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Tricor

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Tricor (fenofibrate) is a fibrate medication predominantly used to help treat high cholesterol and high triglycerides. Less commonly it may be used to help prevent some complications from type 2 diabetes, and it also has a few off-label uses.

There are a number of conditions which involve high cholesterol or triglycerides, and Tricor can help reduce levels in most of them. Patients are strongly advised to see a doctor prior to starting Tricor treatment for ideal dosage, as well as evaluating potential side effects and general monitoring of the condition.

While Tricor is sometimes used in patients below age 18, the medication has not been studied in this group and parents should not administer the medication without explicit doctor approval and involvement.

Getting Started with Tricor

Tricor comes in tablets or capsules, which should be taken with a meal and a beverage. Most patients take just one dose per day. Taking each dose at the same time each day will help keep levels of the medication consistent in the body, helping to maximize treatment benefits.

Dosage is difficult to quantify. It depends on what is being treated as well as patient response, and there are numerous other factors that can influence dosage, including age, weight, other medical conditions, and so forth. In general it ranges between 54 to 160 mg per day, but there are exceptions.

Patients will need to attend periodic doctor visits for as long as treatment continues, to ensure the medication is working correctly, for dose modifications when needed, and to monitor for developing side effects. This medication can have serious consequences if misused; it is important to attend these doctor visits.

Treatment may continue for as long as Tricor provides benefit and no serious side effects develop. For most patients treatment is not indefinite, though it may last several years.

Lifestyle Modifications

The vast majority of patients will be given suggested lifestyle changes along with Tricor; in fact, many patients will need to make some changes prior to being given a prescription for Tricor. Some examples include:

  • Reducing cholesterol intake
  • Reducing sodium intake
  • Starting a regular exercise regimen
  • Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Controlling blood sugar

There are numerous other lifestyle changes that may also be advised; again, changes are best quantified by a doctor who can take into account personal variables.

Patients are strongly advised to make and adhere to suggested changes to as great an extent as possible. While they can be difficult at first, they become easier over time and, in most cases, are the only way to end dependency on medications. Tricor will still provide some benefit if changes are not made, but the condition is very unlikely to significantly improve and such patients will most likely need to continue taking medications for the remainder of life.

Switching Brands

There are numerous other brands of medications that contain Tricor's active ingredient, fenofibrate. Despite containing the same ingredient, care must be taken before switching brands. Bioavailability often differs between them, meaning it is easy to take too little or too much if unaware. The need for food with each dose also varies by brand.

Patients would do best to buy the brand of medication prescribed by a doctor. If, for whatever reason, switching brands is desirable, double-check with a doctor as to the proper dose amount and other administration factors. While sites like this one make efforts to ensure that information is correct and up-to-date, mistakes do happen and there is no substitution for doctor input.

Warnings

There are some other medical conditions which may call for modified dosing of Tricor, or render it unsuitable for use at all. Of greatest concern are:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism

Patients with the above---or any major medical condition---should be sure to discuss potential risks with a doctor before taking Tricor. The medication can produce severe side effects, and the above increase the risk of experiencing them.

Tricor can also interact with a variety of other medications, including over-the-counter varieties and recreational drugs, including alcohol. Double-check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking any other medications during treatment, and avoid excess use of recreational drugs.

Potential Side Effects

Most patients who take Tricor as directed do not experience any major side effects. Most commonly experienced mild symptoms are:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Mild stomach discomfort

Unfortunately, though rare, more serious side effects do sometimes develop. Patients may experience:

  • Back pain
  • Skin sensitivity to sunlight
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps or spasms

Patients who experience the above may need to seek emergency medical attention if the side effect becomes severe. Patients who experience the above, even if not severe enough to warrant emergency medical attention, should speak with the prescribing doctor about it. Dosage modifications may be called for, or stopping the medication entirely before a side effects worsens.

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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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