Marine oils that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been studied, recommended and approved for use as preventative medications in individuals at risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and strokes. This is especially so in individuals with abnormal lipid profile test such as men and women with hypertriglyceridemia i.e. persistent triglyceride levels, 200-499 mg/dl.
What is Lovaza?
LOVAZA is an oral administration, liquid-filled gel capsule containing lipid-regulating agent. Each capsule of LOVAZA generic contains approximately 465 mg of eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and 375 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Lovaza also contains other non-active ingredients such α-tocopherol (Vitamin E), glycerol, gelatin, vegetable oils (including soybean oil), and purified water. The inactive ingredients mainly make up the capsule shell.
What is Lovaza used to treat?
As a lipid lowering agent, Lovaza is used in the management of high blood fats (high blood triglyceride level and high LDL-cholesterol or what is called bad cholesterol). Lovaza omega-3 acid ethyl ester generic helps to prevent the development of strokes and heart attacks associated with high triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
In individuals with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, the first step of management is lifestyle adjustment. This typically includes a diet with low fat and cholesterol levels and rich in fruits and vegetables.
More physical activity and less alcohol intake are emphasized for weight loss. Blood sugar control in diabetic individuals and normalization of basal thyroid hormones in individuals with thyroid disease must also be achieved. If triglyceride levels still remain high (200->500mg/dl) despite the above lifestyle interventions, formulations containing omega 3 acid ethyl esters, such as Lovaza capsules, may be added on to achieve better outcomes.
How does Lovaza work?
Lovaza omega-3 acid ethyl ester generic work by increasing HDL- cholesterol (good cholesterol), which promotes clearance of cholesterol from the body. It aids in the inhibition of acyl-CoA 1, 2 diacylglycerol acetyltransferase and thus reduces production of fats by the liver. They also increase plasma lipoprotein lipase activity which helps to breakdown lipids. This activity enhances clearance of fats from the blood.
Lovaza reduces esterification reactions and thus reduces the liver’s production of fats and their subsequent release into the blood. All these actions work synergistically to lower blood fat levels and thus prevent formation of fat plaques on blood vessels known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is where a streak of fat accumulates on vessel walls especially of the abdominal aorta, heart vessels and brain vessels. The streak can develop into a plaque that occludes your blood vessels and increase the chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
In the abdominal aorta, as the plaque grows it erodes the vessel wall and may lead to formation of an aneurysm. Lowering blood fat levels prevents further development of this cascade and thus reduces the risk of disability and death.
Other benefits of Lovaza
Lovaza omega-3 acid ethyl ester generic has docosahexaenoic acid which is a core fat among other polyunsaturated fats. These fats form the phospholipid layer of many cells including nerves and are also part of the myelin sheath that covers nerves and enhances nerve impulses conduction. Lovaza capsule also contains Vitamin E, albeit in minimal amounts, which is a powerful antioxidant and has great effects on skin and hair growth.
Lovaza dosage and precautions
Before starting to use Lovaza omega-3 acid ethyl ester generic should be taken after careful consultation with your physician or pharmacist. Any allergies to fish, soy beans or shellfish could be a contraindication to taking Lovaza. Thyroid hormone levels, liver function and baseline lipid levels should be considered before commencing treatment.
Lovaza dosage is usually 4g/day taken either as 4 capsules once daily or two doses of 2 capsules taken twice daily. Lovaza omega-3 acid ethyl ester dosage may be increased if you can tolerate it and if there isn’t optimum fat blood level control while on 4g/day, but this should be under a physician’s recommendation. The dosage may go up to 8-12 g/day. If you forget to take Lovaza, take as soon as you remember but don’t take beyond the prescribed amount. Review after 3 months may be necessary to judge response to the treatment.
What are the side-effects of Lovaza?
Side effects of Lovaza omega-3 acid ethyl ester may include stomach upset, burping, strange taste, easy bleeding, vomit that looks like ground coffee, and black/tarry stool. Allergic reactions may be serious and may manifest as itchiness, redness and inability to breath. Lovaza may deter some blood test such as liver function test. This is not a complete list of side effects. In case of any undesirable reaction to the drug, contact your pharmacist or physician immediately. In the event of overdose, call emergency medical services, but if not too acute, visit your nearest emergency room or poison center.
How should I store Lovaza?
Lovaza omega-3 acid ethyl ester should be stored in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight at a temperature of approximately 15-30 degrees Celsius.