Omega-3-Acid Ethyl Esters
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking the Drug?
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medication if you have:
- Atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter
- An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- A habit of consuming more than two glasses of alcohol daily
- Any other allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Lovaza and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Lovaza and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Omega-3-Acid Ethyl Esters to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
How Does It Work?
This medication contains two different omega-3 fatty acids -- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Although the specifics of exactly how DHA and EPA work are not yet clear, it is known that they decrease the liver's production of triglycerides.
Effects of Omega-3-Acid Ethyl Esters
In studies, people with very high triglycerides who took omega-3-acid ethyl esters lowered their triglyceride levels by 44.9 percent, while people who took a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients) actually increased their triglycerides by 6.7 percent. Other studies have shown that omega-3-acid ethyl esters is also effective for lowering triglycerides in people who are already taking statin cholesterol medications.
Studies have shown that omega-3-acid ethyl esters can sometimes increase LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol"), so it is important for your healthcare provider to check your cholesterol levels regularly.