Epanova

Epanova is used to lower very high triglyceride (TG) levels in adults. It should be used along with a healthy diet to reduce cholesterol levels.

Epanova Overview

Reviewed: March 2, 2015
Updated: 

Epanova is a prescription medication used along with a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet to lower very high triglycerides in adult patients. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood that provides energy to the body. When triglycerides reach very high levels, a condition known as hypertriglyceridemia, fat accumulates in the blood and can lead to serious health complications.

Epanova contains fish oil-derived fatty acids. The exact way it works to lower triglyceride levels is not understood.

This medication comes in capsule form. It is to be taken once daily, with or without food. Do not break or chew Epanova capsules. Swallow capsules whole.

Common side effects include diarrhea, upset stomach, stomach pain, and burping.

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Epanova Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautions

Uses of Epanova

Epanova is a prescription medication used along with a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet to lower very high triglycerides in adult patients.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Side Effects of Epanova

Serious side effects have been reported with Epanova. See the “Epanova Precautions” section.

Common side effects of Epanova include:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • burping

This is not a complete list of Epanova side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Epanova Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • antiplatelet agents such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), and dipyridamole (Aggrenox)

This is not a complete list of Epanova drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Epanova Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Epanova including the following:

  • increased levels of liver enzymes
  • prolonged bleeding time

Do not take Epanova if you:

  • are allergic to Epanova or to any of its ingredients

Caution should be used if you are allergic to fish or shellfish. Epanova contains fish-derived fatty acids, but it is not known if people with fish allergies are at an increased risk of an allergic reaction to Epanova.

Epanova Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Epanova, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking Epanova, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to Epanova or to any of its ingredients
  • have thyroid problems
  • have diabetes
  • have liver disease
  • have pancreatic disease
  • are allergic to fish or shellfish
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Epanova and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X - are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Epanova falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

Epanova and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Epanova has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from Epanova, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Epanova Usage

Take Epanova exactly as prescribed.

Epanova comes in capsule form and is taken once daily. Take Epanova capsules whole. Do not break open, crush, dissolve, or chew Epanova capsules before swallowing. If you cannot swallow Epanova capsules whole, tell your doctor. You may need a different medicine.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take 2 doses of Epanova at the same time.

Your doctor should start you on a diet that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, and low in added sugars before giving you Epanova. Stay on this diet while taking Epanova.

Your doctor will do regular blood tests to check your triglycerides, bad cholesterol, and liver function levels while you take Epanova.

Epanova Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • how you respond to this medication

The recommended dose of Epanova for the treatment of high triglycerides is 2 grams (2 capsules) or 4 grams (4 capsules) once daily, depending on your body's response and how well the medication is tolerated.

Epanova Overdose

If you take too much Epanova, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If Epanova is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store Epanova at room temperature. Do not freeze Epanova capsules.
  • Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.