Avandia (Rosiglitazone) and/or alternatives
No Generic Alternative.
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General Information On Avandia
Avandia is a prescription medicine administered orally to treat Type 2 diabetes and control blood sugar levels. The drug can be taken by itself or used in combination with insulin or any other Type 2 diabetes medications. It works by helping patients boost their insulin sensitivity and keep their sugar levels in check. Avandia is the trade name for the generic drug Rosiglitazone. This medication is a prescription-only drug, so you must buy Avandia only if your doctor recommends it.
Side Effects for Avandia
Avandia has its share of side effects, the severity of which varies from patient to patient depending on his/her fitness levels and condition. In most cases, the side effects are mild and can be easily treated. These include: back pain, mild headache, weigh gain, mild diarrhea, cold symptoms such as cough, sneezing, and runny nose.
Other lesser known Avandia side effects include drastic weight gain, intense chest pain, blurry vision, constant thirst, increased urination, jaundice, and loss of appetite. If you experience any of these side effects, you must seek immediate medical attention.
You must not use Avandia if you are suffering from Type 1 diabetes. If you have a history of heart disease including congestive heart failure, hear attack, stroke, liver problems, or any eye problems caused by diabetes, you must first consult your doctor before starting on Avandia treatment. Avoid drinking alcohol during the course of treatment since doing so can drastically reduce your blood sugar levels. To prevent the drug from contamination, you must store it at room temperature away from direct exposure to heat and light. Before using Avandia, you must inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and also intimate him/her if you are allergic to certain foods, dyes, or preservatives.
The usual Avandia dosage recommended by doctors in the initial stages of treatment is 4mg once a day. If your doctor believes you need a stronger dose, then he/she would increase your dosage up to 8 mg once every day for 8 to 12 weeks. The maximum recommended Avandia dosage for patients using insulin medicines or insulin injections is 4 mg once every day. The standard dosage may not apply to all patients, so in such cases, doctors determine the right Avandia dosage depending on a patient’s other medical conditions, the type of medicines used by him/her, and his/her response to treatment. If you skip your routine dosage or if you overdose on Avandia, you must immediately inform your doctor about the same.
If you are using other drugs, you must inform your doctor before he/she prescribes Avandia. This is important because Avandia may lead to drug interactions when used with certain drugs. These interactions can increase the risk of dangerous side effects, reduce the effectiveness of the medicines, or increase the levels of Avandia in your blood. This drug can potentially interact with other medicines such as ritonavir, Atazanavir, Gemfibrozil, insulin, Primidone, rifampin, and certain seizure medications.
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What is a "Generic" medication/drug?
Generic drugs are medications that have comparable medicinal ingredients as the original brand name drug, but which are generally cheaper in price. Nearly 1 in 3 drugs dispensed are "generic". They undergo testing to ensure that they are similar to their "brand" counterparts in:
- Active Ingredient (e.g. "Pravastatin" is the active ingredient in brand name Pravachol)
- Dosage (e.g. 10 mg of the active ingredient)
- Safety (e.g. same or similar side effects, drug interactions)
- Performance (e.g. 10 mg of a "generic" can be substituted for 10 mg of the "brand" and have the same therapeutic result)
- Intended use (e.g. both "generic" and "brand" would be prescribed for the same conditions)
What this means is that "generic" medications can be used as a substitute of their brand equivalents with the comparable therapeutic results. There are a few exceptions (examples are outlined at the end of this page) and as always you should consult your physician before switching from a brand name medications to a generic or vice versa.
What differences are there between generic and brand?
While generics and brand equivalent drugs contain the same active ingredients, they may be different in the following ways:
- Appearance (e.g. the scoring or markings)
The color, shape and size of the medication come from the fillers that are added to the active ingredients to make the drug. These fillers that are added to the drug have no medical use and do not to change the effectiveness of the final product. A generic drug must contain comparable active ingredients and must have a comparable strength and dosage as the original brand name equivalent. Generic drugs can be more cost effective than purchasing the brand name.
Why do generics cost less than the brand name equivalents?
When a new drug is "invented", the company that discovered it has a patent on it that gives them the exclusive production rights for this medication. Once the patent expires in a country, other companies can bring the product to market under their own name. This patent prevents other companies from copying the drug during that time so they can earn back their Research and Development costs through being the exclusive supplier of the product. After the patent expires however, other companies can develop a "generic" version of the product. These versions generally are offered at much lower prices because the companies do not have the same development costs as the original company who developed the medication.
The main thing to realize here though is that the two products are therapeutically equivalent. They may look different, and be called something different.
How are Generic drugs tested to ensure quality and efficacy?
Generally speaking, the two most generally accepted methods to prove the safety of a generic version of a drug are to either repeat most of the chemistry, animal and human studies originally done, or to show that the drug performs comparably with the original brand name drug. This second option is called a "comparative bioavailability" study. During this type of study, volunteers are given the original drug, and then separately later the generic drug. The rates at which the drug is delivered to the patient (into their blood stream or otherwise absorbed) are measured to ensure they are the same. Because the same active ingredient is used the major concern is just that it delivers the common chemical(s) at the same rate so that they have the same effect. Please note that the methods that the manufacturers use may vary from country to country.