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Fish Oil and Other Marine Oil Supplements Reviewed by ConsumerLab.com

Understand the Side Effects of Fish Oil

Question:
Are there any serious side effects with Lovaza or Epanova (prescription fish oil)? If so, would these also apply to generic versions of these drugs and to fish oil supplements?

Answer:
Lovaza and Epanova may cause increases in liver enzymes and "bad" cholesterol. Lovaza may also increase the frequency of heart rhythm problems. The same side effects would be expected with generic versions of these prescription drugs (which are highly concentrated fish oils) but not necessarily with fish oil supplements that provide lower doses of EPA and DHA. Interestingly, these particular side effects have not been reported with a prescription fish oil that does not contain DHA, but can cause joint pain. For details, see the Concerns and Cautions section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review.

Learn more about fish oil:



Lovaza, a prescription omega-3 fish oil, is very expensive. Can I get the same omega-3 oils from a supplement that costs less? >>

How does the new prescription fish oil Epanova compare to Lovaza --and fish oil supplements? >>

See other recent and popular questions >>
COMMENTS

marcus11225   August 31, 2016
I have been using OTC fish oil for many years for the many health benefits. I also have had my blood tested many times because of elevated liver enzymes. I was asked if I was a heavy drinker, nartcotic user, or herb user which I replied negative. Fast forward years later while I was reading about Lovaza's side effects, one being the elevated liver enzymes, it got me thinking I just wonder if that's the cause. I stopped using fish oil and every blood test after has shown a decrease of liver enzymes.
I only wonder if its ok that my liver enymes are elevated because of fish oil. Or is it bad to have elevated liver enzymes no matter what the cause.

donna11230   September 3, 2016
That is very interesting! I also have elevated liver enzymes and take a high quality fish oil. I'm going to stop it and see what happens. Would really like an answer to your question tho. Are the high level enzymes worth the risk for the benefits?

Kevin11218   August 31, 2016
From personal experience, Omacor (now Lovaza) only worked marginally and had much burping side effects as well as there were so many pills to take each day.
Carlsons Very Fine Fish Oil liquid however, in my experience, does not have any side effects and it is pleasant to take as it does not have that raunchy fishy taste that you get with the pills. My omega 3's and 6's are now always in the best range with my blood tests. No liver elevation issues either.


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This CL Answer initially posted on 8/30/2016. Last updated 8/8/2017.
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