Micronised fenofibrate: a review of its pharmacodynamic properties and clinical efficacy in the management of dyslipidaemia

Drugs. 1997 Oct;54(4):615-33. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199754040-00007.


Micronised fenofibrate is a new formulation of the fibric acid derivative fenofibrate. It is indicated for the treatment of patients with type IIa, IIb, III or IV dyslipidaemia who have failed to respond to dietary control or other nonpharmacological interventions. Micronised fenofibrate has improved absorption characteristics compared with the standard preparation, allowing a lower daily dosage and once-daily administration. The lipid-modifying profile of micronised fenofibrate is characterised by a decrease in low density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol levels, a marked reduction in elevated plasma triglyceride levels and an increase in high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. Consistent with the standard formulation, which is administered as 300mg daily in divided doses, the micronised preparation has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of type IIa, IIb and IV primary dyslipidaemias but at a lower daily dosage of 200mg once daily. Because of its significant triglyceride-lowering effect, micronised fenofibrate appears to be of greatest benefit in patients with hypertriglyceridaemia (with or without hypercholesterolaemia), including patients with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus and dyslipidaemia. In the comparisons available, micronised fenofibrate 200mg once daily was of similar efficacy to or less effective than the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors simvastatin 20mg daily and pravastatin 20mg daily at reducing LDL and total cholesterol levels. However micronised fenofibrate produced greater improvements in triglyceride and, generally, HDL cholesterol levels than both simvastatin and pravastatin. Data on the long term tolerability of micronised fenofibrate are limited. However, data from a large short term (3-month) study have indicated that gastrointestinal disorders are the most frequent adverse events associated with therapy. Elevations in serum transaminase and creatine phosphokinase levels have been reported rarely with micronised fenofibrate. In conclusion, available data suggest that the more convenient lower once-daily dosage of micronisedfeno fibrate retains the beneficial lipid-modifying effects of the standard formulation. Further studies are required to determine whether the lipid changes achieved with micronised fenofibrate result in a reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Fenofibrate / adverse effects
  • Fenofibrate / pharmacology
  • Fenofibrate / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Pravastatin / pharmacology
  • Pravastatin / therapeutic use
  • Simvastatin / pharmacology
  • Simvastatin / therapeutic use


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Cholesterol
  • Simvastatin
  • Pravastatin
  • Fenofibrate