Axert (Almotriptan Malate) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Axert
Axert is a prescription medicine used to treat migraine headaches. The drug is only used to treat existing migraine pain and cannot prevent migraines that may occur in the future. It belongs to a group of migraine drugs known as 5-HT agonists or Triptans. Axert is available in a tablet form and works by narrowing the blood vessels, which in turn provides relief from migraine symptoms.
Side Effects for Axert
Axert is associated with several side effects. In most cases, patients using Axert suffer from minor side effects, and severe negative symptoms have only occurred in rare cases. The most common side effects of Axert are: mild headache, excessive warmth or redness under the skin, drowsiness or dizziness, dry mouth, vomiting, nausea, and joint pains.
In rare cases, the following serious side effects may occur: sudden numbness on one side of the body, severe headache, bloody stools, intense stomach pain, hallucinations, dizziness to the point of feeling like you are going to faint, profuse sweating, and swelling of the tongue, throat, or lips. If you suffer from these side effects, you must immediately seek medical help.
If your doctor has prescribed Axert for your migraine problems, you must be aware of its risks. Inform your doctor about your medical condition and intimate him/her well in advance if you have kidney problems, certain blood vessel conditions, or severe depression. You must also consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, smoke, have gone through menopause, and have genetic heart disease problems. Axert is not meant for daily consumption and is only to be taken if you are having a migraine attack. You must swallow the tablet whole with a glass or water or any other fluid. These precautionary measures are essential to prevent any unwanted complications.
Axert dosage differs from patient to patient depending on several factors such as one’s response to the drug, other medical conditions of the patient, and the types of other medicines used by him/her. Clinical studies suggest that a higher dose of Axert can be more effective, but can also bring with it an increased risk of dangerous side effects. Doctors usually recommend 6.25 mg or 12.5 mg for patients with migraine problems. Patients using Axert should not take more than two doses in 24 hours. If you buy Axert for your migraine problem, you must strictly stick to the dosage and instructions as recommended by your doctor.
Patients using Axert in combination with other prescription or over the counter drugs may suffer from drug interactions. These drug interactions can lead to adverse consequences. It is therefore recommended that you inform your doctor about all the other drugs you are using, including prescription, over the counter, and herbal medications. Axert may potentially interact with several other medicines such as MAOIs, ergot medications, and certain antidepressants including Bupropion, Nefazodone, Mirtazapine, and Budeprion. It also interacts with certain AIDS/HIV medicines, antifungal drugs, and certain antibiotics.
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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.