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Side Effect: Increased Blood Triglycerides (Hypertriglyceridemia)

What are Increased Blood Triglycerides?

Increased triglycerides in the blood, usually above 150 mg/dL, is known as hypertriglyceridemia. This condition can be primary, due to genetic or environmental factors, or secondary to other underlying diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and certain medications.

What do Increased Blood Triglycerides look like?

Increased triglycerides in the blood may cause abdominal pain, pancreatitis, and fatty liver disease. However, many individuals with hypertriglyceridemia do not have any symptoms.

Who gets Increased Blood Triglycerides (Hypertriglyceridemia)?

Anyone can develop increased triglyceride levels. Common risk factors include obesity, type 2 diabetes, excessive alcohol use, and lack of physical activity. The following cancer treatments may also increase the risk of hypertriglyceridemia:

How to prevent Increased Blood Triglycerides (Hypertriglyceridemia)

Measures that can be taken to help prevent increased triglyceride levels include regular exercise, staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol, and eating a low-fat / high-fiber diet.

How to treat Increased Blood Triglycerides (Hypertriglyceridemia)

In addition to lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise, treatment for increased triglyceride levels may involve medication management. If the current therapy is contributing to high triglyceride levels, modifying therapy or switching to alternative medications may be necessary.

Your provider may order medications such as gemfibrozil (Lopid®), fenofbrate (Tricor®), or omega-3 fatty acid supplements to help lower triglyceride levels, however you should work with your pharmacits to ensure any new medication in your regimen is compativile with the other medications you take.


1) Rzymowska J. Effect of cytotoxic chemotherapy on serum lipid levels in breast cancer patients. Pathobiology 1999;67(3):129-132.

2) Love RR, Wiebe DA, Feyzi JM, et al. Effects of tamoxifen on cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women after 5 years of treatment. J Natl Cancer Inst 1994;86(20):1534-1539.

3) Musolino A, Panebianco M, Zendri E, et al. Hypertriglyceridaemia with bexarotene in cutaneous T cell lymphoma: the role of omega-3 fatty acids. Br J Haematol 2009;145(1):84-86.

Created: June 7, 2024 Updated: June 7, 2024