Lovaza Warnings and Precautions
To help minimize risks while taking Lovaza, warnings and precautions for the drug should be discussed with your healthcare provider before the start of treatment. You should also tell him or her about any other existing medical conditions you have, including diabetes, liver disease, or hypothyroidism. Your healthcare provider should check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels periodically while you take Lovaza.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Lovaza® (omega-3-acid ethyl esters) if you have:
- Atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter
- An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- A habit of consuming more than two glasses of alcohol daily
- Any other allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with Lovaza include the following:
- People with fish allergies might be allergic to Lovaza, since it is made from fish oil. Although Lovaza is purified using a five-step refinement process, some people might still react to Lovaza. If you have a fish allergy, check with your healthcare provider before taking Lovaza.
- Before prescribing Lovaza, your healthcare provider should make sure you have tried to lower your triglycerides without medications. This includes making any necessary diet or exercise changes, decreasing your weight and alcohol consumption, stopping any medications that cause high triglycerides, and adequately treating any medical conditions that cause high triglycerides (such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, liver disease, or kidney disease).
- Even if you take Lovaza, it is still very important to keep up with the diet and exercise changes that your healthcare provider recommends. Lovaza is not a substitute for a proper diet and exercise.
- Your healthcare provider should check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels periodically while you take Lovaza. This is necessary to make sure that Lovaza is working and to make sure that the drug is not increasing your LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol"), which can sometimes happen with Lovaza.
- Some studies suggest that Lovaza might increase the risk of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter (two types of irregular heart rhythms) in people with a history of such problems. Lovaza is not approved for treating atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.
- Lovaza can interact with other medications (see Lovaza Drug Interactions).
- Lovaza is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Lovaza during pregnancy (see Lovaza and Pregnancy for more information).
- It is not known if Lovaza passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using Lovaza (see Lovaza and Breastfeeding for more information).