Use of fibrates in clinical practice: Queensland lipid group consensus recommendations

Ian Hamilton-Craig, Karam Kostner, Stanley Woodhouse, David Colquhoun

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Fibrates have been prescribed for decades as 'broad-spectrum' lipid modifying agents that can improve plasma levels of triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, including very low- and intermediate-density lipoproteins. Fibrates are variably effective in lowering low-density cholesterol levels. Available fibrates include gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, bezafibrate, etiofibrate and ciprofobrate; only fenofibrate and gemfibrozil are available in Australia. Methods: Members of the Queensland Lipid Group provided consensus grades of recommendations for the clinical use of fibrates based on PubMed searches, product information, and personal clinical experience. Results: Fibrates are well tolerated, and the combination of fenofibrate with statins appears to be safer than gemfibrozil, particularly with regard to adverse effects on muscle. Evidence has been provided recently for the efficacy of fenofibrate in reducing microvascular complications in diabetic patients, including progression of retinopathy, progression of microalbuminuria and nephropathy, development of sensory neuropathy, and leg amputation. Macrovascular benefits appear to be confined to those with reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and/or increased triglyceride levels, and the relationship of microvascular benefits of fenofibrate to baseline lipid levels is variable and requires further assessment. Conclusions: Indications for fibrate therapy may be extended in the future to include protection from both macroand micro-vascular disease, particularly in diabetic patients and patients with residual dyslipidaemia in spite of statin therapy. We provide recommendations on the use of fibrates in clinical practice to highlight these potential indications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-190
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Fibrates
    • Macrovascular disease
    • Microvascular disease
    • Preventative healthcare
    • Risk management


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