omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza) (cont.)

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PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 1 gm

STORAGE: Lovaza should be stored at 25 C (77 F) and not frozen.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Lovaza is indicated as an adjunct to diet to reduce TG levels in adult patients with severe elevations of TG (≥ 500 mg/dL). Off-label uses of Lovaza include prevention of atherosclerosis and prevention of angina, heart attacks, and strokes.

DOSING: The daily dose of Lovaza is 4 grams per day. The daily dose may be taken as a single 4 gram dose (four capsules) or as two, 2 gram doses (two capsules given twice daily). Patients should be advised to swallow Lovaza capsules whole. They should not break open, crush, dissolve, or chew Lovaza capsules.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Taking Lovaza with an anticoagulant (blood thinner) affecting coagulation such as aspirin, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin), warfarin (Coumadin), and heparin (Hep-Lock U/P) should be monitored periodically as Lovaza may increase the risk of bleeding.

Since some drugs may increase TG levels, patients should tell their doctor or pharmacist of the following medications before using Lovaza since their doctor may want to change the doses of these medications or monitor their effects; beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), diuretics or water pills such as hydrochlorothiazide (Diuril), and vitamins/supplements (fish/flaxseed/cod liver oils).

Lovaza contains ethyl esters of omega-3 fatty acids which are obtained from the oil of several fish sources. Lovaza should therefore be used with caution in patients with known sensitivity or allergy to fish and/or shellfish.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Lovaza should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit to the patient justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

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