Omega-3-acid Ethyl Esters
Brand Name(s):
  • Lovaza®(formerly available as Omacor®)
WHY is this medicine prescribed?
Omega-3-acid ethyl esters are used together with lifestyle changes (diet, weight-loss, exercise) to reduce the amount of triglycerides (a fat-like substance) in your blood. Omega-3-acid ethyl esters are in a class of medications called antilipemic or lipid-regulating agents. Omega-3-acid-ethyl esters may work by decreasing the amount of triglycerides and other fats made in the liver.

HOW should this medicine be used?
Omega-3-acid ethyl esters come as a liquid-filled gel capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food one or two times a day. Take omega-3-acid ethyl esters at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take omega-3-acid ethyl esters exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

It may take some time before you feel the full benefit of omega-3-acid ethyl esters. Continue to take omega-3-acid ethyl esters even if you feel well. Do not stop taking omega-3-acid ethyl esters without talking to your doctor.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.

Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?
Before taking omega-3-acid ethyl esters,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to omega-3-acid ethyl esters; fish, including shellfish (clams, scallops, shrimp, lobster, crayfish, crab, oyster, mussels, others); any other medications; or any of the ingredients in omega-3-acid ethyl ester capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin; aspirin or aspirin-containing products; beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal); clopidogrel (Plavix); diuretics ('water pills'); estrogen-containing contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, and injections); estrogen replacement therapy. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you drink more than two glasses of alcohol each day, or if you have or have ever had diabetesor liver, thyroid, or pancreatic disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking omega-3-acid ethyl esters, call your doctor.
  • ask your doctor about the use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking omega-3-acid ethyl esters.
What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?
Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Be sure to follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. You can also visit the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) website for additional dietary information at Web Site.

What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?
Omega-3-acid ethyl esters may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
  • burping
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • change in the sense of taste
  • back pain
  • rash

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
  • chest pain

Omega-3-acid ethyl esters may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to omega-3-acid ethyl esters.

Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking omega-3-acid ethyl esters.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Selected Revisions: May 15, 2013.







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