Understanding cholesterol

Everyone says you should have your cholesterol levels checked. But what is cholesterol? And why is it important?

Cholesterol is a kind of fat in your blood that is naturally formed in your body. It is normal to have, and it is essential to certain cell functions.

Understanding your cholesterol levels

When your cholesterol levels are checked, the test measures three different types of fat in your blood:

("bad") cholesterol
("good") cholesterol

Each is unique and affects your body in a different way. And because they are different, each has a different ideal level. Your doctor measures all three cholesterol levels to calculate your total cholesterol score. If your total cholesterol is too high, your doctor will work with you to help get it to target levels.

LDL ("bad") cholesterol

Bad cholesterol, known as LDL cholesterol, is the major cholesterol carrier in your blood. But when too much LDL cholesterol circulates in your blood, it can slowly build up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup, called plaque, can slow blood flow.

HDL ("good") cholesterol

Good cholesterol, known as HDL cholesterol, is another type of lipid (fat) found in the blood. According to the American Heart Association, an HDL cholesterol level of less than 40 mg/dL is low for men and less than 50 mg/dL is low for women. If your good cholesterol is low, your doctor may try to raise it.


Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood. They're made in the liver and also come from foods that you eat. A high triglyceride level combined with low HDL or high LDL is associated with the buildup of fat in the blood. That’s one reason why you want your triglycerides to be lower.

The importance of having your cholesterol checked

High cholesterol itself isn’t painful; in fact, you can’t feel it at all. Even if your doctor says you have a serious cholesterol problem, you may feel perfectly healthy. Working with your doctor by taking a simple blood test can help you determine if you have high cholesterol. And if you do, the first steps in managing your high cholesterol should be to make changes in your diet and exercise habits.

Uses for TriCor® (fenofibrate) Tablets

  • TriCor should only be used when other measures, such as diet and exercise, have not been enough.
  • TriCor is a prescription medicine used along with diet in adults to lower triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and to increase HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • TriCor is also used along with diet in adults to lower severely high triglycerides. Improving blood sugar control in certain people with diabetes may prevent the need for cholesterol drug therapy.
  • TriCor was not shown to reduce the risk of having heart problems in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Important Safety Information for TriCor

  • TriCor should not be taken by people with liver, gallbladder, or severe kidney disease; nursing mothers; or those allergic to any product ingredient.
  • TriCor has not been shown to lower your risk of having heart problems or a stroke.
  • TriCor can cause muscle problems. Unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness may be a sign of a serious but rare muscle problem and should be reported to your healthcare provider right away. The risk of a serious muscle problem may be higher when Tricor is given with statins. If you take a statin tell your healthcare provider.
  • TriCor can cause liver problems. Blood tests are needed before and during treatment with TriCor to check for liver problems.
  • Some people require blood tests to check for kidney problems while taking TriCor.
  • TriCor may cause inflammation (swelling) of the gallbladder or pancreas. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including all prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.
  • TriCor may cause allergic-type reactions, blood clots, and possible changes in some blood test values.
  • If you are pregnant or may become pregnant, talk with your healthcare provider about TriCor. It is not known if TriCor will harm your unborn baby.
  • The most common side effects with TriCor include increases in liver or muscle enzymes measured by blood tests and congestion or allergy-like symptoms in the nose.

For more information, talk with your healthcare provider.

Reference: TriCor [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc.

Please see the full Prescribing Information for TriCor and discuss it with your healthcare provider.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org for assistance.

* Eligible patients will pay the first $5 and receive up to a maximum savings of $25 for TriCor per 30-day supply. Eligibility: In Massachusetts, co-pay assistance is not available for products with certain generic equivalents (for example, any product with an AB-rated generic equivalent). Available to patients with commercial prescription insurance coverage for TriCor. Co-pay assistance program is not available to patients receiving prescription reimbursement under any federal, state, or government-funded insurance programs (for example, Medicare [including Part D], Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, TRICARE, Department of Defense, or Veterans Affairs programs) or where prohibited by law. If at any time a patient begins receiving prescription drug coverage under any such federal, state, or government-funded healthcare program, patient will no longer be able to use the TriCor savings card and patient must call TriCor customer service to stop participation. Patients may not seek reimbursement for value received from the TriCor savings card from any third-party payers. Offer subject to change or discontinuance without notice. Restrictions, including monthly maximums, may apply. This is not health insurance. Offer valid for up to 36 uses. Restrictions may apply. Patients: In order to redeem this offer, you must have a valid prescription for TriCor. Follow the dosage instructions given by the doctor. This offer may not be redeemed for cash. Only one offer per patient per product. Patients with questions, please call 1-844-415-0681.

If you have any questions about AbbVie's TriCorTablets.com website that have not been answered click here. This website and the information contained herein is intended for use by US residents only, is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace a discussion with a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider and consider the unique characteristics of each patient.