You can now buy Lovaza (omega-3-acid ethyl esters) in generic form. The generic version is made by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. While you may be tempted to believe that over-the-counter (OTC) fish oil supplements are the same as generic Lovaza, this isn't the case.
Lovaza® (omega-3-acid ethyl esters) is a prescription omega-3 fish oil medication. It is approved for the treatment of very high triglycerides (defined as 500 mg/dL or higher).
Brand-name Lovaza is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. It is also available in generic form.
Like the brand-name version, generic Lovaza is available in one strength: Omega-3-acid ethyl ester 1000 mg capsules. It is made by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
Is Generic Omega-3-Acid Ethyl Acid Ethyl Esters as Good as Lovaza?
All generic medications must undergo certain tests to compare them to brand-name medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then looks at these tests to decide if the generics are equivalent to the brand-name medications and assigns a rating to each one.
An "AB" rating means that the FDA has determined that a generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name medication. The generic version of Lovaza has an "AB" rating, meaning it should be equivalent to the brand-name product.
However, generic medications are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication. This might include fillers, dyes, or other ingredients that may cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.
It is important to point out that nonprescription fish oil supplements are not equivalent to Lovaza. Lovaza is an FDA-approved prescription fish oil medication.
Some people wonder why they should take Lovaza when there are inexpensive nonprescription fish oil dietary supplements that seem to be just as good. There are several advantages of Lovaza over such supplements.
For example, it's important to note that the cheaper supplements almost always have a low concentration of EPA and DHA, regardless of the strength on the label. This can be misleading; it may take numerous 1000-mg supplement capsules to get the same amount of EPA and DHA as a single Lovaza 1000 mg capsule.
When this is taken into consideration, much of the cost advantage of the inexpensive supplements is lost.
Perhaps more importantly, dietary supplements are not regulated as strictly as prescription drugs like Lovaza. In fact, they are regulated as foods. This means that some supplements could potentially be contaminated or could have less (or more) of the active ingredients than stated on the label.
Lovaza is made using a five-step refinement process that removes impurities, ensuring a safe and pure product. Also, this refinement process removes some of the fish oil components that cause the "fish burp," and it is thought that Lovaza is probably less likely to cause the fish burp, compared to the supplements.
In addition, many prescription insurance plans cover Lovaza; virtually none cover nonprescription dietary supplements.