Bezafibrate

Sounds like 'Be-za-fy-brate'

Easy-to-read medicine information about bezafibrate – what is it, how to take bezafibrate safely and possible side effects. Bezafibrate is commonly called Bezalip.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Medicine to lower cholesterol
  • Belongs to a group of medicines known as fibrates
  • Bezalip®
  • Bezalip Retard®

What is bezafibrate?

Bezafibrate is used to lower cholesterol (mainly triglycerides) levels in your blood. Bezafibrate is usually used in combination with a statin in people with high triglyceride levels or it is prescribed when statins cannot be used to lower cholesterol.

In New Zealand bezafibrate is available as Bezalip® or modified-release tablets, Bezalip Retard®.

Dose

  • Your dose of bezafibrate will depend on whether you have been prescribed Bezalip® or tBezalip Retard®. 
  • The usual dose of Bezalip® is 200 milligrams three times daily, and the usual dose of Bezalip Retard® is 400 milligrams once daily.   
  • Always take your bezafibrate exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much bezafibrate to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take bezafibrate

Bezalip®

Bezalip® is taken 2 or 3 times daily, with or after food. Take Bezalip at around the same times each day. To reduce your cholesterol, you must keep taking bezafibrate every day. 

Bezalip Retard®

Bezalip Retard® is taken once daily, with or after food.  Swallow your tablets whole with a glass of water – do not chew, crush, or break them. To reduce your cholesterol, you must keep taking bezafibrate every day.  

Precautions – before taking bezafibrate

  • Do you have problems with your gallbladder?
  • Do you have thyroid problems? 
  • Do you have problems with your liver or kidneys?
  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Are you are taking or using any other medicines? This includes any medicines you are using which are available to buy without a prescription.

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start taking bezafibrate. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

Side effects

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

Side effects What should I do?
  • Stomach upset
  • Bloating or gas in the tummy
  • Nausea (feeling sick) or dizziness
  • These are quite common when you first start taking bezafibrate and usually go away with time
  • Take your tablets with or just after food
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Signs of problems with your liver such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pain in the abdomen
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring 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 bezafibrate with a statin
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116

Interactions

Bezafibrate may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking bezafibrate or before starting any new medicines.

Learn more

The following links provide further information on bezafibrate.
Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets:

Bezalip
Bezalip Retard

References

  1. Bezafibrate New Zealand Formulary
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 08 Oct 2018