Zoleptil (Zotepine) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Zoleptil
Zoleptil is used for the treatment of schizophrenia, a mental condition in which the patient experiences mood changes, behavior changes, delusions, and hallucinations. The generic name of this drug is zotepine, and it belongs to the class of drugs termed as anti-psychotic drugs. You can buy Zoleptil in the form of oral tablets. It works by blocking the brain receptors and regulating the transmission of signals between the nerve cells. In this way, negative symptoms such as lack of emotions, loneliness, depression, and the desire to be alone are relieved.
Side Effects for Zoleptil
Patients taking Zoleptil may commonly experience constipation, weight gain, stiffness, dizziness, uncontrolled body movements, indigestion, increase in saliva or a dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, blurred vision, headache, weakness, mood changes, anxiety, irritation, sweating, and fast heartbeat. Most of these symptoms are short-lived and get better on their own as your body gets used to the drug. However, if any of these persist or worsen, you should stop taking Zoleptil and contact your doctor. Sometimes, this medication may also lead to a decrease in the blood cell count and palpitations.
An allergic reaction to Zoleptil can be identified by difficulty in breathing, swollen face, tongue, throat or lips, hives and rashes. If you develop any of these symptoms after taking Zoleptil, you should stop taking it and seek medical help immediately.
Before you buy Zoleptil, you should inform your doctor if you have a heart, kidney, or liver disease, prostate problem, epilepsy, difficulty urinating, glaucoma, or gout. This medicine may cause dizziness, blurred vision, and drowsiness in the patient. Therefore, you should avoid doing activities that require clear vision and complete alertness, such as driving a vehicle or operating a machine. Avoid alcohol, as it may worsen the side effect of dizziness. If you are going to have a surgical procedure or dental treatment, you should inform the surgeon or dentist that you are on Zoleptil treatment. In order to minimize lightheadedness and dizziness, rise from a sitting or lying position slowly. As this drug may cause a dry mouth, sucking on ice, sugar-free sweets, or chewing gum can be of help. In order to prevent excessive sweating, avoid getting overheated during hot weather or exercise, as it may lead to dehydration.
Zoleptil 25mg, Zoleptil 50mg, and Zoleptil 100mg tablets are available in the market. The dosage recommended to you depends on your medical condition, response to treatment, other medical conditions you are suffering from, other medicinal products you are using at present, and your age.
Zoleptil can adversely react with other medicines like CNS depressants and high dose anti-psychotics. It should also not be given if a patient is going to be administered anesthesia. You should inform your surgeon that you are taking Zoleptil before undergoing a surgery. Also do not take hypotensive agents along with Zoleptil, in addition to drugs that cause QTc prolongation. As this drug causes dizziness, do not take it with other drugs that cause the same effect. Such medicines may include sedatives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, narcotic pain relievers, anti-anxiety and anti-seizure medicines, and antidepressants. It is important to make your doctor and pharmacist aware of all medications you are taking before you start Zoleptil.
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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.