Serc (Betahistine) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Serc
Serc or Betahistine hydrochloride is a prescription medicine used for treating balance disorders like Meniere’s disease and vertigo. Serc belongs to the category of histamine agonists that act on the patient’s inner ear, thus reducing pressure and treating symptoms like hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus. There is a fluid in our ear which gives feedback to our brain about our physical position. If the balance of this fluid is disturbed, such as if its pressure increases, it causes sensations like nausea, dizziness, ringing in the ears, hearing problems, and vertigo. Serc acts on histamine receptors in the inner ear, thus reducing the pressure and filling the labyrinth of the inner ear. Your doctor can also recommend you to buy Serc in order to treat vascular cephalalgias.
Side Effects for Serc
Nausea, headache and stomach upset are common side effects associated with Serc. However, you need to contact your doctor if these effects persist or worsen. If you are allergic to Betahistine, you may experience signs of an allergic reaction such as breathing difficulty, hives, and swelling of the throat or face. If you experience any of these, then stop taking the medicine and seek medical help immediately. Pruritus or itching, disturbances like indigestion, constipation or diarrhea, and skin rashes are other adverse effects of the drug. Most of these get better on their own as your body gets used to the drug, but if not, you need to talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
Your doctor will not recommend you to buy Serc if you are allergic to Betahistine or to any other ingredient used in the medicine. You should also not use Serc if you are suffering from pheochromocytoma or peptic ulcers. As alcohol, caffeine, nicotine in cigarettes and street drugs may affect the action of the medicine, you should inform your doctor if you take any of these. If possible, try to quit such habits or at least decrease their intake as long as the treatment is going on. Betahistine can pass into breast milk and therefore, it should not be used by a woman who is breastfeeding. It should also not be used during pregnancy, unless the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks to the unborn child. If you need to undergo a surgery during Serc treatment, make sure that you inform your surgeon that you are taking this medicine.
Serc 8mg or Serc 16mg pills need to be given to a patient three times a day. The strength of the pill given to the patient depends on his/her medical condition and response to the treatment. Usually, the treatment starts with Serc 16mg three times a day, and the dose is reduced to Serc 8mg thrice per day as the patient shows signs of improvement. In order to prevent stomach problems, this medicine is to be taken with food. Serc gets quickly absorbed in the patient’s body and is excreted completely within 24 hours through the urine.
You should inform your doctor about all the prescription and non-prescription drugs you are taking at present. Serc may interact with anti-histamines like Chlorpheniramine, Cetrizine and Diphenhydramine, histamine 2 blockers like Cimetidine and beta 2 agonists like Salmeterol, Formeterol, Fenoterol and Salbutamol.
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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.