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You’ve taken a big step to protect your heart by taking medicine. But triglyceride meds can have side effects. Don’t let them take you off course.  

Fibrates: Lipofen & Tricor (fenofibrate), Fibricor & Trilipix (fenofibric acid), and Lopid (gemfibrozil)

Tell your doctor if you have symptoms that bother you or don’t go away. Common side effects include:

  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Gas or bloating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Mild stomach pain

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these more severe symptoms:

  • Chest pain or irregular heartbeat
  • Dark-colored urine, pain or burning when you urinate, or decreased urination
  • Muscle aches, cramps, pain, or weakness
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)

 

Niaspan (niacin)

Never switch the type of niacin you take without talking to your doctor.

Tell your doctor if you have symptoms that bother you or don’t go away. Common side effects include:

  • Cough
  • Flushing
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Rash or itching skin

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these more severe symptoms:

  • Breathing problems, such as shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness or faintness (If symptoms wake you at night, get up slowly so you don’t faint.)
  • Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling
  • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)

If your face or neck turns red, itches, tingles, or feels warm:

  • Avoid alcohol or hot drinks when you take your niacin pill.
  • Take aspirin or another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory med 30 minutes before you take niacin.

Flushing of the face usually goes away after you take the medicine for a few weeks.

Prescription omega-3 fatty acids: Epanova (omega-3-carboxylic acids), Lovaza (omega-3 acid ethyl esters), and Vascepa (icosapent ethyl)

Tell your doctor if you have symptoms that bother you or don’t go away. Common side effects include:

  • Burping
  • Joint pain  
  • Strange taste in your mouth
  • Upset stomach

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these more severe symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Fever, chills, body aches, or flu symptoms
  • Irregular heartbeat

 

Stay on Course

Lifestyle changes are the best way to address high triglycerides, but sometimes doctors do prescribe medications.

If you have side effects, your first thought might be to stop the medicine. First, talk to your doctor before making any changes in your medications.