Grazax (Grass Pollen Allergen Tablet) and/or alternatives
No Generic Alternative.
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General Information On Grazax
Grazax is an oral pill used for treating hay fever. This is a condition which is generally caused due to a patient’s allergy to grass pollen. Its generic name is Lyophilisate, and it belongs to the therapeutic class of immunotherapy drugs. It is available as an oral pill form and needs to be taken once a day. It works by boosting immunity so that antibodies are generated against grass pollen. This drug prevents symptoms of hay fever such as a runny nose and watery, red, or itchy eyes. You should buy Grazax only if it is prescribed by your doctor, and you will need to give a positive skin prick test in order to detect an allergy to the drug (if any).
Side Effects for Grazax
One out of ten Grazax patients may complain about itching in the ears and mouth, irritation in the throat, swelling in the mouth, or sneezing. Most of these side effects are short-lived and get better as your body gets adjusted to the drug. Most negative symptoms may get triggered within minutes or hours of taking the first pill and settle down on their own within one week of beginning the treatment. Some patients may also develop conjunctivitis, cough, throat tightness, asthma, blisters in the mouth, swelling or pain in the tongue, headache, fatigue, nausea and indigestion. Some serious but rare side effects of Grazax may include swollen glands, infection in the upper airway, mouth sores, ulcers, voice changes, hoarseness, chest pain, or hot flashes. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor without fail.
Some patients may also develop an allergic reaction to the medicine. It can be identified by irritation or swelling in the throat, face, tongue or lips, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, and hives. If you experience any of these, you should immediately stop taking the pills and seek medical help.
You should not buy Grazax if you have an allergy to the drug or to any of its ingredients. As the pills are delicate, do not pull them out of their covering. This is a prescription medicine only and should be used only after consulting your doctor. Using them without a prescription can cause serious damage to your health. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should also not use Grazax, as it is not established as a safe medicine for such women.
Grazax tablets need to be removed from their covering with dry fingers and have to be placed under the tongue. Keep it there for 10-15 seconds, and it will get absorbed into your body. Do not drink or eat anything for at least 5 minutes after taking the pill. It should be allowed to get absorbed on its own, and you should not swallow it with water, as with most other pills.
Some drugs may interact adversely with Grazax. Therefore, you should inform your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are taking at present, including herbal products and health supplements. Based on such information, your doctor will be able to decide whether some dosage adjustments are necessary and whether Grazax is the right medicine for you or not.
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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.