Olbetam capsules contain the active ingredient acipimox, which is a medicine used to lower levels of cholesterol and other lipids (fats) in the blood.
For the sake of simplicity, there are two sorts of cholesterol; a 'bad' sort called low density lipoprotein (LDL) and a 'good' sort called high density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is deposited in the arteries and increases the risk of heart disease by clogging and narrowing the arteries (atherosclerosis), while HDL actually protects the arteries against this. Triglycerides are another form of 'bad fat.'
Acipimox works by improving the balance of 'good' and 'bad' fats in the blood. It does this by preventing the release of fatty acids from fat tissue in the body. The liver uses fatty acids to make triglycerides and VLDL, which is subsequently broken down into LDL. Acipimox therefore reduces levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in the blood. Acipimox also increases the blood level of HDL cholesterol. This results in lowered levels of 'bad fats' and raised levels of 'good fats'.
Altering the balance of good and bad fats in the blood has an important role in preventing coronary heart disease, because it reduces the risk of excess cholesterol being deposited in the major blood vessels of the heart (atherosclerosis). Any blockage in these blood vessels limits the amount of blood and therefore oxygen being carried to the heart muscle. This can cause chest pain (angina) and in severe cases can result in a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or stroke.
It is important to continue to follow a cholesterol-lowering diet and exercise regime while taking acipimox. Ask your doctor for advice.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
No significant interactions have so far been reported with this medicine. However, you should tell your doctor what other medicines you are taking before starting treatment with this medicine, and likewise, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines once you have started treatment. This includes medicines bought without a prescription and herbal medicines.
There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain acipimox as the active ingredient.