Some people wonder why they should take Lovaza, when there are inexpensive non-prescription fish oil dietary supplements that seem to be just as good. There are several advantages of Lovaza over such supplements. For example, the less-expensive 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 have 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 5-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.
Additionally, many prescription insurance plans cover Lovaza; virtually none cover non-prescription dietary supplements.
Some general considerations include the following:
- Lovaza comes in capsule form. It is taken by mouth, once or twice a day.
- Lovaza can be taken at any time of the day; however, it is best to take the medication at the same time(s) each day.
- You can take this medication with food or on an empty stomach. If it bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
- It is important to follow your healthcare provider's recommendations for any diet and exercise changes you need to make. Your healthcare provider may also recommend that you limit alcohol consumption (to help lower your triglycerides).
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.