Lovaza is a prescription drug offering patients a purified version of omega-3 fatty acids, which many people take in over-the-counter fish oil supplements to support heart health.
"Fish oil capsules, including Lovaza, contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentenoic acid, known as EPA, and docosahexenoic, known as DHA," Livestrong reported
. "These substances prevent blood platelets from clumping together, lower the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, decrease triglyceride levels, slow the growth rate of plaque in the arteries, and may decrease inflammation in blood vessels, as noted by UC Berkeley and the American Heart Association (AHA). Lowering these risks decreases your chance of developing heart disease."
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For most people, fish oil capsules contain enough omega-3 fatty acids, but for some people, physicians may prescribe Lovaza. Here are four facts you need to know about this medication:
1. It is typically given to combat high triglycerides
, which are a type of fat found in your blood that increases your risk of heart disease, the Mayo Clinic said
. "When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn't need to use right away into triglycerides," the site said. "The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, particularly 'easy' calories like carbohydrates and fats, you may have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia)."
2. "Lovaza contains omega-3 acid ethyl esters
, a concentrated version of omega-3 fatty acids and falls under the drug classification of anti-lipemic. An anti-lipemic decreases liver production of triglycerides along with other fats produced in the liver," Livestrong said.
3. The medication is to be taken in combination with lifestyle changes
, including a physician-recommended diet and exercise. "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," Drugs.com said
. "Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase triglycerides and may make your condition worse."
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4. As a prescribed medication, Lovaza is monitored by the Food & Drug Administration
, unlike most over-the-counter fish oil supplements. Livestrong said it contains 465 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and 375 mg of DHA (docosahexenoic acid), both fatty acids.
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