Avapro (Irbesartan) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Avapro
Avapro is a prescription drug that belongs to a class of drugs known as Angiotensin II receptor antagonists. The drug is used to treat high blood pressure or hypertension. In addition, it is also prescribed for treating kidney problems caused due to Type 2 diabetes. Avapro works by preventing the narrowing of blood vessels, which in turn boost blood flow throughout the body and lower the blood pressure levels. If you have been suffering from high blood pressure problems, you can consult your doctor and buy Avapro to keep your blood pressure in check.
Side Effects for Avapro
Several patients using Avapro suffer from its side effects. The side effects can be mild or serious, but it should also be noted that many patients do not experience any side effects at all. The mild side effects of Avapro include: mild diarrhea, tiredness, dizziness, stomach upset, and heart burn.
In rare cases, patients using Avapro may experience these serious side effects: changes in the amount of urine passed, mood swings, constant thirst, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, confusion, drastic weight gain, and swelling of certain body parts. If you experience any of these serious side effects, you must immediately consult your doctor.
Before you start taking Avapro, you must understand the risks associated with it and follow essential precautionary measure to minimize these risks. You must inform your doctor about all your health problems before he/she prescribes Avapro. Do not take this drug if you are allergic to irbesartan. Women who are pregnant should also avoid using Avapro without consulting their doctor. If you have any kidney problems, liver disease, or if you have had heart problems including heart attack in the past, you must inform your doctor about the same. Avoid drinking alcohol and using salt substitutes during the course of treatment as doing so can further reduce your blood pressure.
The Avapro dosage determined by your doctor will depend on several factors including – the way your body responds to the drug, the type of other drugs you are taking, your medical history, and the condition for which you are receiving treatment. Apart from these factors, the side effects you may experience after taking Avapro may also affect your dosage. The standard recommended dose for treating diabetes nephropathy patients is 300 mg once a day. The Avapro dosage for regulating high blood pressure is 150 mg once daily. The drug should be taken orally with a glass of water with or without food.
When used with certain other medicines, Avapro may give rise to drug interactions. This can lead to unwanted side effects and reduce the effectiveness of the medicines. Such negative symptoms may cause your body to metabolize the drugs in a different way than intended and increase the potassium levels in your system. Avapro can potentially interact with various potassium supplements, diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, or torsemide, and potassium-sparing diuretics.
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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.