Omega-3 acid ethyl esters, a type of fatty acid present in fish oil, is prescribed along with a balanced diet and regular exercise to lower levels of a particular blood lipid called triglyceride. It is also known to increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), commonly known as “good” cholesterol.
This medication is prescribed when non-pharmacological treatments such as dietary modifications, exercise, weight loss, reducing alcohol consumption, managing blood sugar levels, and regulating thyroid hormones have not effectively controlled blood fat levels. Lowering triglycerides and elevating HDL cholesterol levels can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Omega-3 acid ethyl esters are believed to work by reducing the body’s production of triglycerides.
Uses and Dosage
Administer this medication orally with food, according to your physician’s instructions, usually once or twice daily.
Swallow the capsules whole, without crushing, chewing, or dissolving them.
Do not substitute this product with other omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil products without consulting your doctor first. These products may not contain the same amount and type of fatty acids.
The dosage of this medication is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Use it regularly to obtain the maximum benefit. To aid in remembering, take it at the same time(s) each day.
Even if you feel well, continue taking this medication. Most people with high triglycerides do not experience symptoms.
Adhere to your doctor’s recommendations regarding diet and exercise. It may take up to two months to realize the full benefits of this medication.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- stomach pain or discomfort
- joint pain
- change in the sense of taste
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- chest pain
- uneven heartbeats
Prior to taking omega-3 acid ethyl esters, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies, particularly to this medication, fish, shellfish, or soy products, or any other allergies. This product may have inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
Before using this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history, particularly if you have a history of alcohol use, diabetes, liver disease, or hypothyroidism.
During pregnancy, this medication should only be used when it is clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Lovaza is available in the following forms and strengths:
omega-3 acid ethyl esters capsule:
How long does it take for Lovaza to work?
It may take up to 2 months to get the full benefits of this drug.
Can I drink alcohol while taking Lovaza?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase triglycerides and may make your condition worse.