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EPA Fish Oil Side Effects

Generic Name: omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name EPA Fish Oil.

For the Consumer

Applies to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: oral capsule liquid filled

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (the active ingredient contained in EPA Fish Oil). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids:

Incidence not known:
  • Cough
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • hives, itching, or skin rash
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Change in taste
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • difficulty with moving
  • fever
  • full or bloated feeling
  • headache
  • loss of taste
  • muscle aches
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • nausea
  • pain in the joints
  • pressure in the stomach
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
Less common:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain or discomfort
  • belching
  • bloated or full feeling
  • excess air or gas in the stomach

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: oral capsule, oral delayed release capsule, oral kit, oral liquid, oral tablet chewable

Gastrointestinal

Common (1% to 10%): Eructation, dyspepsia, nausea, gastrointestinal disorders (including abdominal distension, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, gastroesophageal reflux disease, vomiting)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gastroenteritis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Gastrointestinal pain
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage[Ref]

General

The most common adverse events were eructation, dyspepsia, and taste perversion[Ref]

Other

Common (1% to 10%): Infection, pain
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Death[Ref]

Dermatologic

Common (1% to 10%): Rash
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Atopic dermatitis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Urticaria, acne, rash pruritic
Frequency not reported: Pruritus[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypotension[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Back pain[Ref]

Metabolic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hyperglycemia, gout, high triglycerides
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Blood lactate dehydrogenase increased[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Taste perversion
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dizziness, dysgeusia, headache, hyperactivity[Ref]

Respiratory

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Epistaxis
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Nasal dryness
Frequency not reported: Influenza[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hypersensitivity
Postmarketing reports: Anaphylactic reaction[Ref]

Hematologic

Very rare (less than 0.01%): White blood count increased,
Frequency not reported: Slight prolongation of bleeding time
Postmarketing reports: Hemorrhagic diathesis[Ref]

Psychiatric

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Tics, tantrum, insomnia[Ref]

Hepatic

Rare (less than 0.1%): Liver disorders (including increased ALT, increased AST, and transaminases increased)[Ref]

References

1. "Product Information. Omega-3 D-3 Wellness Pack (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)." TMIG Inc, Marietta, GA.

2. "Product Information. Vayarin (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)." Vaya Pharma, Greenville, SC.

3. "Product Information. Omega-3-Acid Ethyl Esters (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)." Apotex Corporation, Weston, FL.

4. "Product Information. Lovaza (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)." GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC.

5. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

6. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

Not all side effects for EPA Fish Oil may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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