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Indian J Pediatr. 2005 Feb;72(2):123-6.

Effect of clofibrate in jaundiced term newborns.

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  • 1Department of Neonatology, Emam-Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.



Clofibrate is a glucuronosyl transferase inducer that has been proposed to increase the elimination of bilirubin in neonates with hyperbilirubinemia. The aim of this study was to characterize the therapeutic effect of clofibrate in neonates born at full term and present with non-hemolytic jaundice.


A clinical controlled study was performed in two groups of healthy full term neonates. Thirty neonates were treated with a single oral dose of clofibrate (100 mg/kg) plus phototherapy (clofibrate-treated group) while another 30 neonates (control group) received only phototherapy.


The mean plasma total bilirubin levels of 12th, 24th and 48th hours were significantly lower in the clofibrate-treated group as compared with the control group (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001 and P = 0.004, respectively). Treatment with clofibrate also resulted in a shorter duration of jaundice and a decreased use of phototherapy (P < 0.0001). No side effects were observed.


Although other pharmacological agents such as metalloporphyrins and Sn-mesoporphyrin also seem to be effective in decreasing bilirubin production, these products are not available for routine use and cannot be used because the safety of these drugs has to be confirmed prior to their widespread use. Therefore, clofibrate is now the only available pharmacological treatment of neonatal jaundice.

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