Vascepa (icosapent ethyl) is a prescription medicine for treatment of very high blood triglyceride (type of fat in the blood).
I found the correct pronunciation of this product on the Amarin Pharma website (vas-EE-puh).
2) Is this medication FDA approved?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this drug on July 26, 2012. Indeed, this medication is (as an adjunct to diet) for lowering blood triglycerides in adult patients with very high ( ≥ 500 mg/dl) blood triglyceride levels.
3) When will it go generic?
According to the FDA’s Orange Book, the latest expiration date of this product is 2030.
4) What is Vascepa made from?
Fish oil contains two forms of omega 3: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
However, Vascepa consists of a derivate of EPA and not DHA, unlike most fish oil supplements.
Moreover, the company suggests that Vascepa can decrease blood triglycerides without increasing blood LDL (bad) cholesterol. Indeed, this statement is based on the findings of the Marine study.
The suggested dosage is 4 g per day.
6) How much does Vascepa lower triglycerides?
Studies suggest that this medication along with appropriate dietary changes could lower blood triglyceride levels by 33%.
7) Mechanism of Action
In short, EPA reduces very-low-density lipoprotein (these particles primarily carry fat) production in the liver.
8) Side effects
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
- Increased liver enzymes
- Cold-like symptoms
- Bleeding tendency
9) How is Vascepa different than other fish oils?
10) Is Vascepa a statin?
No, Vascepa is a derivate of omega 3 fatty acid. Furthermore, this medication lowers the blood triglyceride level and not the blood cholesterol level.
Statins aren’t a fish oil product and they block the production of cholesterol. They primarily, help reducing blood cholesterol levels.
Lovaza (U.S.) (Omacor produced in Europe) is a similar medication approved in the U.S. in 2004. Although Lovaza and Vascepa relate to omega 3 fatty acids, a few differences set them apart.
11) Vascepa vs Lovaza
|Chemical structure||Icosapent Ethyl||Omega-3-Acid Ethyl Esters|
|Dosage||4 g/day||4 g/day|
|Omega 3 content||Contains: EPA||Contains: EPA and DHA|
reduction in percent
|LDL cholesterol||Neutral effect||May increase LDL cholesterol|
Now is your turn
What do you think about this medication? Have you had a chance to try it? Go to comments and let me know what you think.
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