What to Know About Tricor (Fenofibrate)

A fibric acid agent used to regulate cholesterol levels

In This Article

Tricor is a drug used to balance the levels of cholesterol found in the blood. Tricor is among other drugs in the class of fibric acid agents, or fibrates. Fibrate drugs lower the liver’s production of bad cholesterol and act as an enzyme to speed up the elimination of this bad cholesterol from the body.

Taking Tricor will not reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease, liver disease, or gallbladder disease, as this drug works to manage the body’s production of cholesterol. Tricor comes in tablet and capsule form, both of which are taken orally. Generic versions (fenofibrate) have been determined just as effective as the brand name of Tricor.

Uses

Tricor works by reducing the liver’s production of bad cholesterol, while also boosting the liver’s ability to remove this type of cholesterol and fats, or triglycerides, from the body. This allows for a better balance between good cholesterol and bad cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Drug manufacturers do not claim Tricor itself reduces a person’s risk of developing conditions due to the accumulation of fat in the bloodstream. However, there is a proven link between low levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood and the health of arteries.

When combined with a healthy diet and exercise regimen, Tricor may indirectly lower the risk of developing atherosclerosis, liver disease, gallbladder disease, and pancreatitis. There are no known alternative, or off-label, uses for Tricor.

Before Taking

A doctor will often evaluate a patient’s likelihood of having success with this drug by completing a thorough evaluation and review of the patient’s current medications. Your doctor will determine whether you have a family risk of high bad cholesterol and triglycerides or currently demonstrate high levels in your bloodstream.

Laboratory tests will be completed to measure the levels of both good and bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. Tricor is recommended if a patient is found to generally be in good health and is able to supplement its use with a balanced diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. These elements play a large role in whether or not Tricor will be an effective method of prevention.

There are several versions of the medication Tricor, with no notable differences between generic and brand name versions.

Precautions and Contraindications

Anyone with an allergy to fenofibrate or other fibrates should not take Tricor. Tricor also contains traces of soy, therefore, this medication should not be taken by anyone with allergies to soy or soy products.

Children, as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, should not take Tricor, as there is not enough available information regarding the effect of Tricor on these populations.

Patients should inform their doctor if they have kidney disease, gallbladder disease, liver disease, or alcohol use disorder, as these conditions have an impact on the effectiveness and interactions of Tricor.

There are no restrictions as to the use of Tricor in an elderly population. Elderly individuals who are candidates for using Tricor should undergo a thorough assessment to ensure healthy function of the gallbladder, liver, or kidneys, as any such conditions will limit the effectiveness and safety of Tricor.

Other Fibrates

  • Lipofen
  • Trilipix
  • Fenoglide
  • Lopid
  • Fibricor
  • Antara
  • Lofibra
  • Triglide

Dosage

According to the manufacturer, Tricor is recommended for use in individuals with elevated levels of bad cholesterol, in which dosage is typically 145 milligrams (mg) taken once per day for adults. It is recommended that adults with elevated levels of bad cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides take between 48 and 145 mg once per day.

Your doctor will monitor your laboratory results following a new prescription of Tricor. This will determine the effectiveness of Tricor and your lifestyle changes on the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides. If your levels remain unchanged after two months of taking Tricor, your doctor will likely discontinue your use of Tricor and switch to a second-line of treatment.

Modifications

Geriatric dosage is more conservative and elderly individuals with elevated levels of bad cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides should take 48 mg once per day. The condition and tolerance of elderly individuals should be closely monitored following early doses, to ensure appropriate kidney function to support elimination of cholesterol caused by Tricor.

All listed dosages are according to the drug manufacturer. Check your prescription and talk to your doctor to make sure you are taking the right dose for you.

How to Take and Store

Tricor is able to be taken with or without food, however, other fibrate medications have different instructions which recommend they are taken with a meal. Tricor should be taken with a full glass of water to encourage its absorption and distribution into the bloodstream.

If you miss a dose of Tricor, take the medication as soon as you remember. Since Tricor is a delayed-release medication and its recommended dose is taken once per day, it is not advised to take two doses in one day if you missed the prior dose.

Tricor should be stored in a tightly sealed container at room temperature. This medication may be impacted by the presence of humidity or excess moisture, so care should be taken to avoid storing Tricor in such an environment.

Side Effects

Common

Minor and common side effects of Tricor include diarrhea, heartburn, nasal congestion, joint pain, and dizziness.

Severe

More severe side effects resulting from Tricor may include muscle pain, difficulty breathing, weakness, pancreatitis, abnormal heart rhythm, pulmonary embolism, kidney damage, anemia, low white blood cell count, peptic ulcer, fever, rash, peeling skin, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, and eyes, swelling, warmth, and pain in one leg, and coughing up blood.

If you experience any severe side effects, call emergency services and notify your doctor of these symptoms. Symptoms of respiratory distress such as not being able to breathe are also noted in instances of overdose.

Warnings and Interactions

Consult your doctor if you are currently taking blood-thinning medications, water pills, beta blockers for heart conditions, other cholesterol-lowering medications, hormone replacement therapy, hormonal contraceptives, or immunosuppressive medications. These medications have interactions which impact the effectiveness and safety of Tricor. Your doctor will need to recommend alternative medications or adjust dosages before you begin taking Tricor.

Individuals with thyroid conditions should not take Tricor, nor should individuals with kidney, liver, or gallbladder disease. The use of Tricor for these conditions is not recommended. Also notify your doctor if you have an alcohol use disorder, as this impacts Tricor’s effectiveness and may have serious negative side effects.

If you are taking bile acid resin medications such as Questran, WelChol, or Colestid, your doctor will inform you to take Tricor several hours before or after these medications. This will avoid any potential interactions between medications.

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