• Generic Name: icosapent ethyl capsules
  • Brand Name: Vascepa
  • Drug Class: Lipid-Lowering Agents, Other
Last updated on MDtodate: 10/8/2022


The following important adverse reactions are described below and elsewhere in the labeling:

  • Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter
  • Potential for Allergic Reactions in Patients with Fish Allergy
  • Bleeding

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial

In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled cardiovascular outcomes trial, 8,179 statin-stabilized patients were randomized to receive VASCEPA or placebo and followed for a median of 4.9 years. The median age at baseline was 64 years, 29% were women, 90% White, 5% Asian, 2% were Black, and 4% identified as Hispanic ethnicity.

Common adverse reactions (incidence ≥3% on VASCEPA and ≥1% more frequent than placebo) included musculoskeletal pain, peripheral edema, constipation, gout, and atrial fibrillation.

Hypertriglyceridemia Trials

In two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in patients with triglyceride levels between 200 and 2000 mg/dL treated for 12 weeks, adverse reactions reported with VASCEPA at an incidence ≥1% more frequent than placebo based on pooled data included arthralgia and oropharyngeal pain.

Postmarketing Experience

Additional adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of VASCEPA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is generally not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

  • Diarrhea
  • Blood triglycerides increased
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Pain in the extremities