- Related Diseases
- Images & Quizzes
- Cholesterol Levels Slideshow Pictures
- Quiz: Have High Triglycerides?
- Lowering Cholesterol Slideshow
- What is omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)?
- Is omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza) available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)?
- What are the side effects of omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)?
- What is the dosage for omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)?
- Is omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza) safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)?
What is omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Lovaza is an fat-regulating (antilipemic) drug that is used in addition to diet to reduce triglyceride (TG, a fat-carrying particle in the blood) levels in adult patients with severe elevations in blood levels of TG (≥mg/dL). It is similar to Epanova (omega-3 carboxylic acid). TG is composed of three fatty acids as well as glycerol, and like cholesterol, comes from either the diet or the liver. High levels of TG in the blood are associated with conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance, poorly controlled diabetes mellitus amongst others that contribute to the risk of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries (progressive build up of waxy plaque on the inside of blood vessels) responsible for coronary artery disease (angina and heart attacks) and strokes.
The precise way in which Lovaza works is not clear; however, its proposed mechanism of action is by decreasing the amount of TG produced by the liver and increasing the removal of TG by the liver. Other drugs that reduce TG levels include fibric acids such as gemfibrozil (Lopid), nicotinic acids such as niacin (Nicobid, Nicolar, Slo-Niacin), and statins such as atorvastatin (Lipitor). Lovaza was FDA approved on November 10, 2004.
What are the side effects of omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)?
Upset stomach, burping, and strange tastes in may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, patients should notify their doctor. They also should tell their doctors immediately if any of the following rare but serious side effects that suggest increased bleeding occur: easy bleeding from cuts/bruising, black/tarry stools, vomitus that looks like coffee grounds.
Quick GuideFoods to Avoid If You Have High Triglycerides
What is the dosage for omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)?
The daily dose of Lovaza for reducing triglycerides 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.
The dose of Lovaza as a dietary supplement is 1 to 2 capsules every 8 hours with meals.
Which drugs or supplements interact with omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)?
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.
Is omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza) safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
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.
Lovaza is excreted in human milk and caution should be exercised when administering Lovaza to nursing women.
What else should I know about omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)?
What preparations of omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza) are available?
Capsules: 1 gm
How should I keep omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza) stored?
Lovaza should be stored at 25 C (77 F) and not frozen.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuideFoods to Avoid If You Have High Triglycerides
Daily Health News
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Heart Health Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
- omega-3-acid ethyl esters Related Diseases
- omega-3-acid ethyl esters Images & Quizzes
- omega-3-acid ethyl esters Index
Top omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza) Related ArticlesComplete List
Angina SymptomsAngina is chest pain due to inadequate blood supply to the heart. Angina symptoms may include chest tightness, burning, squeezing, and aching. Coronary artery disease is the main cause of angina but there are other causes. Angina is diagnosed by taking the patient's medical history and performing tests such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), blood test, stress test, echocardiogram, cardiac CT scan, and heart catheterization. Treatment of angina usually includes lifestyle modification, medication, and sometimes, surgery. The risk of angina can be reduced by following a heart healthy lifestyle.
Diabetes MellitusDiabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
The risks for developing type 2 diabetes include family history, ethnicity, birth weight, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Warning signs pointing to an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes include
- irregular menstruation,
- inflammatory markers, and
- other risks.
Gestational diabetes is also a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Prevention of type 2 diabetes can be achieved through a healthy diet (Mediterranean diet), exercise, weight control, not smoking, and medication.
Diabetes TreatmentThe major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with:
- and a diabetic diet.
- weight reduction,
- a diabetic diet,
- and exercise.
Portion Distortion QuizAre your portions deceiving you? Take the Food Portion Distortion Quiz to find out how and why gigantic portions trick you into eating more than reasonable amounts of food!
Heart AttackHeart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack can cause chest pain, heart failure, and electrical instability of the heart.
Heart Attack and Atherosclerosis Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management. Symptoms of heart attack in men and women include chest discomfort and pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, stomach, or back. Women experience the same symptoms as men; however, they also may experience:
- Extreme fatigue
- Pain in the upper abdomen
Leading a healthy lifestyle with a heart healthy low-fat diet, and exercise can help prevent heart disease and heart attack.
Heart Attack TreatmentA heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to prevent or stop this damage to the heart muscle. Heart attack treatments included medications, procedures, and surgeries to protect the heart muscle against injury.
Heart Disease (Coronary Artery Disease)
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history
Angina, shortness of breath, and sweating are just a few symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. Treatment of heart disease involves control of heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes, medications, and/or stenting or bypass surgery. Heart disease can be prevented by controlling heart disease risk factors.
Heart Disease QuizTake our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes, symptoms, treatments, testing, and procedures for medically broken hearts.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Diet Plan
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a name for a group of diseases in which there is inflammation of the digestive tract (gastrointestinal tract). Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease. While there is no specific recommended diet for a person with IBD, doctors and specialists recommend a low-residue (low fiber) diet for people with inflammatory bowel disease. Nutritionists, registered dieticians, and other health-care professionals can recommend specific foods, create meal plans, and recommend vitamins and other nutritional supplements.
Foods to avoid with IBD
- Examples of foods to avoid that may trigger symptoms include if you have IBD include products alcohol, diary products, fatty, fried, and spicy foods, beans, and creamy sauces.
Foods to eat with IBD
- Examples of a low-residue (low-fiber) diet that may help relieve symptoms after a flares of the disease are plain cereals, canned fruit, rice, oatmeal, and bananas.
If you have inflammatory bowel disease, talk to your doctor or other health-care professional about your specific dietary and nutritional needs.
REFERENCE: Vanhauwaret, E. et al. Low-residue and low-fiber diets in gastrointestinal disease management. Adv Nutr. 2015 Nov 13;6(6):820-7.
Insulin resistance is the diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into muscle and other tissues. There are no signs or symptoms of insulin resistance. Causes of insulin can include conditions such as
- metabolic syndrome, and
- steroid use.
Some of the risk factors for insulin resistance include fatty liver, heart disease, strokes, peripheral vascular disease, high cholesterol, and smoking. Treatment for insulin resistance are lifestyle changes and if necessary, medication.
Obesity (Weight Loss)Obesity is the state of being well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are more than 20% over their ideal weight. That ideal weight must take into account the person's height, age, sex, and build.
Stroke Symptoms and Treatment
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include
- double vision or vision loss,
- vertigo, and
- difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
Triglyceride TestTriglycerides are a common form of fat that we digest. Triglycerides are the main ingredient in animal fats and vegetable oils. Elevated levels of triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, fatty liver disease, and pancreatitis. Elevated levels of triglycerides are also associated with diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, and medications (for example, diuretics, birth control pills, and beta blockers). Dietary changes, and medication if necessary can help lower triglyceride blood levels.