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What changes when adding vascepa to prior heart treatment?



When a patient adds Vascepa to their existing heart treatment, several changes may occur. Vascepa, a prescription medication, contains the active ingredient icosapent ethyl, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid [1]. It is used in addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, in adults with elevated triglyceride levels (150 mg/dL or higher) [1].

Here are some changes that may occur when adding Vascepa to prior heart treatment:

1. Triglyceride levels: Vascepa is specifically designed to lower triglyceride levels. Clinical trials have shown that Vascepa can reduce triglyceride levels by 20-30% [1]. This reduction in triglycerides may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

2. Cardiovascular risk reduction: In addition to lowering triglycerides, Vascepa has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. In a large clinical trial, patients taking Vascepa had a 25% lower risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event compared to those taking a placebo [2].

3. Adjustment of other medications: When adding Vascepa to a patient's heart treatment regimen, healthcare providers may need to adjust the dosages of other medications. This is because Vascepa can interact with other medications, such as blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering drugs [1].

4. Side effects: Like all medications, Vascepa can cause side effects. Common side effects of Vascepa include joint pain, diarrhea, and an increased risk of bleeding [1]. Patients should speak with their healthcare provider if they experience any side effects while taking Vascepa.

In summary, when adding Vascepa to a patient's heart treatment regimen, healthcare providers should consider the potential benefits and risks. Vascepa has been shown to lower triglyceride levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, but it can also interact with other medications and cause side effects. Patients should speak with their healthcare provider to determine if Vascepa is right for them.

Sources:

1. "Vascepa (Icosapent Ethyl) Capsules, for Oral Use." DailyMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 Jan. 2022, <https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=484c8d3e-6e7d-4e1e-8a5b-a9a9d2a9e1a0&type=display>.

2. "Icosapent Ethyl (Vascepa) and Cardiovascular Outcomes." American Heart Association, 2021, <https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000963>.

Additional sources:

* "Icosapent Ethyl." DrugPatentWatch, <https://www.drugpatentwatch.com/drugs/icosapent-ethyl>.
* "Icosapent Ethyl (Vascepa) for the Treatment of Hypertriglyceridemia." American Journal of Managed Care, 11 Feb. 2019, <https://www.ajmc.com/view/icosapent-ethyl-vascepa-for-the-treatment-of-hypertriglyceridemia>.



Follow-up:   How does Vascepa impact existing medication plans? What additional benefits does Vascepa provide heart treatment? Are there any side effects when combining Vascepa with current heart therapy?





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