Secondary causes of hyperlipidemia:Secondary cause of hyperlipidemia, such as uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, nephrotic syndrome, dysproteinemia, obstructive liver disease, pharmacological treatment, alcoholism, should be adequately treated before fenofibrate therapy is considered. For hyperlipidaemic patients taking oestrogens or contraceptives containing oestrogen it should be ascertained whether the hyperlipidaemia is of primary or secondary nature (possible elevation of lipid values caused by oral oestrogen).
Liver function:Increases in transaminase levels have been reported in some patients. It is recommended that transaminases levels are monitored every 3 months during the first twelve months of treatment and thereafter periodically. Attention should be paid to patients who develop increase in transaminase levels and therapy should be discontinued if AST (SGOT) and ALT (SGPT) levels increase to more than 3 times the upper limit of the normal range. When symptoms indicative of hepatitis occur (e.g. jaundice, pruritus), and diagnosis is confirmed by laboratory testing, fenofibrate therapy should be discontinued.
Pancreas:Pancreatitis has been reported in patients taking fenofibrate (see sections Contraindications and Undesirable effects). This occurrence may represent a failure of efficacy in patients with severe hypertriglyceridaemia, a direct drug effect, or a secondary phenomenon mediated through biliary tract stone or sludge formation with obstruction of the common bile duct.Muscle:Muscle toxicity, including rare cases of rhabdomyolysis, with or without renal failure, has been reported with administration of fibrates and other lipid-lowering agents. The incidence of this disorder increases in case of hypoalbuminaemia and previous renal insufficiency.Patients with pre-disposing factors for myopathy and/or rhabdomyolysis, including age above 70 years, personal or familial history of hereditary muscular disorders, renal impairment, hypothyroidism and high alcohol intake, may be at an increased risk of developing rhabdomyolysis. For these patients, the putative benefits and risks of fenofibrate therapy should be carefully weighed up.Muscle toxicity should be suspected in patients presenting diffuse myalgia, myositis, muscular cramps and weakness and/or marked increases in CPK (level exceeding 5 times the normal range). In such cases treatment with fenofibrate should be stopped.The risk of muscle toxicity may be increased if the drug is administered with another fibrate or an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, especially in cases of pre-existing muscular disease. Consequently, the co-prescription of fenofibrate with a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor should be reserved to patients with severe combined dyslipidaemia and high cardiovascular risk without any history of muscular disease and with a close monitoring of potential muscle toxicity.
Renal function:In renal function, the dose of fenofibrate may need to be reduced, depending on the rate of creatinine clearance (see Section 4.2 Posology and method of administration). Dose reduction should be considered in elderly patients with impaired renal function.Treatment should be interrupted in case of an increase in creatinine levels > 50% ULN (upper limit of normal). It is recommended that creatinine is measured during the first 3 months after initiation of treatment and thereafter periodically (for dose recommendations, see section 4.2 Posology and method of administration).Excipients:As this medicinal product contains lactose, patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicine.