Heart Disease Home > Icosapent Ethyl Side Effects

Some people who take icosapent ethyl will develop side effects during treatment. The most commonly reported problem with this medicine is joint pain. There are also some potentially dangerous problems that can occur, such as difficulty breathing, vision or speech changes, and allergic reactions. Fortunately, most reactions to this drug tend to be mild and easy to treat.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Icosapent Ethyl

Just like any medicine, icosapent ethyl (Vascepa™) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with icosapent ethyl. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Icosapent Ethyl Side Effects to Report

Some side effects of icosapent ethyl are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling, especially of the lips, mouth, or throat
    • Wheezing or other breathing problems.
Theoretically, omega-3 medications like icosapent ethyl could increase the risk of bleeding, although bleeding was not reported as an icosapent ethyl side effect in clinical trials. Nonetheless, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you notice any signs of bleeding, such as:
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, such as:
    • Black, tarry stools
    • Bright-red blood in the stool
    • Vomiting of blood
  • Signs of a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain), such as:
    • Vision or speech changes
    • Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg
    • A severe headache.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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