Gemfibrozil is the generic name for an oral drug used to lower lipid levels. It belongs to a group of drugs known as fibrates. It is most commonly sold as the brand name, Lopid. Other brand names include Jezil and Gen-Fibro.
Is an activator of Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPARα), a nuclear receptor that is involved in metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, as well as adipose tissue differentiation. This increase in the synthesis of lipoprotein lipase thereby increases the clearance of triglycerides.
Preliminary data has shown that gemfibrozil inhibits production of proinflammatory cytokines in addition to its clinically useful lipid-lowering activity, increased survival in BALB/c mice that were already ill from infection by influenza virus A/Japan/305/57 (H2N2). Gemfibrozil was administered intraperitoneally once daily from days 4 to 10 after intranasal exposure to the virus. Survival increased from 26% in vehicle-treated mice (n = 50) to 52% in mice given gemfibrozil at 60 mg/kg/day (n = 46) (P = 0.0026). If this principle translates to patients, a drug already approved for human use, albeit by a different route for another purpose, might be adapted relatively fast for use against influenza, conceivably including human infection with a derivative of the avian H5N1 strain.