Vascepa | icosapent ethyl
Medication Class: Omega-3 fatty acid
Manufactured by: Amarin Pharmaceuticals
Approval Date: July 2012
What is Vascepa and how does it work
Vascepa is essentially purified fish oil. Its active ingredient, icosapent ethyl, is an omega-3 fatty acid derived from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of “good fat” that reduce triglycerides in the blood. When triglycerides are too high, they can increase the risk of heart disease and pancreatitis. According to the American Heart Association, triglyceride levels should be at or below 100 mg/dL. Vascepa works by decreasing the production and release of triglycerides in the liver and increases clearance of triglycerides from the blood stream.
What does Vascepa treat
Vascepa, in combination with a healthy diet, helps lower triglycerides in adults with severely high triglyceride levels (≥500 mg/dL).
How effective is Vascepa
When Vascepa was studied in adults with severely high triglyceride levels, patients treated with Vascepa saw a reduction in the following markers of “bad cholesterol” when compared to individuals that did not receive Vascepa:
The reduction in triglycerides seen with Vascepa was not associated with increased LDL-C, which is a key indicator of “bad cholesterol” in the blood.
The effect of Vascepa on the risk of pancreatitis in patients with severely high triglyceride levels has not been determined.
The effect of Vascepa on heart problems in patients with severely high triglyceride levels has not been determined.
What are interesting facts about Vascepa
What are the side effects of Vascepa
Prolonged bleeding time
Patients allergic to fish oil should use Vascepa with caution
How is Vascepa dosed and administered
Vascepa should be taken as two 1 gram capsules twice daily with food (4 grams per day).
What are Vascepa drug interactions
Vascepa was studied with warfarin, atorvastatin, rosiglitazone and omeprazole, which share a similar elimination pathway, and no significant drug interactions were seen.
Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the time it takes for blood to clot, increasing the risk of bleeding. Patients treated with Vascepa who are also taking a medication that increases bleeding should be monitored periodically.
What is the cost of Vascepa
The price of Vascepa 1 gram capsules is between $211 to $264 dollars for 120 capsules. Save on Vascepa prescriptions cost by signing up for the Vascepa Savings Card. Discount coupons are also available form many pharmacies.