I took it for about 3 years due to my triglycerides were stubbornly elevated and I could not tolerate statins and didn't want to take them anyway. My triglycerides had been as high as 403 at one time, but generally stayed around 325 - 350 prior to Lovaza. After about 6 months on Lovaza they dropped to 250 to 275 (still too high), but didn't want anymore medication plus wanted the benefits of fish oil.
I quit taking the Lovaza about 3 months ago as the prescription ran out along with my insurance. I've noticed some changes, but can't contribute them to quitting the Lovaza until I resume taking some type of fish oil.
As far as the difference between Lovaza and commercially available fish oil is that I have no clue. Lovaza is Omega 3 ethyl esthers, which doesn't mean anything to me. My prescrition was for 4 grams a day, but i generally took only 3 grams. It never affected my LDL levels, liver test or caused an upset stomach.
The only comment that I can make is that it is not enteric coated, but it had no fishy after taste or burps.
Lovaza was covered by my insurance at the time, but was a Tier 2 which cost me $80 for a 90-day supply. It was a fair price for what I felt like was a high grade of fish oil.
If you have any more questions I'll certainly try to answer them