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All about: Omacor

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Omacor

Not commercially available in Canada.

Category

  • Antihyperlipidemic

Description

Omega-3-acid ethyl esters (oh-MEG-a-three-AS-id ETH-ul Esters) is used to lower very high triglyceride (fat-like substance) levels in the blood. This may help prevent medical problems caused by this substance clogging the blood vessels.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral
  • Capsules

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For omega-3-acid ethyl esters, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to omega-3-acid ethyl esters. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as fish, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Omega-3-acid ethyl esters has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that omega-3-acid ethyl esters may cause unwanted effects. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether omega-3-acid ethyl esters pass into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—Studies on omega-3-acid ethyl esters have been done only in adult patients and there is no specific information comparing use of omega-3-acid ethyl esters in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—This medicine has been tested in a limited number of patients 65 years of age or older and has not been shown to cause different problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking omega-3-acid ethyl esters it is especially important that your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants—Effects on prolongation of bleeding time may be increased
  • Beta blockers (e.g., Atenolol, Metoprolol, Propranolol) or
  • Estrogens (e.g., Estinyl; Estrace; Estraderm; ) or
  • Thiazides (water pills)—Should be discontinued or changed before beginning therapy with omega-3-acid ethyl esters

Proper Use of This Medicine

Use this medicine only as directed by your doctor . Do not use more or less of it, and do not use it more often or for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

Remember that this medicine will not cure your condition but it does help control it. Therefore, you must continue to take it as directed if you expect to keep your triglyceride levels down.

Before prescribing medicine for your condition, your doctor will probably try to control your condition by prescribing a personal diet for you. Follow carefully the special diet your doctor gave you . Such a diet may be low in fats, sugars, and/or cholesterol. Many people are able to control their condition by carefully following their doctor's orders for proper diet and exercise. Medicine is prescribed only when additional help is needed and is effective only when a schedule of diet and exercise is properly followed.

Also, this medicine is less effective if you are greatly overweight. It may be very important for you to go on a weight-reducing diet. However, check with your doctor before going on any diet.

This medicine may be taken with meals.

Dosing—The dose of omega-3-acid ethyl esters will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of omega-3-acid ethyl esters. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • For high triglycerides:
      • Adults—4 grams (g) daily.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Keep the medicine from freezing. Do not refrigerate.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly to lower triglyceride levels and to decide if you should continue to take it.

Compliance with prescribed diet during treatment.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Arm, back or jaw pain; chest pain or discomfort; chest tightness or heaviness; difficult or labored breathing; fast or irregular heartbeat; nausea; shortness of breath; sweating; tightness in chest; wheezing

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.

Less common

Back pain; bad unusual or unpleasant (after)taste; belching; bloated full feeling; change in taste; chills; cough; diarrhea; excess air or gas in stomach; fever; general feeling of discomfort or illness; headache; hoarseness; joint pain; loss of appetite; lower back or side pain; muscle aches and pains; pain; painful or difficult urination; rash; runny nose; shivering; sore throat; sweating; trouble sleeping; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 01/18/2005

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