Vascepa's Dosage: What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Victor Nguyen, PharmD, MBA

Vascepa: Introduction

Vascepa is a brand-name prescription medication that contains the active drug icosapent ethyl. It belongs to a class of drugs called omega-3 fatty acids. Vascepa is available in a generic form.

This medication is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to:

  • lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and certain heart conditions that require hospitalization in adults who have specific factors, in combination with a statin drug
  • reduce triglycerides in adults who have severely high triglyceride levels, in combination with a heart-healthy diet

In this article, you’ll find information about Vascepa’s dosage and details on how to take the drug. For a comprehensive overview of Vascepa and its uses, view this article.

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in taking Vascepa, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

This article describes typical recommended dosages for Vascepa. These dosages are provided by the drug’s manufacturer.

Always follow the dosage of Vascepa that your doctor prescribes.

Vascepa: Dosage

This section provides recommended dosages for Vascepa. However, your doctor will prescribe the Vascepa dosage that’s right for you.

Vascepa’s form and strengths

Vascepa is available as an oral capsule. It comes in the following strengths:

  • 0.5 grams (g)
  • 1 g

Typical recommended dosage

For both of its approved uses, the daily dose of Vascepa is the same. Similarly, the dosage of Vascepa is the same for both uses. (Dosage means the dose you’ll take and how frequently you’ll take it.)

The dosage of Vascepa throughout treatment is consistent. That means it doesn’t have a starting dosage and a different maintenance dosage.

Adult’s dosage

The recommended adult dosage of Vascepa for both approved uses is as follows.

  • Dose: 2 g
  • Frequency: two times per day

Length of treatment

Doctors typically prescribe Vascepa as a long-term treatment. You’ll likely take it long term if you and your doctor feel it’s safe and effective for your condition.

Vascepa: Common questions about dosage

The following common questions relate to Vascepa’s dosage.

Is there a Vascepa 1-g daily dosage?

No, the dosage of Vascepa is 2 grams (g) taken two times per day. To make one 2-g dose, you could take four 0.5-g capsules or two 1-g capsules.

If you take a Vascepa dosage lower than what’s prescribed, it may not be good for you. This means it may not be as effective in treating your condition. Additionally, if you take a Vascepa dosage higher than what’s prescribed, it could be dangerous. Always follow the instructions on your prescription label.

If you have questions about your daily dosage of Vascepa, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Are all dosages of Vascepa safe?

The only dosage of Vascepa is 2 grams (g) taken two times per day. As with all medications, Vascepa has some risks and benefits. Side effects can occur, and some of these can be serious. These could include dangerous bleeding and heart rhythm problems.

Talk with your doctor if you’re concerned about Vascepa’s safety. Together, you can decide whether Vascepa might be good for you.

What is Vascepa’s recommended dosage?

The normal dose that doctors recommend is 2 grams (g). You’ll take this dose two times per day.

To learn more about Vascepa’s dosage, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Either person can give you instructions on how to take it.

Does Vascepa have recommended dosage instructions?

Yes, the instructions for Vascepa are as follows:

  • Swallow Vascepa capsules whole. Do not break, crush, dissolve, or chew them.
  • Take each dose of Vascepa with food.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about how to take Vascepa. You can also read the “Vascepa: How to take” section below for additional information.

How does the dosage of Vascepa compare with the dosage of fish oil?

Vascepa is made from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This is an omega-3 fatty acid from fish oil.

Fish oil supplements vary in the amount of EPA and other omega-3 fatty acids they contain. They may vary by brand or manufacturer. (Fish oil supplements are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA].)

The recommended range of omega-3 fatty acids to be consumed differs based on certain factors. These can include age, sex, and health conditions of the person taking them. Some organizations, such as National Institutes of Health Trusted Source National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements Governmental authority Go to source and the American Heart Association Trusted Source AHA/ASA Journals Peer reviewed journal Go to source , have recommended ranges.

For questions about taking fish oil or how much to take, ask your healthcare professional. They also can explain the similarities and differences between Vascepa and fish oil supplement.

Vascepa: How to take

Vascepa comes as an oral capsule that you’ll swallow. You should take each dose of Vascepa with food.

Swallow Vascepa capsules whole. So, be sure not to break, chew, crush, or dissolve them.

If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, view this article. It provides suggestions on how to take this form of medication. Also, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about taking your medication.

ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS

If you find it challenging to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies provide medication labels with large print or braille. They may also offer labels containing a scannable code that your smartphone can convert from text to speech. If your pharmacy doesn’t provide these choices, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If it’s difficult for you to open medication bottles, ask your pharmacist if they can dispense Vascepa in an easy-open container. They also may recommend ways to help make it easier to open the bottles.

Vascepa: Missing a dose

If you miss a dose of Vascepa, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Then, take your next dose at the usual time.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you’re not sure whether to take or skip a missed dose.

View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm or download a reminder app on your phone.

Vascepa: Overdose

For some drugs, taking more than the recommended dosage may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose. Do not take more Vascepa than your doctor prescribes.

What to do if you take too much Vascepa

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much of this drug. Also, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or a local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Vascepa: What to discuss with your doctor

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for additional information about Vascepa’s dosage. The dosages in this article are typical dosages from the drug manufacturer. Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Vascepa that’s right for you and your condition. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.

As with any medications you’re taking, do not change your Vascepa dosage without a recommendation from your doctor.

In addition to discussing Vascepa with your doctor, you may find the following articles helpful in learning more.

  • Overview of Vascepa. For comprehensive details on Vascepa, see this article.
  • Product comparison. To learn how Vascepa compares with fish oil, read this article.
  • Information on side effects. If you’d like to know about possible side effects of Vascepa, view this article.
  • Cost and savings options. For information about Vascepa’s cost and ways to save on your prescription, read this article.
  • Details about interactions. If you want to find out about possible interactions with Vascepa, view this article.
  • Details about high triglycerides. To learn more about high triglycerides, which Vascepa is used to treat, see this article.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.


Medical Reviewer: Victor Nguyen, PharmD, MBA
Last Review Date: 2022 Dec 5
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