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The Difference Between Prescription Lovaza and Over the Counter Fish Oil - Omega-3 Supplements

Answer:

Yes, you can get a similar amount of omega-3 fish oils from supplements as you can get from Lovaza. Lovaza provides 840 mg of EPA and DHA in about one gram of fish oil per capsule, of which approximately 465 mg is EPA and 375 mg is DHA. The suggested dose is 4 capsules daily. Many supplements can provide roughly the same amounts of EPA and DHA. This is discussed in our Product Review of Fish Oil Supplements -- which also discusses other prescription fish oils, such as Epanova and VASCEPA.

To keep down the number of capsules (and oil) you need to take, Lovaza uses an extremely high concentration (about 84%) of EPA and DHA.  If you want to achieve the same convenience, look for fish oils with "extremely high" concentrations. You'll find this information in the second column of our Results table, which shows you the concentration of EPA and DHA in each fish oil supplement. You'll also see our quality rating of each product and cost comparisons.

If you don't like capsules, there are liquids which can be taken by spoon -- several are included in the table. The taste of fish oil (that's not spoiled) is generally quite mild.

Be aware that prescription drugs are held to higher standards than fish oil dietary supplements, including the clinical demonstration of safety and efficacy and more rigorous manufacturing standards and oversight. This should be considered when comparing products.

Saving Money on Lovaza:

If you want to stay with a prescription product like Lovaza but are looking to save money, first be aware that an FDA-approved generic version containing approximately the same amounts of EPA and DHA in the same chemical form as in Lovaza is available at somewhat lower cost, as discussed in our Product Review of Fish Oil Supplements. By comparison shopping across pharmacies and asking about discounts and coupons, you may be able to get the generic for under $60 for 120 capsules. Lovaza is also sold in other countries under the name Omacor, and the generic is also available in other countries. Prices are often lower outside the U.S. You can check ConsumerLab.com's sister website, PharmacyChecker.com, for prices from online licensed pharmacies in Canada and other countries. Purchasing prescription medication like Lovaza from outside the U.S. remains technically illegal, but the U.S. government has not prosecuted individuals for doing this for themselves.

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