Ciprofibrate for hyperlipidaemia

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Take one tablet daily.

Follow carefully any lifestyle advice you have been given such as stopping smoking, avoiding drinking too much alcohol, eating a healthy diet and taking exercise.

If you develop any unusual aches and pains in your muscles, contact your doctor for advice as soon as possible.

Type of medicineA lipid-regulating medicine commonly known as a fibrate
Used forHyperlipidaemia (in adults)
Available asTablets

Lipid is another word for fat. Cholesterol and triglycerides are types of lipid. When the concentration of lipids in your blood is too high, it is called hyperlipidaemia. Lipids are made naturally in our bodies and are also absorbed from the food we eat. If the levels of lipids are too high, the excess fat is deposited on to the walls of our blood vessels. This can lead to patches like small fatty lumps developing within the lining of some blood vessels. These patches can reduce the flow of blood, and lead to heart disease, stroke, and blood circulation problems.

High levels of lipids do not make people feel ill, but they can cause the problems mentioned above if left untreated. By lowering the levels of fats, ciprofibrate helps to prevent these long-term heart and circulation problems.

It is likely that you will be prescribed ciprofibrate if you have a high level of a lipid called triglyceride. It may also be given for other types of hyperlipidaemia, especially if other medicines (called statins) are not suitable for you.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking ciprofibrate it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have problems with the way your kidneys work, or problems with the way your liver works.
  • If you have bile or gallbladder problems.
  • If you have an underactive thyroid.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic or bad reaction to a medicine.
  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about ciprofibrate and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take ciprofibrate exactly as your doctor tells you to. The usual dose is one 100 mg tablet a day.
  • You can generally take ciprofibrate at a time of day to suit you, but it is best to take your doses at the same time of day each day. This will help to remind you to take the tablets regularly.
  • Some people find it helps to swallow the tablets with a drink of water. It is not important whether you take ciprofibrate before or after food.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, miss out the forgotten dose. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. You will need to have regular blood tests during the first year of your treatment with ciprofibrate. These are to check that your liver stays healthy.
  • Your doctor will give you advice about eating a healthy diet, avoiding drinking too much alcohol, reducing the amount of salt in your diet, stopping smoking and taking regular exercise. Following this advice will also help you to reduce your risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease.
  • Treatment with ciprofibrate is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Continue to take the tablets unless you are advised otherwise by your doctor.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with ciprofibrate. These tend to be mild and do not commonly occur. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. Unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Ciprofibrate side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
Indigestion, abdominal pain, feeling sickStick to simple or bland foods - avoid rich or spicy foods
DiarrhoeaDrink plenty of water to replace lost fluids
Balance problems, feeling dizzyIf this happens do not drive or use tools or machines until you feel better
Allergic itchy skin rashes, headacheIf troublesome, speak with your doctor

Important: if you develop any muscle aches or pains, particularly in your legs, you should tell your doctor about it as soon as possible. This is an uncommon but serious side-effect of treatment.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Ciprofibrate 100 mg Tablets; Zentiva, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2011.
  • British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
3546 (v24)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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