Protelos (Strontium Ranelate) and/or equivalents
No Generic Alternative.
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General Information On Protelos
Protelos can be used for treating osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. It is used for decreasing risk of vertebrae and hips fractures in these women. Generic name of this drug is Strontium Ranelate and it belongs to a class of non-hormonal medicines that are used for treating bone diseases. This medicine restores balance between bone synthesis and bone turnover, thus stimulating formation of new bones and preventing excessive loss of calcium. Protelos is not meant to be taken by patients below 18 years of age.
Side Effects for Protelos
Some of the common side effects associated with Protelos include nausea, headache, diarrhea, memory problems, fainting spells, and skin irritation. Most of these side effects are short-lived, easily manageable, and they get better on their own within a few days. If any of these symptoms persist or worsen, you should contact your doctor.
If you experience seizures or blood clots after taking this medicine, immediately stop the medication and seek medical help. Some rare but serious side effects of this drug include oral irritation such as gum inflammation or mouth ulcers, abdominal pain, vomiting, joint pain, hypersensitivity syndrome, muscle cramps, muscle pain, or bone pain. Contact your doctor as soon as you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms.
An allergic reaction to the medicine can be identified by hives, rashes, trouble breathing, severe dizziness or swelling on the face, throat, lips or tongue. Under such circumstances, your doctor is likely to advise you to stop the medication and advocate an alternate treatment.
Before your doctor advises you to buy Protelos, tell him/her if you have a kidney disease or blood clots or if you have been confined to the bed after an operation. This drug contains aspartame and you should inform your doctor if you are suffering from phenylketonuria, a rare hereditary metabolism-related disorder. The medicine must be used only by post-menopausal women. Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you become pregnant during the course of treatment, you should immediately contact your doctor and inform him/her about your condition. Strontium Ranelate may affect your ability to drive or operate a machine, and therefore, you should exercise caution while doing such activities.
Usually, patients are advised to take Protelos 2gm orally once a day. The sachet that contains the medicine should be emptied and the granules should be added in water to form a suspension. Once you have done that, you should drink the solution immediately. Generally, doctors advise their patients to take this medicine before bedtime, preferably two hours after finishing dinner. The drug is slowly absorbed into your body. If you do not take a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium, your doctor may advise you to take certain vitamin and mineral supplements with your daily Protelos dosage.
Your doctor will not advise you to take Protelos if you are already taking oral quinolones or tetracyclines. This drug should not be taken with medicines that contain calcium, unless directed by a doctor. If your doctor asks you to take medicines that contain calcium, ensure that you maintain a gap of at least 2 hours between Protelos dosage and dosage of calcium-containing medicine. Make sure that your physician is aware of all the medications your are presently taking.
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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.