Adcirca (Tadalafil) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Adcirca
Adcirca is a prescription medication used for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension or high blood pressure in the lungs, thus improving a person’s ability to exercise. The generic name of Adcirca is Tadalafil. Tadalafil works by blocking phosphodiesterase-PDE5, an enzyme that increases pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs. The drug relaxes these blood vessels so that blood can flow through them freely. Your doctor may also ask you to buy Adcirca in order to treat male sexual problems like erectile dysfunction and impotence.
Side Effects for Adcirca
Dizziness, headache, lightheadedness, muscle pain, nausea, stomach upset, flushing, and a stuffy nose are some of the common side effects related to Adcirca. However, some serious side effects may occur, like partial blindness in both eyes or in one eye, especially if you have diabetes, heart disease, eye problems like crowded disk, and high cholesterol, particularly if you are more than 50 years of age and smoke. In males, Adcirca can lead to a prolonged or painful erection, which may last for as long as 4 hours. The drug can also lead to sudden hearing problems or cause ringing in the ears in rare occasions. If this takes place, you should stop using Adcirca and contact the doctor immediately. An allergic reaction to the drug may be identified by hives, rashes, itching or swelling on the face, throat or tongue, trouble breathing, or severe dizziness.
Your doctor will not recommend you to buy Adcirca if you are suffering from heart problems like coronary heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, bleeding disorder, sickle cell anemia, blood cell cancer like myeloma or leukemia, eye problems like retinitis pigmentosa, active stomach ulcers, penis problems like angulation, Peyronie’s disease, or fibrosis. You should also inform your doctor if you have idiopathic hypertrophic sub-aortic stenosis, aortic stenosis, irregular heartbeat, or a history of chest pain or heart attacks. As Adcirca makes you dizzy, you should not do activities that require you to be completely alert, like driving a vehicle or operating a machine. Taking alcoholic beverages can further aggravate your condition. In order to reduce dizziness or lightheadedness, you should get up slowly from a lying or sitting position. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should use Adcirca only if it is prescribed by your doctor.
Usually, you will be recommended to take Adcirca 40mg once a day, to be administered as two Adcirca 20mg tablets taken at once. The dosage should not be divided into separate doses and must be taken as a single dose with or without food at almost the same time everyday. If you suffer from creatinine clearance between 51 to 80ml/min or 31-50ml/min renal impairment, you will be recommended to take Adcirca 20mg only once a day, but it can be increased to 40mg if you can tolerate the medicine well.
Some of the drugs that can interact with Adcirca include alpha blocker medications like terazosin, recreational drugs having amyl/butyl nitrite, and drugs used for treating high blood pressure like ARBs having losartan. When taken with nitrates like isosorbide or nitroglycerin, the drug can interact adversely and may worsen the side effects. Some azole antifungals, rifamycins, macrolide antibiotics, HIV protease inhibitors, and seizure medicines remove tadalfil from the body, which may affect the efficacy of the medicine. You should also not take Adcirca with other drugs that contain tadalfil, which may include medicines for pulmonary hypertension like vardenafil and sildenafil and drugs for erectile dysfunction.
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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.