Heart Disease Home > Precautions and Warnings With Icosapent Ethyl
If you consume more than two glasses of alcohol a day, make sure to let your doctor know before starting treatment with icosapent ethyl. Other precautions to review before using this drug include warnings for people with fish allergies, as this product is made from fish oil. Also, make sure to follow any changes in your diet or physical activity that your doctor has recommended.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking icosapent ethyl (Vascepa™) if you have:
- An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- A habit of consuming more than two glasses of alcohol daily
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Icosapent Ethyl Precautions and WarningsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
- People with fish allergies might be allergic to icosapent ethyl, as it is made from fish oil. Although icosapent ethyl is highly purified, it is possible that some people might still react to icosapent ethyl. If you have a severe fish allergy, check with your healthcare provider before taking this medicine.
- Before prescribing icosapent ethyl, your healthcare provider should make sure you have tried to lower your triglycerides without medications. This includes steps such as:
- Changing your diet and exercise program
- Losing weight
- Reducing your alcohol consumption
- Stopping any medications that cause high triglycerides
- Treating any medical conditions that cause high triglycerides, such as:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease.
- Even if you take icosapent ethyl, it is still very important to keep up with the diet and exercise changes that your healthcare provider recommends. This medication is not a substitute for a proper diet and exercise regimen.
- If you have liver disease, it is important that your healthcare provider monitor your liver enzymes periodically (using a simple blood test) while you are taking this medication.
- At least theoretically, icosapent ethyl may react with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Icosapent Ethyl).
- Icosapent ethyl is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this product during pregnancy (see Vascepa and Pregnancy for more information).
- Icosapent ethyl passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk with your healthcare provider before taking this medicine (see Vascepa and Breastfeeding for more information).