This site is intended for UK healthcare professionals
Medscape UK Univadis Logo
Medscape UK Univadis Logo

Icosapent ethyl oral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Omega-3 preparations


Oral formulations of icosapent ethyl.

Drugs List

  • icosapent ethyl 998mg capsules
  • VAZKEPA 998mg capsules
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Prevention of cardiovascular events in high risk patients

    To reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in statin-treated patients at high cardiovascular risk, with elevated triglycerides (greater than or equal to 150 mg/dL [greater than or equal to 1.7mmol/l]) and:

    Cardiovascular disease


    Diabetes, and at least one other cardiovascular risk factor.



    1.996g (2 x 998mg capsules), twice daily.

    Additional Dosage Information

    Missed dose
    If a dose is missed, the patient must take it as soon as they remember. If more than one dose is missed, the next dose must not be doubled.


    Children under 18 years
    Hereditary fructose intolerance

    Precautions and Warnings

    Fish allergy
    Hypersensitivity to shellfish
    Atrial fibrillation
    Atrial flutter
    Hepatic impairment

    Hepatic impairment: Monitor ALT and AST before and during treatment
    Contains maltitol: unsuitable in hereditary fructose intolerance
    Contains soya or soya derivative
    Presentations with sorbitol unsuitable in hereditary fructose intolerance
    Capsules should not be opened or crushed
    Monitor for atrial fibrillation
    Monitor patients receiving concurrent anticoagulants
    Monitor patients receiving concurrent antiplatelets

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Use icosapent ethyl with caution during pregnancy.

    The manufacturer does not recommend using icosapent ethyl during pregnancy. At the time of writing there is limited published information regarding the use of icosapent ethyl during pregnancy. Potential risks are unknown, therefore the manufacturer states that icosapent ethyl should be avoided unless the therapeutic benefit outweighs the risk to the foetus.


    Icosapent ethyl is contraindicated during breastfeeding.

    The manufacturer states that a decision must be made for the patient to either discontinue icosapent ethyl or discontinue breastfeeding. Literature shows that the active metabolite eicosapentaenoic acid is present in human breast milk at concentrations similar to maternal levels.

    Effects on exposed infants are unknown.

    Side Effects

    Abdominal discomfort
    Atrial fibrillation
    Atrial flutter
    Fishy taste
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Musculoskeletal pain
    Peripheral oedema
    Pharyngeal oedema
    Skin reactions


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: December 2021

    Reference Sources

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Vazkepa 998mg capsules. Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Ltd. Revised April 2022.

    NICE Evidence Services Available at: Last accessed: 26 July 2022

    Access the full UK drug database with a FREE Medscape UK Account
    It takes just a few minutes, and you’ll get unlimited access to information on over 11,000 UK drugs.
    Register for Free

    Already a member? Log in

    Medscape UK | Univadis prescription drug monographs & interactions are based on FDB Multilex Content

    FDB Logo

    FDB Disclaimer : FDB Multilex is intended for the use of healthcare professionals and is provided on the basis that the healthcare professionals will retain FULL and SOLE responsibility for deciding what treatment to prescribe or dispense for any particular patient or circumstance.