Fenolip - Pregnancy | Use | Side Effects

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

Fenolip is the drug from the group of fibrates and contains a chemical substance called fenofibrate. It works based on its agonistic effects at the nuclear receptors, or more precisely at peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha (PPAR receptors) which stimulates the decomposition of fatty acids into peroxisomes of the cells. To put it simply - it reduces the level of fats, especially triglycerides (since they are mainly composed of fatty acids) in the blood, which is why Fenolip is used in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia - high triglyceride levels in the blood.

Except for hypertriglyceridemia, Fenolip can also be used in patients who have a combined dyslipidemia (high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides).

Fenolip is proved to be an effective therapy for lipodystrophy induced by HIV. In one study of 55 adults who suffer from HIV-induced hypertriglyceridemia, Fenolip lowered triglyceride levels by an average of 330 mg / dL.1

There are numerous clinical trials that have confirmed the effectiveness of this drug on lowering triglyceride levels in the blood, improving your blood vessel health and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The incidence of adverse effects is very low.

What you need to know before you start to take Fenolip?

Although side effects occur rarely, you still need to be aware of certain adverse effects that occur very rarely but can leave serious consequences for your health.

Like all other drugs used to lower blood lipid levels, Fenolip can also lead to liver damage. This damage is usually minor, insignificant and is manifested as a slight increase in liver enzyme levels (transaminases) in the blood. This drug very rarely may cause serious liver damage, which will be manifested by the following symptoms:

  • Jaundice
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itching
  • A sudden, unwanted weight loss

If you notice these symptoms (especially jaundice), you should immediately contact your doctor. Liver damage is usually reversible and the liver can recover rapidly after you stop taking the drug. However, for safety reasons, blood levels of transaminases must be regularly checked, especially at the beginning of treatment. At the beginning of treatment, it is recommended to regularly control the level of transaminases every 10 days during the first month, and then once a month. As nurses will generally draw your blood for controlling the level of triglycerides, it does not cost you anything for checking these enzymes too.

A more dangerous possible side effect of Fenolip is rhabdomyolysis - serious muscle damage that leads to the deterioration of the kidney function and serious complications to health. If you notice muscle pain, sore muscles (even if you were not physically active), muscle cramps and muscle weakness, immediately go to the nearest health facility and consult a doctor. To reduce the risk of rhabdomyolysis, it is necessary to regularly check creatinine levels in the blood.

Fenolip is not recommended in the following situations:

  • If you have any muscle problems
  • If you have inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • If you are allergic to peanuts
  • If you have kidney disease
  • If you have gallbladder disease
  • If you have photoallergy - sun allergy
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you are breastfeeding

Fenolip - pregnancy and lactation

The Patient Leaflet clearly states that Fenolip should not be used during pregnancy, although one case has been reported that a woman took Fenolip during the first eight weeks of pregnancy (because she did not know that she was pregnant). Doctors closely monitored the baby's health and no harmful effects were noticed.2 However, this is only one case, and it is necessary to perform much more research to prove the safety of this medicine during pregnancy.


Fenolip should not be used in nursing mothers.

How to apply Fenolip?

Take one capsule (145 mg) during the meal. If your triglycerides levels are moderately high or the doctor notices that the drug is too strong for you, then you may be advised to take Fenolip every second or even every third day. In this case, doctors tend to determine a so-called minimum effective dose (minimum dose which will lower your triglyceride level in the normal range), because the lower the dose is, the lower the risk of side effects.

The treatment is long term and you'll probably need to take this medicine for the rest of your life. It's important to regularly take Fenolip capsules and to control the level of triglycerides in the blood because the high triglyceride levels are dangerous to your health.

It is best to take this medicine with food.

Fenolip and its application with other drugs

From interactions with other drugs, best described is the interaction with warfarin - a drug that is used for blood-clotting disorders. Warfarin is a drug that prevents blood clotting, thereby reducing the ability of your body to stop bleeding. By increasing the effect of warfarin, Fenolip can increase the risk of bleeding which is difficult to stop. It is therefore necessary to monitor INR at least three times a week.

Among other interactions, it is important to note that Fenolip should not be used in combination with other drugs that lower cholesterol or triglycerides, as this increases the risk of rhabdomyolysis! Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicine for lowering fats before you start taking Fenolip.

Simultaneous application of Fenolip with the following medicines is not recommended:

  • Medications used for organ transplants
  • Medications used in the treatment of cancer
  • Corticosteroids

Fenolip side effects

Fenolip commonly causes gastrointestinal side effects (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and bloating).

Occasionally, it may cause

  • pancreatitis
  • thromboembolism
  • increased level of creatinine in the blood
  • decreased libido
  • gallstone formation
  • headache

Rarely, it can cause

  • hepatitis
  • alopecia
  • photosensitivity
  • allergic reaction
  • anemia

Adverse effects whose incidence is unknown is rhabdomyolysis.

The most important thing to remember is that if you notice any changes in the muscles (achy, sore muscles or muscle cramps), you need to immediately contact your doctor. Also, if you notice jaundice, it is a sign that your liver is damaged and that you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.


  1. NCBI link 1
  2. NCBI link 2

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If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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