Sounds like 'jem-FYE-broh-zill'

Gemfibrozil is no longer available in New Zealand.

June 2020: Notification that gemfibrozil is no longer available in New Zealand
All brands of gemfibrozil tablets are out of stock in New Zealand. Due to these stock issues, gemfibrozil will no longer be available in New Zealand. If you are taking gemfibrozil for your high cholesterol, this means you will need to change to another medicine. Talk to your doctor about the different medicines that you could use instead to treat your high cholesterol. Read more about gemfibrozil discontinuation and medicines to lower cholesterol.

What is gemfibrozil?

  • Gemfibrozil is used to lower cholesterol (fat) levels in your blood. When excess cholesterol collects in the walls of your blood vessels, it increases your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Lowering cholesterol reduces your risk of heart and blood vessel disease.
  • It is usually used in combination with a statin if you have high triglyceride levels or low HDL-cholesterol levels, or it is prescribed when statins can't be used to lower cholesterol. Read more about cholesterol testing.  


  • The usual dose of gemfibrozil is 600 milligrams 2 times daily.  
  • Always take your gemfibrozil exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much gemfibrozil to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.

How to take gemfibrozil

  • Swallow your gemfibrozil tablets with a glass of water.
  • Gemfibrozil is best taken 30–60 minutes before food, such as before your breakfast and before your dinner. This is because gemfibrozil is absorbed better when your stomach is empty.
  • Take gemfibrozil at around the same times each day. 
  • To reduce your cholesterol, you must keep taking gemfibrozil every day.  
  • If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.

What are the side effects of gemfibrozil?

Like all medicines, gemfibrozil can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Stomach upset
  • Bloating or gas in your tummy
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Headache
  • These are quite common when you first start taking gemfibrozil and usually go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Signs of problems with your liver such as yellowing of your skin or eyes, dark urine (pee), pain in your abdomen (tummy)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or phone Healthline 0800 611 116.
  • Signs of problems with your muscles, such as muscle aches and pain, pain in your legs, muscle cramps, tenderness or weakness
  • These symptoms are more likely if you are using gemfibrozil with a statin.
  • Tell your doctor immediately or phone Healthline 0800 611 116.
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product


Gemfibrozil may interact with a few medicines and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more

The following link provides further information on gemfibrozil. Be aware that websites from other countries may contain information that differs from New Zealand recommendations.

Gemfibrozil Patient Info, UK

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Dr Janine Bycroft Last reviewed: 15 Feb 2016