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What Are Omega-3-Acid Ethyl Esters?

Safflower oil is low in polyunsaturated fat.
Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and can be included as part of a heart healthy diet plan.
Cottage cheese and egg whites are part of a low cholesterol, low fat diet.
Article Details
  • Written By: Page Coleman
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Omega-3-acid ethyl esters may be used as a cardiovascular system drug. It works as a lipid regulating agent to reduce blood level of triglycerides. The treatment can be used in combination with diet, exercise, and weight loss. In some nations, this medicine will need to be prescribed by a doctor.

This drug is thought to work by causing the liver to decrease its production of triglycerides. Blood triglyceride reduction may follow. This antilipemic is prescribed to help prevent triglycerides from causing blood vessel blockages.

The medicine frequently comes as a liquid filled capsule, which should be taken according to doctor’s instructions. Correct dosage amounts will vary according to the patient’s size and triglyceride levels. Effects of this medication may not be immediate, but tend to build over time. Patients should not quit taking the medicine without consulting their doctors.

This medicine may have side effects. More common side effects include chest tightness, pain, or discomfort. Jaw, arm or back pain may also be present, as are nausea, wheezing, and an irregular or fast heartbeat. Omega-3-acid ethyl esters may be contraindicated for people who have pancreatic, liver, or thyroid disease or diabetes.

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If prescribed omega-3-acid ethyl esters, the patient should request an ingredient list from a pharmacist and check if he is allergic to fish or to any other ingredients. The medicine may also interact with supplements or other medications, so patients should discuss these with their doctor. Some medicines that are of concern are blood thinners, aspirin and those that contain aspirin, beta blockers, diuretics, and estrogens. Anyone who has more than two alcoholic drinks a day should also discuss this with his doctor.

There have been some limited studies using senior adults, and results indicate that this medicine does not cause older adults any problems that are different from those it may cause younger adults. The medicine has not been studied in children or in pregnant women. Women who are pregnant, breast feeding, or planning a pregnancy should be sure to discuss this with their healthcare professionals before taking omega-3-acid ethyl esters.

To gain the greatest benefit from this medicine, patients may need to modify their diet. A low cholesterol and low fat diet is often suggested along with the omega-3-acid ethyl esters. Some suggested foods are cottage cheese, fish, chicken, vegetables, and egg whites. Monounsaturated oils, such as olive oil, are recommended, as are polyunsaturated oils such as corn or safflower oils.

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