Dostinex (Cabergoline) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Dostinex
Dostinex (generic name: Cabergoline) is used for treating a certain hormonal imbalance disorder in females known as hyperprolactinemia, in which too much prolactin hormone is present in the blood, leading to symptoms like unwanted milk in the breasts, missed periods, and difficulty getting pregnant. Cabergoline is a dopamine receptor antagonist, which works by decreasing the amount of prolactin released by the pituitary glands. A doctor can also ask male patients to buy Dostinex in order to treat decreased sexual desire and enlarged ‘man breasts’.
Side Effects for Dostinex
Stomach upset, nausea, hot flashes, a tingly feeling or numbness, constipation, vomiting, lightheadedness, tiredness, or dizziness may commonly occur, but if any of these become unbearable, you should contact your doctor promptly. Some serious but rare side effects associated with Dostinex include painful menses, vision changes, fainting, mental or mood changes like nervousness or compulsive behavior like an increased urge to gamble, unusual tiredness, swelling of the ankles or feet, persistent cough, and shortness of breath. An allergic reaction to the drug may be identified by rashes, hives, breathing trouble, severe dizziness or itching, and swelling of the face, throat, tongue, or lips.
Before taking Dostinex, you should inform your doctor if you have an allergy to cabergoline, other ergot medicines like ergotamine, or any active or inactive ingredient used in the medicine. You should also inform him/her if you have a liver disease, heart valve disease, high blood pressure, or abnormal thickening or scanning in the lining of the heart, lungs, or behind the abdomen. As Dostinex makes you dizzy and causes vision changes, you should not perform any such activity that requires complete alertness and clear vision, such as driving a vehicle or operating a machine. For that, you should also limit your alcohol intake, as liquor may worsen the condition. In order to reduce risks of lightheadedness and dizziness, you should stand up slowly from a lying or sitting position. If you are going to have a surgery or dental procedure, you should tell your surgeon or dentist that you are taking Dostinex. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should use the medicine only if it is clearly indicated, as its safety during these conditions has not yet been established.
You will initially be given Dostinex 0.25mg twice a week, which is then increased as per your medical condition and response to treatment. If you maintain your normal prolactin level for 6 months, you may discontinue the medicine after consulting your doctor. However, do not stop taking Dostinex before the completion of your prescription period, even if your symptoms have been relieved.
Your doctor will not recommend you to buy Dostinex if you are already taking ACE inhibitors like captopril, trandolapril, or fosinopril, beta blockers like acebutolol, carvedilol, or labetalol, calcium channel blockers like amlodipine, verapamil, or nisoldipine, diuretics or water pills like amiloride, hydrochlorothiazide, or torsemide, and other drugs for blood pressure like irbesartan, valsartan, or losartan. Other than these, you should inform your doctor about all the prescription and non-prescription medicines you are taking at present, in addition to herbal products and health supplements.
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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.