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Endocr Pract. 1999 Jan-Feb;5(1):33-6.

Severe hypertriglyceridemia and acute pancreatitis during pregnancy: treatment with gemfibrozil.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.



To describe the effect of gemfibrozil therapy during pregnancy in a woman with severe hypertriglyceridemia.


We present a case report, with details of lipid levels throughout several attempted pregnancies, and discuss other similar published studies.


In a 22-year-old woman, severe acute pancreatitis due to hypertriglyceridemia developed during her first pregnancy. After a prolonged hospital course, the outcome was fetal demise. The patient was subsequently treated with gemfibrozil, which controlled the hypertriglyceridemia. A second pregnancy ended with a therapeutic abortion at 1 month because of the possible risk of pancreatitis. Gemfibrozil therapy was instituted but subsequently discontinued when she was discovered to be pregnant again, at approximately 10 weeks of gestation; the potential risks involved with the use of this drug during pregnancy were unknown. Because of the patient's strong desire to maintain the pregnancy, gemfibrozil treatment was resumed 1 week later in order to help prevent recurrent pancreatitis. The patient ultimately delivered a fullterm healthy boy, and she had no recurrence of pancreatitis or other complications.


In selected patients at high risk for pancreatitis, the potential risk of gemfibrozil use during pregnancy may be offset by its benefits in the management of severe hypertriglyceridemia.

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