Daily Medication Pearl: Vascepa (Icosapent Ethyl) for Cardiovascular Disease

Vascepa is indicated to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, and unstable angina requiring hospitalization in adult patients.

Medication Pearl of the Day: Vascepa (icosapent ethyl)

Indication: Vascepa is an ethyl ester of (EPA) indicated as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, and unstable angina requiring hospitalization in adult patients with elevated triglyceride (TG) levels (≥ 150 mg/dL) and established cardiovascular (CV) disease or diabetes mellitus and 2 or more additional risk factors for CV disease.

Insight:

  • Dosing: The daily dose of Vascepa is 4 grams per day taken as either four 0.5-gram capsules, twice daily with food or two 1-gram capsules twice daily with food.
  • Dosage Form: Capsules in 0.5-gram and 1-gram
  • Contraindication: Vascepa is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylactic reaction) to Vascepa or any of its components.
  • Adverse events: Common adverse events are musculoskeletal pain, peripheral edema, constipation, gout, and atrial fibrillation.
  • Drug interactions: Increased bleeding risk with anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents—some published studies with omega-3 fatty acids have demonstrated prolongation of bleeding time.
  • Mechanism of Action: Studies suggest that EPA reduces hepatic very low-density lipoprotein triglycerides (VLDL-TG) synthesis and/or secretion and enhances TG clearance from circulating VLDL particles.
  • Manufacturer: Amarin

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