Omega-3 acid ethyl esters, a type of fat found in fish oil, is used along with diet and exercise to help lower levels of a certain blood fat (triglyceride). It may also raise "good" cholesterol (HDL). In general, this drug is used after your blood fat levels have not been fully controlled by non-drug treatments (such as diet changes, exercise, decreasing alcohol intake, weight loss if overweight, controlling blood sugar if diabetic, and regulating your thyroid hormone levels).
Lowering triglycerides and increasing "good" cholesterol may help decrease the risk for strokes and heart attacks. Omega-3 acid ethyl esters are thought to work by decreasing the amount of triglyceride the body makes.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice a day. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or dissolve the capsules.
Do not substitute other omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil products (such as nonprescription products, vitamins, supplements) for this product without talking with your doctor first. They may not contain the same amount and type of fatty acids.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high triglycerides do not feel sick.
It is very important to continue to follow your doctor's advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 2 months to get the full benefits of this drug.
Upset stomach, burping, and strange taste in mouth may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bleeding/bruising, black/tarry stool, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking omega-3 acid ethyl esters, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to fish, or shellfish, or soy products; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: alcohol use, diabetes, liver disease, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: drugs which can increase triglycerides (such as beta blockers, estrogens, certain "water pills"/diuretics such as thiazides), other vitamins/supplements (such as fish/flaxseed/cod liver oils).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver tests, triglyceride/lipid levels) may be performed to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For best results, this medication should be used along with a doctor-approved diet, exercise, and weight control. Consult your doctor about other ways to lower your heart disease risk.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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