Antara

1 What is Antara?

Brand: Antara, Fenoglide, Lipofen, Lofibra, Tricor, Triglide

Generic: Fenofibrate (Oral Route)

Antara is a 2nd generation fibric acid derivative which is often used together with a proper diet to treat high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. It increases the activity of lipoprotein lipase as well as decreases release of fatty acids from adipose tissue. 

This medicine may also help a susceptible individual to prevent the development of pancreatitis caused by high levels of triglycerides in the blood. Indeed, this drug is widely prescribed for the treatment of hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertriglyceridemia. 

This medicine is available in the following dosage forms only with your doctor's prescription:

  • Capsule
  • Tablet

2 What to Know Before using

Before using Antara, the risk-benefit ratio of taking the drug should be considered carefully. Here, the suitable drug therapy is chosen by the doctor with active participation of the patient. 

There are some important factors such as drug interactions, metabolic impairment, hypersensitivity reaction, pregnancy, lactation etc. which may alter the desired therapeutic effects of such medications. 

Sometimes the presence of other health disorders affects the beneficial effects of this medicine and even may cause serious toxic effects. If you have had any allergic reactions to any medicine then you must inform your doctor about that. 

Further, you should tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Blood coagulation disorders (e.g. deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism etc.)
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Muscle pain or tenderness
  • History of muscle weakness
  • Endocrine and metabolic disorders (e.g. diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism)
  • History of any gallbladder disease
  • Kidney diseases (e.g. acute renal failure or patients undergoing dialysis)
  • Liver diseases such as liver cirrhosis 

Moreover, certain drugs should not be used simultaneously with this medicine because of increased risk of certain complications. It is always recommended to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some other medications or even any over-the-counter medicine for another health problem in order to avoid unwanted toxic effects. 

Additionally, you should not use fenofibrate along with any of the following drugs:

  • Ciprofibrate
  • Colestyramine and other bile acid sequestrants
  • Ciclosporin – because of increased risk of nephrotoxicity
  • Oral anticoagulants – increased  risk of bleeding
  • HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (e.g. simvastatin) – increased risk of muscle toxicity

Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus but there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Additionally, no adequate studies have been conducted in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Thus, this medicine should not be used during pregnancy and lactation unless it is clearly indicated.

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3 Proper Usage

To use Antara correctly, you must follow the directions given by your doctor. The dosage schedule and the duration of drug therapy depend on the particular medical problem for which you are using this medicine. 

The therapeutic dose may also vary with the patient’s condition or requirement and the strength of the medicine as well. Dosage and administrations in an adult patient are like followings:

  • Standard micronized formulation: initially, 200 mg once daily
  • Non-micronized formulations: initially, 200-300 mg/day in divided doses. Usual range: 200-400 mg/day.
  • Formulation with improved bioavailability: 40-160 mg once daily may be used. 

Further, it is advised to store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light. All kinds of medicines should be kept out of the reach of children. However, outdated medicines should be disposed by an appropriate way.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Antara, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

Although fenofibrate appears to be one of the most suitable fibrates, the following guidelines should be followed while receiving this medicine: 

  • Firstly, regular visits to your doctor are recommended to check that this medicine is working properly or not.
  • Liver function tests and blood counts should be carried out regularly.
  • This drug therapy should be withdrawn if there is no adequate response after 2 month of treatment at maximum recommended dose.

Moreover, this medicine should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity, severe renal or hepatic impairment, unexplained persistent liver function abnormality and primary biliary cirrhosis, and preexisting gall bladder disease.

5 Potential Side Effects

There are some unwanted side effects associated with Antara that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine. 

Your healthcare professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted side effects. Sometimes you may need to consult with the doctor if you notice any of the following toxic effects, especially: 

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