Lovaza — omega-3 ethyl esters

Lovaza is a prescription omega-3-acid supplement which contains ethyl esters of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It is fundamentally similar to most over-the-counter fish oil supplements, except that Lovaza is highly purified to drug quality standards, is made with a high (90%) concentration of omega-3 acids, and has gone through extensive clinical trials for a specified therapeutic use. Otherwise, the benefits of EPA/DHA should be reproducible with any quality mercury-free fish oil supplement. In the U.S., Lovaza is approved to lower triglycerides in patients with very high triglyceride levels (>500 mg/dL). Clinical studies showed triglyceride reductions by as much as 45% with its use. In addition, this prescription supplement has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels, improve lipoprotein particle size and subclass distribution, and reduce cardiovascular mortality in some patients by 30%. EPA/DHA supplements are commonly taken by anabolic/androgenic steroid users in an effort to reduce the negative cardiovascular effects of AAS.

The mechanism of action of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is not fully understood. These omega-3 acids appear to exert their favorable properties over serum lipids through a number of different but complimentary pathways. For one, EPA and DHA appear to be effective at increasing the enzyme hepatic lipoprotein lipase, which can increase the excretion of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. These omega-3 acids may also increase mitochondrial and peroxisomal beta-oxidation, reducing the availability of fatty acids for lipid synthesis. They may also suppress nuclear SREBP-1, which reduces hepatic lipogenesis. EPA and DHA also appear to decrease the activity of the triglyceridesynthesizing enzyme diacylgylcerol acyltranferase. The lipid reducing actions of EPA and DHA, therefore, appear to be several fold, including reduced substrate availability, reduced lipid synthesis, and increased lipid breakdown.

Brand name Lovaza, Omega-3 ethyl esters, Omacor

Lovaza History

The first prescription drug product containing omega-3 acids was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004. It was sold in this market under the Omacor brand name until 2007, when the manufacturer, Reliant Pharmaceuticals, changed the name of the product to Lovaza. This was done to eliminate any confusion with the blood clotting medication Amicar (aminocaproic acid). Lovaza is presently distributed in the U.S. by the international drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.

How is Lovaza Supplied

Lovaza is supplied in soft gelatin capsules containing approximately 900 mg of omega-3- acids each. The doage consists mainly of eicosapentaenoic acid (465 mg) and docosahexaenoic acid (375 mg).

Lovaza Side Effects

Lovaza is a natural dietary product and is not expected to have notable side effects. A small percentage of patients reported mild adverse reactions during clinical trials, including back pain (2.2%), flu symptoms (3.5%), infection (4.4%), pain (1.8%), angina pectoris (1.3%), indigestion (4.9%), burping (4.9%), rash (1.8%), and altered taste (2.7%).

Lovaza Administration

Lovaza is prescribed in a dosage of 4 capsules per day for the treatment of very high triglycerides. Given high cost and limited access, Lovaza is not commonly taken by AAS users. Instead, most steroid users will administer 4-6 grams per day of a quality fish oil supplement for general cholesterol and lipid support. Note that a supplement or prescription drug containing the omega-3-acids EPA and DHA may help reduce cardiovascular toxicity, but cannot be relied upon to completely eliminate potential damage from the abuse of anabolic/androgenic steroid drugs. Care should always be taken to monitor all aspects of health when taking AAS substances.

Lovaza Availability

High concentration omega-3 acid is marketed as a prescription drug product in the U.S. under the Lovaza brand name. Lovaza is also sold in select European and Asian markets. High quality fish oil supplements containing EPA and DHA are widely available over-thecounter in most markets.

References

Wlliam Llewellyn (2011) - Anabolics

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