A medication derived from fish oil has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an adjuvant treatment for people at risk of cardiovascular events.
In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of deathTrusted Source among adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In fact, one person dies every 37 seconds in the U.S. because of a cardiovascular case.
For this reason, in people at risk, it is important to try to avoid poor cardiovascular outcomes. A main risk factor to look out for is elevated triglyceride levels, which are a marker of blood lipids (fats), are one key risk factor to look out for.
Last week, the FDA released a Trusted Source statement stating that they approved the use of a new drug as an adjuvant therapy to help prevent cradiovascular disease in adults with triglyceride levels of 150 milligrams per deciliter or higher, ranking as high Trusted Source rates.
Vascepa, the drug comes in the form of a capsule. Eicosapentaenoic acid is the main active ingredient. This is a fatty omega-3 extracted from fish oil.
As per the recommendations of the FDA, doctors should only prescribe Vascepa to those with abnormally high triglyceride levels andas an additional therapy to the maximum tolerated dosage of statins. These are the medications people usually take to monitor their cholesterol levels and minimize cardiovascular risk.
“The FDA recognize that there is a need for additional medical treatments for cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. John Sharretts, the acting deputy director of the Metabolism and Endocrinology Products Division at the FDA Drug Evaluation and Research Center.
Dr. John Sharretts said: “[This] approval will give [people] with elevated triglycerides and other important risk factors, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes, an adjunctive treatment option that can help decrease their risk of cardiovascular events.”
Vascepa is able to lower blood triglyceride levels by around 33 percent, according to its manufacturers.
Nevertheless, the research teams conducting the clinical trial noticed that the drug was sometimes associated with an increased risk of heart problems, specifically atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, requiring hospitalization.
Vascepa manufacturers advise people receiving a prescription for the medication to take two capsules of 1 gram or four capsules of 0.5 grams twice a day with food.
We warn, however, that people with known fish or shellfish allergies that have allergic reactions to this drug and should only take it as prescribed by their doctor and discontinue treatment if they have any symptoms of an allergic reaction.


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