August 29, 2016



Mechanism Of Action

The mechanism of action of LOVAZA is not completely understood. Potential mechanisms of action include inhibition of acyl-CoA:1,2-diacylglycerol acyltransferase, increased mitochondrial and peroxisomal β-oxidation in the liver, decreased lipogenesis in the liver, and increased plasma lipoprotein lipase activity. LOVAZA may reduce the synthesis of triglycerides in the liver because EPA and DHA are poor substrates for the enzymes responsible for TG synthesis, and EPA and DHA inhibit esterification of other fatty acids.


In healthy volunteers and in subjects with hypertriglyceridemia, EPA and DHA were absorbed when administered as ethyl esters orally. Omega-3-acids administered as ethyl esters (LOVAZA) induced significant, dose-dependent increases in serum phospholipid EPA content, though increases in DHA content were less marked and not dose-dependent when administered as ethyl esters.

Specific Populations

Age: Uptake of EPA and DHA into serum phospholipids in subjects treated with LOVAZA was independent of age ( < 49 years versus ≥ 49 years).

Gender: Females tended to have more uptake of EPA into serum phospholipids than males. The clinical significance of this is unknown.

Pediatric: Pharmacokinetics of LOVAZA have not been studied.

Renal or Hepatic Impairment: LOVAZA has not been studied in patients with renal or hepatic impairment.

Drug-Drug Interactions

Simvastatin: In a 14-day trial of 24 healthy adult subjects, daily coadministration of simvastatin 80 mg with LOVAZA 4 grams did not affect the extent (AUC) or rate (Cmax) of exposure to simvastatin or the major active metabolite, beta-hydroxy simvastatin at steady state.

Atorvastatin: In a 14-day trial of 50 healthy adult subjects, daily coadministration of atorvastatin 80 mg with LOVAZA 4 grams did not affect AUC or Cmax of exposure to atorvastatin, 2-hydroxyatorvastatin, or 4-hydroxyatorvastatin at steady state.

Rosuvastatin: In a 14-day trial of 48 healthy adult subjects, daily coadministration of rosuvastatin 40 mg with LOVAZA 4 grams did not affect AUC or Cmax of exposure to rosuvastatin at steady state.

In vitro studies using human liver microsomes indicated that clinically significant cytochrome P450-mediated inhibition by EPA/DHA combinations are not expected in humans.

Clinical Studies

Severe Hypertriglyceridemia

The effects of LOVAZA 4 grams per day were assessed in 2 randomized, placebocontrolled, double-blind, parallel-group trials of 84 adult subjects (42 on LOVAZA, 42 on placebo) with very high triglyceride levels. Subjects whose baseline triglyceride levels were between 500 and 2,000 mg/dL were enrolled in these 2 trials of 6 and 16 weeks' duration. The median triglyceride and LDL-C levels in these subjects were 792 mg/dL and 100 mg/dL, respectively. Median HDL-C level was 23.0 mg/dL.

The changes in the major lipoprotein lipid parameters for the groups receiving LOVAZA or placebo are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Median Baseline and Percent Change From Baseline in Lipid Parameters in Subjects With Severe Hypertriglyceridemia ( ≥ 500 mg/dL)

Parameter LOVAZA
N = 42
N = 42
BL % Change BL % Change
TG 816 -44.9 788 +6.7 -51.6
Non-HDL-C 271 -13.8 292 -3.6 -10.2
TC 296 -9.7 314 -1.7 -8.0
VLDL-C 175 -41.7 175 -0.9 -40.8
HDL-C 22 +9.1 24 0.0 +9.1
LDL-C 89 +44.5 108 -4.8 +49.3
BL = Baseline (mg/dL); % Change = Median Percent Change from Baseline; Difference = LOVAZA Median % Change - Placebo Median % Change.

LOVAZA 4 grams per day reduced median TG, VLDL-C, and non-HDL-C levels and increased median HDL-C from baseline relative to placebo. Treatment with LOVAZA to reduce very high TG levels may result in elevations in LDL-C and non-HDL-C in some individuals. Patients should be monitored to ensure that the LDL-C level does not increase excessively.

The effect of LOVAZA on the risk of pancreatitis has not been determined.

The effect of LOVAZA on cardiovascular mortality and morbidity has not been determined.

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/2/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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