Vascepa

Generic Name: icosapent (eye KOE sa pent)
Brand Names: Vascepa

What is Vascepa?

Vascepa (icosapent) works in the liver and bloodstream to reduce very low-density triglycerides.

Vascepa is used together with a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet to reduce triglycerides (fats) in adults with severely high triglycerides.

It is not known whether Vascepa will lower your risk of developing heart disease or pancreatitis (inflammation of your pancreas).

Vascepa may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Vascepa is used together with a low-fat diet and other treatments to lower total cholesterol in people with severe high cholesterol.

Before you take Vascepa, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, diabetes, a thyroid disorder, pancreas problems, a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder, an allergy to fish or shellfish, or if you drink large quantities of alcohol.

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Vascepa is only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Vascepa if you are allergic to icosapent.

To make sure Vascepa is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • diabetes;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • problems with your pancreas;

  • a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder;

  • if you are allergic to fish or shellfish; or

  • if you drink large amounts of alcohol.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Vascepa will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

Icosapent can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.

How should I take Vascepa?

Vascepa is usually taken 2 times per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You should not take more than 4 Vascepa capsules per day.

Take with food. Do not crush, chew, break, dissolve, or open a capsule. Swallow it whole.

While using this medicine, you may need frequent blood tests at your doctor's office.

Vascepa is only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Vascepa dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertriglyceridemia:

4 grams per day taken as 2 capsules orally twice daily with food

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid?

Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Vascepa will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol lowering diet plan.

Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking Vascepa.

Vascepa side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Vascepa: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Common Vascepa side effects may include:

  • joint pain; or

  • sore throat.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Vascepa?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Vascepa, especially:

  • argatroban, bivalirudin, dabigatran, fondaparinux, lepirudin, rivaroxaban;

  • abciximab, eptifibatide, tirofiban;

  • dalteparin, enoxaparin, tinzaparin;

  • anagrelide, cilostazol, clopidogrel, dipyridamole, eltrombopag, oprelvekin, prasugrel, romiplostim, ticagrelor, ticlopidine;

  • alteplase, reteplase, tenecteplase, urokinase;

  • a beta-blocker--atenolol, carvedilol, labetalol, metoprolol, nadolol, nebivolol, propranolol, sotalol, others;

  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy;

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin; or

  • a diuretic or "water pill."

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Vascepa, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Vascepa.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01. Revision Date: 2013-02-12, 4:36:34 PM.

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