Omega-3 Fatty Acids are one of the classes of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The major components of Omega-3 are commonly known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is an essential fatty acid and cannot be produced by the human body and must be either consumed in the diet. ALA can be further broken down into EPA and DHA after ingestion.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential for our cell membranes. Taking an Omega-3 Fatty Acids supplement has already been proven to lower the level of triglycerides in your body which may reduce cardiovascular risks and events such as heart attacks and stroke. It is also found that taking Omega-3 especially DHA during pregnancy may help with the early development of your child.
The recommended daily dietary intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids (as ALA) for adults is 1.6 g in men and 1.1 g in non-pregnant women. If you are pregnant, the recommended daily dietary intake (as ALA) would be at least 1.4 g. You can take an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement if you have a deficiency or if you cannot obtain a sufficient amount from your diet. Symptoms of Omega-3 Fatty Acids deficiency include rough and inflamed skin.
The side effects of taking Omega-3 supplements are diarrhoea, nausea, fishy belches, and rarely bleeding. Advise your doctor or pharmacist before taking Omega-3 if you are currently taking other antiplatelet drugs (e.g. Aspirin) or anticoagulants (e.g. Warfarin) as Omega-3 fatty acids may cause bleeding.
Most people should obtain adequate amounts of Omega-3 Fatty Acids from a healthy diet. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are present in many foods including fish (especially oily or dark meat fish), fish oils, soybeans, shrimp, seaweed, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts and kidney beans.
You are recommended to have an adequate intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids during pregnancy.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids supplements are not a substitute for standard cholesterol-lowering therapy. You should continue the treatment directed by your healthcare provider and are encouraged to modify your daily diet at the same time.
Common dosing schedule:
Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids with food.
Do not break, crush or chew the capsule. Swallow whole to avoid unpleasant taste and texture.
This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.
Some common medications Omega-3 Fatty Acids may interact with:
Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.
In Hong Kong, Omega-3 Fatty Acids supplements can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.
For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk
Need more information?
For detailed information about the use of Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Supplement) in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.
Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.