If you have high triglyceride levels, your doctor might suggest Vascepa as a treatment option for you. It’s a prescription drug used:
- along with statin medications to lower high triglyceride levels in adults with heart disease or certain heart-related risk factors
- A diet and diet to lower very high triglyceride levels in certain adults is included.
The active ingredient in Vascepa is icosapent ethyl, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
Vascepa comes as a capsule that you swallow. It’s also available as a generic drug.
This article describes the dosage of Vascepa, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Vascepa, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Vascepa’s usual dosage, which is provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when taking Vascepa, always follow the dosage instructions your doctor gives you.
“Vascepa’s form, strengths, dosage, and whether it’s taken long or short are all listed below.”
What is Vascepa’s form?
Vascepa is a capsule you swallow.
What strengths does Vascepa come in?
Vascepa has two strengths: one gram and one gram.
What is the recommended dosage of Vascepa?
The information below describes the dosage that is commonly used and recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for very high triglyceride levels
The daily dose of Vascepa to lower very high triglyceride levels is 4 g per day, taken in divided doses twice per day. The daily dose can be taken as either four 0.5-g capsules twice per day or two 1-g capsules twice per day. You should take Vascepa capsules with food.
Dosage for lowering the risk of heart problems in adults who have high triglyceride levels and certain conditions
The daily dose of Vascepa is 4 g per day and is taken in two separate amounts. It can be taken as many as four or two times per day. Vascepa should be taken with food.
Is Vascepa used long term?
Vascepa is a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor agree that it is safe and effective for your condition, you will likely take it for a long time.
There are answers to some questions about Vascepa.
Does Vascepa have a starting dose and a maintenance dose?
Vascepa does not have a separate starting and maintenance dose. A loading dose is a higher starting dose for some medications. It is important to build up the drug in your body so it can work sooner.
Vascepa only has one recommended dose. This is taken twice daily with food.
Is Vascepa’s dosage similar to that of fish oil supplements?
Not necessarily. There are many varieties of fish oil supplements sold over the counter. They contain different ingredients and dosages. Your supplement dosage depends on the type of supplement, your age, and other factors, such as any health conditions you may have.
Vascepa is different from fish oil supplements. The active ingredient in Vascepa is a modified version of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Fish oil supplements contain EPA and other omega-3 fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Before taking any over-the-counter products, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can discuss the pros and cons of Vascepa and fish oil supplements.
You will swallow Vascepa twice a day. You can take your dose after a meal. You can take four or two 1-g capsule twice a day. Talk to your doctor about the strength of Vascepa.
You should swallow Vascepa capsules whole. Do not crush or chew them. If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips, or talk with your pharmacist.
For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Vascepa, see this article.
If you miss your Vascepa, take it as soon as you remember. If you missed the dose, double your dose to catch up. This could cause serious side effects.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Vascepa on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.
Vascepa can lead to serious side effects if you take more than your doctor prescribes.
What to do in case you take too much Vascepa
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Vascepa. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
The drug manufacturer gives the usual dosage. If your doctor recommends Vascepa, they will prescribe the correct amount.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Vascepa without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Vascepa exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage. Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask them:
- Does my dosage of Vascepa need adjustment if I have kidney problems?
- If I experience side effects, would I need a lower Vascepa dose?
- “Will my Vascepa dose change if it isn’t working for me?”
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.