAINTAIN THE PROTHROMBIN TIME AT THE DESIRED LEVEL TO PREVENT BLEEDING COMPLICATIONS. FREQUENT PROTHROMBIN DETERMINATIONS ARE ADVISABLE UNTIL IT HAS BEEN DEFINITELY DETERMINED THAT THE PROTHROMBIN LEVEL HAS STABILIZED. (C) CYP2C8 Substrates: Gemfibrozil is a strong inhibitor of CYP2C8 and may increase exposure of drugs mainly metabolized by CYP2C8 (e.g., dabrafenib, enzalutamide, loperamide, montelukast, paclitaxel, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone). Therefore, dosing reduction of drugs that are mainly metabolized by CYP2C8 enzyme may be required when gemfibrozil is used concomitantly (see WARNINGS ). Repaglinide: In healthy volunteers, co-administration with gemfibrozil (600 mg twice daily for 3 days) resulted in an 8.1-fold (range 5.5-to 15.0-fold) higher repaglinide AUC and a 28.6-fold (range 18.5-to 80.1-fold) higher repaglinide plasma concentration 7 hours after the dose. In the same study, gemfibrozil (600 mg twice daily for 3 days) + itraconazole (200 mg in the morning and 100 mg in the evening at Day 1, then 100 mg twice daily at Day 2 to 3) resulted in a 19.4-(range 12.9-to 24.7-fold) higher repaglinide AUC and a 70.4-fold (range 42.9-to 119.2-fold) higher repaglinide plasma concentration 7 hours after the dose. In addition, gemfibrozil alone or gemfibrozil + itraconazole prolonged the hypoglycemic effects of repaglinide. Co-administration of gemfibrozil and repaglinide increases the risk of severe hypoglycemia and is contraindicated (see CONTRAINDICATIONS ). Dasabuvir: Co-administration of gemfibrozil with dasabuvir increased dasabuvir AUC and C max (ratios: 11.3 and 2.01, respectively) due to CYP2C8 inhibition. Increased dasabuvir exposure may increase the risk of QT prolongation, therefore, co-administration of gemfibrozil with dasabuvir is contraindicated (see CONTRAINDICATIONS ). Enzalutamide: In healthy volunteers given a single 160 mg dose of enzalutamide after gemfibrozil 600 mg twice daily, the AUC of enzalutamide plus active metabolite (N-desmethyl enzalutamide) was increased by 2.2 fold and corresponding Cmax was decreased by 16%. Increased enzalutamide exposure may increase the risk of seizures. If co-administration is considered necessary, the dose of enzalutamide should be reduced (see WARNINGS). (D) OATP1B1 substrates: Gemfibrozil is an inhibitor of OATP1B1 transporter and may increase exposure of drugs that are substrates of OATP1B1 (e.g., atrasentan, atorvastatin, bosentan, ezetimibe, fluvastatin, glyburide, SN-38 [active metabolite of irinotecan], rosuvastatin, pitavastatin, pravastatin, rifampin, valsartan, olmesartan). Therefore, dosing reductions of drugs that are substrates of OATP1B1 may be required when gemfibrozil is used concomitantly (see WARNINGS ). Combination therapy of gemfibrozil with simvastatin or with repaglinide, which are OATP1B1 substrates, is contraindicated (see CONTRAINDICATIONS ). (E) In vitro studies of CYP enzymes, UGTA enzymes and OATP1B1 transporter: In vitro studies have shown that gemfibrozil is an inhibitor of CYP1A2, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, OATP1B1, and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A1 and 1A3 (see WARNINGS ). (F) Bile Acid-Binding Resins: Gemfibrozil AUC was reduced by 30% when gemfibrozil was given (600 mg) simultaneously with resin-granule drugs such as colestipol (5 g). Administration of the drugs two hours or more apart is recommended because gemfibrozil exposure was not significantly affected when it was administered two hours apart from colestipol. (G) Colchicine: Myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, has been reported with chronic administration of colchicine at therapeutic doses. Concomitant use of gemfibrozil may potentiate the development of myopathy. Patients with renal dysfunction and elderly patients are at increased risk. Caution should be exercised when prescribing gemfibrozil with colchicine, especially in elderly patients or patients with renal dysfunction. 4. Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility – Long-term studies have been conducted in rats at 0.2 and 1.3 times the human exposure (based on AUC). The incidence of benign liver nodules and liver carcinomas was significantly increased in high dose male rats. The incidence of liver carcinomas increased also in low dose males, but this increase was not statistically significant (p=0.1). Male rats had a dose-related and statistically significant increase of benign Leydig cell tumors. The higher dose female rats had a significant increase in the combined incidence of benign and malignant liver neoplasms. Long-term studies have been conducted in mice at 0.1 and 0.7 times the human exposure (based on AUC). There were no statistically significant differences from controls in the incidence of liver tumors, but the doses tested were lower than those shown to be carcinogenic with other fibrates. Electron microscopy studies have demonstrated a florid hepatic peroxisome proliferation following gemfibrozil administration to the male rat. An adequate study to test for peroxisome proliferation has not been done in humans but changes in peroxisome morphology have been observed. Peroxisome proliferation has been shown to occur in humans with either of two other drugs of the fibrate class when liver biopsies were compared before and after treatment in the same individual. Administration of approximately 2 times the human dose (based on surface area) to male rats for 10 weeks resulted in a dose-related decrease of fertility. Subsequent studies demonstrated that this effect was reversed after a drug-free period of about eight weeks, and it was not transmitted to the offspring. 5. Pregnancy Category C – Gemfibrozil has been shown to produce adverse effects in rats and rabbits at doses between 0.5 and 3 times the human dose (based on surface area). There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Gemfibrozil should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Administration of gemfibrozil to female rats at 2 times the human dose (based on surface area) before and throughout gestation caused a dose-related decrease in conception rate, an increase in still borns, and a slight reduction in pup weight during lactation. There were also dose-related increased skeletal variations. Anophthalmia occurred, but rarely. Administration of 0.6 and 2 times the human dose (based on surface area) of gemfibrozil to female rats from gestation day 15 through weaning caused dose-related decreases in birth weight and suppressions of pup growth during lactation. Administration of 1 and 3 times the human dose (based on surface area) of gemfibrozil to female rabbits during organogenesis caused a dose-related decrease in litter size and, at the high dose, an increased incidence of parietal bone variations. 6. Nursing Mothers – It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for tumorigenicity shown for gemfibrozil in animal studies, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. 7. Hematologic Changes – Mild hemoglobin, hematocrit, and white blood cell decreases have been observed in occasional patients following initiation of gemfibrozil therapy. However, these levels stabilize during long-term administration. Rarely, severe anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and bone marrow hypoplasia have been reported. Therefore, periodic blood counts are recommended during the first 12 months of gemfibrozil administration. 8. Liver Function – Abnormal liver function tests have been observed occasionally during gemfibrozil administration, including elevations of AST, ALT, LDH, bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase. These are usually reversible when gemfibrozil is discontinued. Therefore, periodic liver function studies are recommended and gemfibrozil therapy should be terminated if abnormalities persist. 9. Kidney Function – There have been reports of worsening renal insufficiency upon the addition of gemfibrozil therapy in individuals with baseline plasma creatinine >2.0 mg/dL. In such patients, the use of alternative therapy should be considered against the risks and benefits of a lower dose of gemfibrozil. 10. Pediatric Use – Safety and efficacy in pediatric patients have not been established.
Adverse reactions
ADVERSE REACTIONS In the double-blind controlled phase of the primary prevention component of the Helsinki Heart Study, 2046 patients received gemfibrozil for up to five years. In that study, the following adverse reactions were statistically more frequent in subjects in the gemfibrozil group: GEMFIBROZIL (N=2046) PLACEBO (N=2035) Frequency in percent of subjects Gastrointestinal reactions 34.2 23.8 Dyspepsia 19.6 11.9 Abdominal pain 9.8 5.6 Acute appendicitis (histologically confirmed in most cases where data were available) 1.2 0.6 Atrial fibrillation 0.7 0.1 Adverse events reported by more than 1% of subjects, but without a significant difference between groups: Diarrhea 7.2 6.5 Fatigue 3.8 3.5 Nausea/Vomiting 2.5 2.1 Eczema 1.9 1.2 Rash 1.7 1.3 Vertigo 1.5 1.3 Constipation 1.4 1.3 Headache 1.2 1.1 Gallbladder surgery was performed in 0.9% of gemfibrozil and 0.5% of placebo subjects in the primary prevention component, a 64% excess, which is not statistically different from the excess of gallbladder surgery observed in the clofibrate group compared to the placebo group of the WHO study. Gallbladder surgery was also performed more frequently in the gemfibrozil group compared to the placebo group (1.9% versus 0.3%, p=0.07) in the secondary prevention component. A statistically significant increase in appendectomy in the gemfibrozil group was seen also in the secondary prevention component (6 on gemfibrozil versus 0 on placebo, p=0.014). Nervous system and special senses adverse reactions were more common in the gemfibrozil group. These included hypesthesia, paresthesias, and taste perversion. Other adverse reactions that were more common among gemfibrozil treatment group subjects but where a causal relationship was not established include cataracts, peripheral vascular disease, and intracerebral hemorrhage. From other studies it seems probable that gemfibrozil is causally related to the occurrence of MUSCULOSKELETAL SYMPTOMS (see WARNINGS ), and to ABNORMAL LIVER FUNCTION TESTS and HEMATOLOGIC CHANGES (see PRECAUTIONS ). Reports of viral and bacterial infections (common cold, cough, urinary tract infections) were more common in gemfibrozil treated patients in other controlled clinical trials of 805 patients. Additional adverse reactions that have been reported for gemfibrozil are listed below by system. These are categorized according to whether a causal relationship to treatment with gemfibrozil is probable or not established: CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP PROBABLE CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP NOT ESTABLISHED General: weight loss Cardiac: extrasystoles Gastrointestinal: cholestatic jaundice pancreatitis hepatoma colitis Central Nervous System: Dizziness Confusion Somnolence Convulsions Paresthesia Syncope peripheral neuritis decreased libido Depression Headache Eye: blurred vision retinal edema Genitourinary: Impotence decreased male fertility renal dysfunction Musculoskeletal: Myopathy Myasthenia Myalgia painful extremities Arthralgia Synovitis rhabdomyolysis (see WARNINGS and Drug Interactions under PRECAUTIONS ) Clinical Laboratory: increased creatine phosphokinase positive antinuclear antibody increased bilirubin increased liver transaminases (AST, ALT) increased alkaline phosphatase Hematopoietic: Anemia Thrombocytopenia Leukopenia bone marrow hypoplasia Eosinophilia Immunologic: Angioedema Anaphylaxis laryngeal edema Lupus-like syndrome Urticaria Vasculitis Integumentary: exfoliative dermatitis Alopecia Rash Photosensitivity Dermatitis Pruritus Additional adverse reactions that have been reported include cholecystitis and cholelithiasis (see WARNINGS ).

Usage information

Dosing and administration
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION The recommended dose for adults is 1200 mg administered in two divided doses 30 minutes before the morning and evening meals (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY ).

More information

Category Value
Authorisation number ANDA078012
Agency product number Q8X02027X3
Orphan designation No
Product NDC 51013-811
Date Last Revised 04-06-2018
Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG
Marketing authorisation holder PuraCap Pharmaceutical, LLC