Generic Name: icosapent ethyl
Drug Class: lipid-lowering agent
Vascepa is an oral prescription drug used to reduce the risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, unstable angina, and coronary revascularization that requires hospitalization among patients with elevated triglyceride levels. This is given as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy. This is also used to manage patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia.
Vascepa Dosage Forms
This is available in Vascepa 0.5 g and 1 g capsules.
Vascepa Mechanism of Action
This drug has a multi-factorial mechanism. It increases beta-oxidation, inhibits acyl-CoA: 1,2 diacylglycerol acyltransferase, decreases lipogenesis in the liver, and increases plasma lipoprotein lipase activity. These actions can lower the number of triglycerides made by the body and reduce cardiovascular events.
How to Take Vascepa
Before taking Vascepa, it is necessary to read the drug information leaflet or medication guide given by a healthcare professional. Before taking a medication, make sure you understand its purpose and directions. For further medical advice or additional details, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Vascepa is usually prescribed twice a day and is only taken by mouth. It should be taken with a meal. Swallow the capsule entirely and drink fluids right after. Splitting or chewing this drug is not recommended.
Make a dosing schedule. Do not increase or decrease your Vascepa dosage without your doctor’s advice.
This oral medication is only an adjunct to proper diet and regular exercise. It may not work as well if lifestyle changes are not applied. Always eat a healthy balanced meal and do exercise regularly.
Vascepa Side Effects
Mild & Common Side Effects:
Severe Side Effects:
-Easy bruising or bleeding
-Swelling of the extremities
Note that this is not a full/complete list of the side effects of Vascepa.
In the event of severe or persistent side effects, stop taking your medication and contact your doctor or healthcare professional.
Warnings and Precautions when using Vascepa
Do not take this prescription drug if you have a known allergy to icosapent ethyl or any inactive ingredients the capsule may contain. Always be watchful for any signs of serious allergic reactions, including trouble breathing, swelling of the face and neck, severe dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, hives/itchiness, and skin rashes. If this occurs, stop taking this oral medication and seek emergency medical help immediately.
This medication may be contraindicated for people with a history of atrial fibrillation and liver disease. Additionally, you should discuss all prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, supplements, and herbal products you are taking due to possible drug interactions.
Pregnant moms must take this lipid-lowering drug only if extremely necessary. For breastfeeding moms, this drug can pass into breast milk. Discuss all possible risks with your doctor.
How much does Vascepa cost in Canada?
You may purchase this lipid-lowering agent in Canada drugstores and online pharmacies.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Vascepa used for?
Vascepa (icosapent ethyl) is used to treat severely high levels of triglycerides. It is also used to reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases, like heart attacks.
Is Vascepa just fish oil?
This medication is derived from omega-3 fish oil. However, fish oil products should not be used as an alternative for this oral drug.
Can Vascepa help you lose weight?
Weight loss is not among the reported side effects of this oral capsule. This product does not directly cause any weight changes.
Can you take Vascepa and thyroid medications together?
There are no proven interactions between this drug and some common thyroid drugs like Synthroid. If you experience adverse reactions to this combination, consult your doctor right away.
Is Vascepa a blood thinner?
This capsule can thin your blood. This is why you must watch out for unusual bruising or bleeding while on this medication.
Do you need a prescription for Vascepa?
This product is a prescription drug. You will need to get a valid prescription from your doctor to purchase this medication.