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Vascepa, scientifically known as icosapent ethyl, is a prescription medication used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in adult patients. Icosapent ethyl belongs to an omega-3 fatty acid and helps reduce the amount of triglycerides in the blood.
Icosapent ethyl is used together with other medicines (such as statins) to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and some types of heart problems that need hospitalization in adults. It is typically prescribed as part of a treatment plan that includes a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet.
Uses and Dosage
Vascepa is available in capsule form and should be taken exactly as directed by your healthcare provider. Take Vascepa capsules by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, typically twice a day. The capsules should be swallowed whole and not crushed, chewed, opened, or dissolved to ensure proper absorption of the medication.
Do not substitute other omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil products for Vascepa without speaking to your doctor as they may not contain the same amount or type of fatty acids. To achieve the most benefit, take the capsules regularly at the same time each day, even if you feel well. Remember to always consult with your doctor for specific dosing instructions and guidance on the use of this medication.
The recommended dosage of Vascepa is typically 4 grams per day, taken as either four 1-gram capsules, two 1-gram capsules twice daily, or four 0.5-gram capsules twice daily with food as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and coronary revascularization. However, specific dosing instructions may vary and should be determined by your doctor based on your individual needs and medical history.
Common Side Effects of Vascepa (Icosapent ethly):
- Chest pressure
- Feeling short of breath.
- Fluttering in your chest
- Muscle or joint pain
- Racing or pounding heartbeats
- Sore throat
- Swelling of the hands, legs, or feet
Serious Side Effects of Vascepa (Icosapent ethly):
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty breathing
- Easy bruising
- Eye pain or swelling or seeing halos around lights
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Sudden vision loss
- Swelling of the ankles, feet, and hand
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Tunnel vision
- Unusual bleeding
Form and strength
Vascepa (Icosapent ethly) is available in the following forms and strength:
- 0.5 g
- Certain foods, such as high-fat meals, can affect the way your body absorbs Vascepa. To get the most benefit from Vascepa, follow a healthy diet and avoid high-fat meals.
- Inform your doctor or pharmacist of any allergies to fish or shellfish products, or any other allergies. Icosapent ethyl contains inactive ingredients that may cause allergic reactions or other problems.
- Monitor liver function while taking Icosapent ethyl as it may cause liver problems.
- Icosapent ethyl may interact with other medications, inform your doctor of any medications you are currently taking before starting treatment.
- Use caution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as the safety of this medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not known.
- Before undergoing any surgeries, inform the surgeon or dentist of this medication use as it may increase the risk of bleeding. As always, please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information and guidance on using icosapent ethyl.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How does Vascepa differ from fish oil supplements?
Vascepa is a prescription omega-3 fatty acid that is like fish oil but not the same. Vascepa is highly purified and contains only EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), while fish oil may contain additional omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Can I take Vascepa with other medications?
It depends on the other medications you are taking. Talk to your doctor before taking Vascepa if you are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or supplements.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Vascepa?
If you miss a dose of Vascepa, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not double your dose to make up for a missed one.
It's important to purchase Vascepa from verified Canadian pharmacy.