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All about: Omacor

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Generic Name: omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (oh MAY ga 3 pol ee un SAT yoo rayt ed FAT ee AS sids)
Brand Names: Omacor

What is omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids?

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in oil from certain types of fish, vegetables, and other plant sources. These fatty acids are not made by the body and must be consumed in the diet. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids work by lowering the body's production of triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to coronary artery disease, heart disease, and stroke.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are used together with diet and exercise to help lower triglyceride levels in the blood.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

If you miss a dose, use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

There may be other drugs that can affect omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Stop using this medication and get emergency medical help if you think you have used too much medicine, or if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Less serious side effects are more likely, and you may have none at all. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or is especially bothersome.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to fish or soybeans.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any foods or drugs, or if you have:

  • diabetes; or

  • underactive thyroid.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids pass into breast milk or if this could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old.

How should I take omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication works best if you take it with food.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

This medication is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.

What should I avoid while taking omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids?

Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. This medication will not be as effective in lowering your triglycerides if you do not follow the diet plan recommended by your doctor.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase triglycerides and may make your condition worse.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • chest pain; or

  • uneven heartbeats.

Continue using this medication and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • back pain;

  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;

  • upset stomach, belching; or

  • mild skin rash,

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • estrogens (birth control pills or hormone replacement);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);

  • a beta-blocker such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), betaxolol (Kerlone), bisoprolol (Zebeta), carteolol (Cartrol), carvedilol (Coreg), esmolol (Brevibloc), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), penbutolol (Levatol), pindolol (Visken), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), or timolol (Blocadren); or

  • a diuretic (water pill) such as chlorothiazide (Diuril), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL, Microzide), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn), and others.

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is available with a prescription under the brand name Omacor. Other brand or generic forms may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • 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.
  • 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 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.02. Revision Date: 9/20/06 3:16:34 PM.

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