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Icosapent ethyl (Vazkepa°) in cardiovascular prevention: not acceptable

  Marketing Authorisations  Despite trials including tens of thousands of patients, omega-3 fatty acids have not been shown to improve clinical outcomes in cardiovascular prevention. The evaluation data on icosapent ethyl, which is simply a source of the omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid, do not alter this conclusion.
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  • In a large trial in over 8000 statin-treated patients with hypertriglyceridaemia, icosapent ethyl appeared to reduce cardiovascular mortality very slightly compared with daily liquid paraffin, but it did not reduce all-cause mortality. The possibility that paraffin increases cardiovascular risk, which would bias the results in favour of icosapent ethyl, has not been ruled out. 
  • On the other hand, icosapent ethyl's harms include atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and potentially serious bleeding. Patients with a history of cardiovascular disease are more likely to derive health benefits from a varied, Mediterranean-type diet.

©Prescrire 1 February 2023

Source: "Icosapent ethyl (Vazkepa°) in cardiovascular prevention" Prescrire International 2023; 32 (245): 33-35. Subscribers only.

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See also:

"Secondary cardiovascular
prevention: omega-3 fatty
acids ineffective"
Prescrire Int 2013;
 22 (141): 218.
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