Heart Disease Home > Icosapent Ethyl

Icosapent ethyl is a medicine prescribed to help lower extremely high triglyceride levels. It contains a type of omega-3 fatty acid that helps lower triglyceride production in the liver and break down triglycerides in the bloodstream. This medication comes as a capsule that is taken twice daily. Studies have shown that a common side effect of this drug is joint pain.

What Is Icosapent Ethyl?

Icosapent ethyl (Vascepa™) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of extremely high triglycerides. It is made from fish oil and is highly refined to contain a high percentage of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) by using a chemical reaction that slightly alters the chemical structure of the molecule.
(Click What Is Icosapent Ethyl Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, icosapent ethyl can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. Serious side effects are less common.
In studies, the only icosapent ethyl side effect that occurred commonly (and more frequently compared to a placebo) was joint pain.
(Click Icosapent Ethyl Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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