What is omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids?

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in oil from certain types of fish, vegetables, and other plant sources. These fatty acids are not made by the body and must be consumed in the diet. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids work by lowering the body’s production of triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to coronary artery disease, heart disease, and stroke.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are used together with diet and exercise to help lower triglyceride levels in the blood.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to fish or soybeans.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using this medicine if you have:

  • diabetes;
  • liver disease;
  • a pancreas disorder;
  • underactive thyroid;
  • if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages per day.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Before you take omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids pass into breast milk or if this could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old.

Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. This medication will not be as effective in lowering your triglycerides if you do not follow the diet plan recommended by your doctor.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase triglycerides and may make your condition worse.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • chest pain; or
  • uneven heartbeats.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • back pain;
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • upset stomach, belching; or
  • mild skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • estrogens (birth control pills or hormone replacement);
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
  • a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), timolol (Blocadren), and others; or
  • a diuretic (water pill) such as chlorothiazide (Diuril), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL, Microzide), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

EPA Fish Oil, Fish Oil, Icar Prenatal Essential Omega-3, Marine Lipid Concentrate, MaxEPA, Omacor, Omega-500, Proepa, Sea-Omega, Sea-Omega 30, Sea-Omega 70, Super-EPA, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, Animi-3, Lovaza, MaxiTears Dry Eye Formula, MaxiVision Omega-3 Formula, Mi-Omega, Mi-Omega NF, and TheraTears Nutrition

Available Strengths & Dosages


Route Form Strength
oral capsule -

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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