Icosapent ethyl in hypertriglyceridaemia: a guide to its use
Icosapent ethyl (Vascepa®) is a high-purity ethyl ester of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid associated with plasma triglyceride lowering. It does not contain the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that has been associated with increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. Oral icosapent ethyl 2 g twice daily is approved in the USA for use as an adjunct to diet in lowering triglyceride levels in adult patients with severe hypertriglyceridaemia [triglyceride ≥500 mg/dL (≥5.65 mmol/L)]. In clinical trials in patients with very high or high triglyceride levels, icosapent ethyl 4 g/day significantly reduced triglyceride levels and other lipid parameters without increasing LDL-C levels, reduced levels of circulating markers of inflammation and was well tolerated. Case reports suggest that switching patients to icosapent ethyl from other omega-3 fatty acid products may improve lipid parameters.
KeywordsTriglyceride Level Ezetimibe Pitavastatin High Triglyceride Level Lower Triglyceride Level
The review was updated from the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs 2014;14(6):471–8 , and was reviewed by: H. E. Bays, Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center, Louisville, KY, USA; J. C. Bradberry, Creighton University, Omaha, NE, USA; H. Ling, Hampton University, Hampton, VA, USA. During the peer review process, the manufacturer of icosapent ethyl was also offered an opportunity to review this article. Changes resulting from comments received were made on the basis of scientific and editorial merit.
Compliance with ethical standards
The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding.
Conflicts of interest
K A. Lyseng-Williamson, P. McCormack and E. Kim are salaried employees of Adis/Springer, are responsible for the article content and declare no conflicts of interest.
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