What do you call a side effect that is beneficial? One reader took the prescription drug Lovaza for high triglycerides and made a very welcome discovery about joint pain. Doctors never prescribe Lovaza for this purpose, although people often take over-the-counter fish oil to ease joint stiffness and arthritis pain. Lovaza may also ease painful joints as a welcome side effect, at least for some individuals.
Unexpected Benefit from Lovaza for High Triglycerides:
Q. My doctor prescribed Lovaza for high triglycerides and cholesterol. To my amazement it also helped with some other unrelated problems ranging from pain on the soles of my feet to stiff neck and joint mobility.
I even noticed effects on the texture of my skin. This is the first natural medication I have received from my physician and I am very pleased.
What Is Lovaza?
A. Lovaza (omega-3 acid) is highly purified and concentrated fish oil. The FDA approved this prescription product to lower high triglycerides.
Fish oil has anti-inflammatory activity (Hill et al, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Jan. 2016). Although well-controlled trials have not confirmed benefits against arthritis symptoms, you are not the first to report reduced joint pain from fish oil.
Natural Approaches to Easing Arthritis:
For those who would like to learn more about natural approaches to controlling arthritis, we offer our expanded and revised Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. Access to this online resource can be purchased for $4.99 at PeoplesPharmacy.com. It covers a number of prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as natural alternatives such as fish oil and tart cherry juice.
Downside to Lovaza for High Triglycerides:
One disadvantage of Lovaza is the cost. The standard dose is 4 grams (4 pills daily). A month’s supply (120 capsules) could cost over $250 if your insurance company doesn’t pay for it. That price would be unreasonable for joint pain alone. People who are taking Lovaza anyway might be happy to get this benefit, however.