Lovaza is an omega-3 fish oil medication specifically designed to help treat patients who suffer from triglycerides levels of 500mg/dL or higher. This medication is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, who currently maintain an exclusive patent on Lovaza until September 2012. This exclusive right to manufacture and market Lovaza prevents other companies from creating an FDA-approved Lovaza generic until the patent expires.
Certain online pharmacies and supplement stores may advertise standard omega-3 acid ethyl esters supplements as an alternative to Lovaza. These alternatives are often touted as having as much if not more EPA and DHA content than Lovaza. The volume of EPA and DHA in Lovaza is important because they are the primary fatty acid structures that help lower one’s triglycerides levels. Certain advertised alternatives may have less EPA and DHA than claimed on the label.
Most importantly, cheap alternatives marketed as generic Lovaza are not regulated by the FDA as prescription drug fish oil. This means that the ingredients may be of low quality or less effective than Lovaza.
Lovaza and Quality Alternatives
If your doctor has prescribed Lovaza, then you do not need to seek out alternatives unless you do not have the necessary prescription drug plan to cover the expenses. The standard course of medication for Lovaza is to take four 1-gram capsules per day. Therefore, if you plan on using a generic Lovaza or any other fish oil alternative, it is necessary to find one that delivers a similar dosage.
The alternative should be of pharmaceutical grade to provide you with the necessary concentration of omega-3 acids. Even fish oil supplements that are marketed as extra or triple strength generally contain up to 40% of fish oil and only 60% of omega-3 acid. Purchasing a Lovaza alternative that does meet the required level of quality may force you to take seven or more pills a day and may still provide the desired health results. Due to the current lack of a true generic and the reduced regulations imposed on fish oil dietary supplements, patients are advised to stick with brand name Lovaza when available.