What is VASCEPA?
(VASCEPA) Icosapent ethyl is used along with certain other cholesterol medications ("statins" such as atorvastatin, simvastatin) to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and certain types of heart problems that require treatment in a hospital. It is also used along with a proper diet to help lower fats (triglycerides) in the blood. Icosapent ethyl is a type of omega-3 fatty acid, a fat found in fish oil. It is thought to work by decreasing the amount of triglycerides made by the body. In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.
How should I use VASCEPA?
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking icosapent ethyl and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, open, 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. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. It is very important to continue to follow your doctor's advice about diet and exercise.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take VASCEPA?
Before taking icosapent ethyl, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to fish or shellfish 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: liver disease, irregular heartbeat (such as atrial fibrillation). 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.
What may interact with VASCEPA?
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.
What if I miss a dose of VASCEPA?
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.
What side effects may I notice from receiving VASCEPA?
Joint/muscle pain or constipation may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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: fast/irregular heartbeat, easy bruising/bleeding, swelling ankles/feet/hands. 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.
Where should I keep VASCEPA?
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. 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.