Acuvail (Ketorolac Tromethamine) and/or alternatives
No Generic Alternative.
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General Information On Acuvail
Acuvail is an ophthalmic solution used for reducing swelling, burning, and pain in the eyes after a cataract surgery. Ketorolac tromethamine is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID, which works by inhibiting the hormones that are responsible for causing inflammation in the body. You can buy Acuvail in the form of a single use vial. The drug has to be applied directly in the affected eye's.
Side Effects for Acuvail
Some common side effects associated with Acuvail include mild burning, itching, or stinging in the eyes, puffy or swollen eyelids, and headache. Most of these symptoms get better on their own, but if any of them persist or worsen, you need to stop using the medicine and contact your doctor. If you experience severe and uncontrollable burning, itching or stinging in the eyes, or notice severe redness in the eyes, white patches on the eyes, vision changes, watering or drainage from the eyes, or increased sensitivity to light, your doctor will recommend you to stop using the medicine or reduce its frequency or dosage.
Before your doctor recommends you to buy Acuvail, you will need to tell him or her if you are allergic to ketorolac, aspirin, or NSAIDs like celecoxib or ibuprofen. You should also consult your doctor if you have a history of asthma, bleeding problems, other eye related problems like cornea problems or dry eye syndrome, diabetes, nasal polyps, rheumatoid arthritis, or have recently undergone an eye surgery. As your vision can get unstable for a few minutes after using Acuvail, you should not drive a vehicle, operate a machine, or do any such activity that requires you to have clear vision. If you have developed a new eye injury or infection, then you should consult your doctor about whether you should continue using Acuvail or not. The medicine can be safely used during the first 2 trimesters of pregnancy, but avoid using it during the last trimester, as it may cause harm to the unborn baby.
Acuvail contains ketorolac tromethamine solution and 4.5mg per ml of the drug and has to be applied twice a day in the affected eye. You will need to start using the medicine one day before the cataract surgery, use it on the day of surgery too, and use it again for 2 weeks after your surgery. Keep the vials in a protective pouch and store them at 15º to 30º C. The pouch should be closed with the ends folded and must be kept away from light.
Do not use Acuvail with blood thinners like warfarin or coumadin, NSAIDs like ibuprofen, and anti-platelet drugs like clopidogrel. When used in combination with Acuvail, these drugs may cause unwanted bruising and bleeding. Aspirin can also increase risks of bleeding, but your doctor may recommend you to take low-dose aspirin to prevent strokes or heart attacks. If your doctor has advised you to do so, then you can continue using both the medicines together, but only as prescribed by him or her. Apart from that, you should not use Acuvail with any other eye medications, including eye drops, ointments, or gels.
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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.