Fenofibrate therapy may be complemented by dietary supplements





Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Folic Acid Vitamin B12
Professional Data: Folic Acid Vitamin B12


Fenofibrate is a prescription drug used to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. Available in the United States since 1998, fenofibrate has been used in over 77 countries and is considered to be a new generation drug for treating triglycerides. While fenofibrate is an effective treatment for hyperlipidemia, it has been reported to increase homocysteine levels by up to 40%. Since elevated homocysteine is one of the risk factors for atherosclerosis, complementary therapies would be indicated for patients using fibrates who are at risk.

A group of researchers in Germany decided to add a supplement regime to patients’ existing drug therapy as a complementary treatment along with the fenofibrate. Knowing that elevated homocysteine levels can be lowered by vitamin supplementation, they designed a study that would compare the results of vitamin therapy vs. placebo in lowering homocysteine levels in hyperlipidemic men. The study, a randomized, double blind control study, lasted for 26 weeks. Patients taking fenofibrate were given either a placebo or a supplement program consisting of folic acid, vitamin B6 and B12. Vitamins were given at doses of 650 microg folic acid, 50 microg vitamin B12 and 5 mg vitamin B6 per day for a period of 6 weeks.

Patients in the placebo group showed an increase in homocystiene that was significantly higher than the patients receiving the vitamin supplements leading the researchers to acknowledge the supplement program as a successful complementary therapy to fenofibrate. They further suggest that the addition of this vitamin program become a standard component of treatment for hyperlipidemia with fenofibrate.1


1. Dierkes J, et al. Vitamin supplementation can markedly reduce the homocysteine elevation induced by fenofibrate. Atherosclerosis. Sep 2001;158(1):161-4.