When a manufacturer micronizes a medicine, the drug is ground into tiny particles. Fenofibrate is a drug that reduces the amount of certain cholesterol molecules in the blood. The body typically absorbs micronized fenofibrate more easily than the unmicronized form.
Cholesterol is a general term for several different forms of fat in the blood. Healthy, "good" cholesterol like high density lipoprotein (HDL) is beneficial to cardiovascular health. People who have high levels of "bad" cholesterol like low density lipoprotein (LDL), or triglycerides, may require medical treatment. Micronized fenofibrate, or other types of cholesterol-lowering medications, cannot, however, work on their own, and the patient also has to control his fat intake in food. Exercise can also help improve cholesterol levels.
Fenofibrate acts on a certain enzyme in the blood called lipoprotein lipase. This enzyme breaks down fats, and the medication encourages this activity. The end result is that the levels of triglyceride fats tend to fall in the blood. The reduction in triglycerides alters the structure of the LDL substances already present. Instead of staying small and more likely to stick to artery walls and cause disease, the LDL particles grow bigger. The body can break down the bigger particles more easily than it can recognize and dismantle small ones.
The manufacturers of micronized fenofibrate created a micronized form as it is more easily absorbed by the body. Each particle is merely a few microns (several millionths of a meter) in diameter. The drug is sold in tablet or capsule formats, and the body absorbs the medication through the gastrointestinal tract. The presence of food in the stomach may also improve the absorption of the drug.
Daily medication with micronized fenofibrate is a typical regimen for the drug. The dose is adjustable to suit individual patients, and the dosages can range from about 34 milligrams per day to about 200 mg. Micronized fenofibrate is not a drug that treats an acute condition, but rather it is a relatively long-term treatment to help a patient reduce his or her bad cholesterol levels.
Possible, although rare, side effects of the drug include gallstones and issues with the liver. Liver problems or gallstones can cause symptoms like jaundice, vomiting or stomach pain. Another potential side effect is painful muscles, along with weakness and an alteration in the appearance of urine. Infections, a pain in the chest or unusual bleeding or bruising can also very rarely occur. Allergy can also result from taking the drug, with skin rash, problems breathing and facial swelling among the indicators.