Januvia (Sitagliptin) and/or alternatives
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General Information on Januvia
Januvia is an oral diabetes drug that is extremely useful in controlling the blood sugar levels in the body and in treating Type II Diabetes. This drug is instrumental in regulating the amount of insulin in the body, especially that which is created after eating. This drug actively inhibits the actions of the dipeptidyl peptidase -4 or DPP-4 enzyme. This enzyme is the primary reason for high blood sugar levels as it inactivates the incretin hormones that actively help in regulating glucose homeostasis. Whilst Januvia is an excellent drug for treating Type II Diabetes, it should not be used for treating Type I Diabetes.
Side Effects of Januvia
Common and possible side effects of Januvia include upper respiratory infection and headache. Moreover, when this drug is used in combination with sulfonylurea, it causes hypoglycaemia.
This drug also causes serious hypersensitivity reactions in several patients. These include reactions like anaphylaxis, rash, angioedema, cutaneous vasculitis, urticarial, and other exfoliative conditions of the skin like the Stevens-Johnson syndrome. It is important to note that these reactions were reported voluntarily in post marketing research and so, there is no clarity regarding the frequency of their occurrence as well as the direct connection with the drug.
Other side effects of Januvia include pain in the upper stomach region, which spreads to the back region and is accompanied by nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite or an increased heart rate. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, it is important to discontinue use of the drug and seek the assistance of your doctor.
If you have a history of pancreatitis or kidney disease, then you should always tell your doctor before using this drug. Moreover, if you are on dialysis, you should inform your doctor of the same before accepting a prescription of this drug.
If you are allergic to Sitagliptin, then you should avoid taking this drug.
Always follow all instructions regarding diet and exercise control when you decide to use this drug to help cure Type II Diabetes.
In some elderly people who are already suffering from renal disorders, chances of inhibition or slowing down of the renal function are increased with the use of this drug. Under these circumstances, it is essential to evaluate the renal function of the individual before using this drug.
Although there is no conclusive evidence of the drug causing harm to a pregnant woman or her child, it is important to inform your doctor about your condition before deciding to buy Januvia. Women who are breastfeeding should also consult their doctor before taking this drug.
Januvia 100mg is the recommended dosage for this drug, which is to be taken once daily. This drug can be taken with or without food. However, with regard to patients suffering from moderate to severe renal insufficiency, the dose is to be reduced to Januvia 50mg and Januvia 25mg respectively, both of which need to be taken only once daily.
Clinical reports show that the drug interactions of Januvia are minimal and often require mere monitoring without any change in dosage, especially when the drug used is Digoxin. However, other trials have shown this drug to interact with other drugs like Tenormin, MAOI, Bactrim, NSAIDs, Aspirin and Benemid. Therefore, exercise caution if you are on Januvia and consult your doctor at the first sign of any discomfort.
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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.