Premature Contractions and Clofibrate

Joseph F.X. McGarvey, MD
JAMA. 1973;225(6):638. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220330050025.
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To the Editor.—  Clofibrate is a branched fatty acid phenol ester that has been found to have a hypolipidemic effect in man.Both muscle pain and ventricular bigeminal rhythm have been reported as adverse effects of clofibrate.1,2 The importance of recognizing the drug as a cause of premature atrial or ventricular activity is made evident by the following case.

Report of a Case.—  A 54-year-old white man was treated with clofibrate because of a type-4 lipid abnormality coexisting with arteriosclerotic heart disease manifested by angina and a myocardial infarction in 1967. Treatment with clofibrate, 2 gm/day, was started on Nov 20, 1973, and on Jan 16, 1973, he began to suffer a continuous ache in the muscles of the thighs and calves. The ache would sometimes awaken him and would be neither aggravated nor relieved by walking.Palpation over the thigh and calf muscles of both legs elicited tenderness.


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