Agrylin (Anagrelide Hydrochloride) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Agrylin
Agrylin is prescribed to treat thrombocythemia. It is a blood disorder caused due to the excess production of platelets by the bone marrow. Platelets are blood cells that help in the formation of blood clots. A high platelet count can lead to the formation of unwanted clots, which may cause bleeding and circulation problems. The generic name of the drug is Anagrelide. It belongs to a class of drugs known as platelet reducing drugs. Agrylin works by decreasing the production of platelets and is available in the form of a capsule. Agrylin is also used to treat myeloproliferative disorder. You can buy Agrylin only after consulting your doctor.
Side Effects for Agrylin
Agrylin may cause side effects such as weakness, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, and nausea. You can avoid lightheadedness and dizziness by rising slowly from a lying or sitting position. The drug may also cause severe side effects in some people. You should immediately contact your doctor if you experience severe breathing problems, abdominal or stomach pain, blood in the urine, black stools, or unusual bleeding. You should understand that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he/she is of the opinion that the benefits provided by the drug are far greater than its risk of side effects. Although it has the potential to produce side effects, many patients who take Agrylin do not complain of any side effects at all.
You should not take Agrylin if you have allergies or liver disease. Before starting the treatment, tell your doctor about your medical history, particularly if you’ve suffered from heart problems, kidney problems, or lung problems. You should limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages. Agrylin may cause dizziness, so avoid performing activities that require you to be alert, such as working on machines and driving. Pregnant women, women who are trying to get pregnant, and nursing mothers should buy Agrylin only after talking to their doctor.
The medication is available in two strengths: Agrylin 0.5mg and Agrylin 1mg. The recommended dose for adults during the initial stage of treatment is one Agrylin 1mg capsule a day or two Agrylin 0.5mg capsules daily. Your doctor will give you specific instructions regarding the dosage and increase or decrease the dosage in the later stages of treatment. The recommended dosage for pediatric patients is one Agrylin 0.5mg capsule a day. In the later stages of treatment, doctors generally reduce the dose that is sufficient to maintain a normal count of platelets in the blood. Doctors need to check the platelet count in the first two days after starting the treatment. Thereafter, you doctor may check the platelet count weekly while prescribing the maintenance dose of Agrylin.
Agrylin may interact with certain drugs such as Aggrastat, Arixtra, Ardeparin, Bexxar, Clexane, Danaparoid, Eptifibatide, Integrilin, Lovenox, Normiflo, Tipranavir, Zanaflex and several other medicines. You should inform you doctor about every drug you are taking, which includes prescription medications, over the counter drugs, and herbal supplements before starting treatment with Agrylin.
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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.