The hypolipidemic as well as other laboratory and clinical effects of halofenate, clofibrate, and placebo were compared in 29 patients with type IV hyperlipoproteinemia in a double-blind, controlled, therapeutic trial of 1 yr duration. Plasma drug levels were obtained to monitor compliance. Clofibrate and halofenate lowered serum triglycerides to a similar extent. The hypotriglyceridemic effect of halofenate was significant only when data from noncompliant patients were discarded. Only clofibrate lowered baseline levels of plasma cholesterol. Very low density lipoproteins were decreased and low density lipoproteins were increased by clofibrate but not by halofenate. Halofenate had a marked hypouricemic effect that was greater than that of clofibrate. The hypouricemic effect of halofenate and clofibrate was paralleled by a concomitant decrease in serum bilirubin. Abnormal increases in serum creatine phosphokinase were observed with both drugs primarily in patients who had abnormal initial levels.