Caverject (Alprostadil) and/or alternatives
No Generic Alternative.
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General Information On Caverject
Caverject (generic name: Alprostadil) is a medicine used for treating erectile dysfunction caused due to psychogenic, vasculogenic, neurogenic, or mixed etiology. Alprostadil is a prostaglandin, which works by encouraging the flow of blood to the penis so that an erection is achieved and maintained. You can buy Caverject in the form of 6.15, 11.9, 23.2 and 46.4 mg intracavernosal vials. This drug should not be used by men with penile implants and cannot be used by children or women. Caverject can also be used in diagnostic tests for detecting erectile dysfunction.
Side Effects for Caverject
Mild pain, slight bleeding and irritation at the injection site are likely to surface after Caverject is administered. Most of these side effects subside as your body gets used to the drug, but if the situation becomes intolerable, you should inform your doctor immediately. You should be careful if you notice redness, swelling or tenderness on the penis, or if you see unusual curving or lumps in the penis. Sometimes, you may have a prolonged and painful erection for as long as 4 hours. If this happens, you should immediately stop using Caverject and seek medical help. Other than the above side effects, some patients may also complain of hypertension, headache, dizziness, back pain, sinusitis, nasal congestion, cough, and trauma. Continued use of Caverject may also result in prostatic disorders in the patient.
Before taking Caverject, you should inform your doctor if you are allergic to Alprostadil or to any active or inactive ingredients in the medicine. You should also tell your doctor if you are suffering from a penis condition like fibrosis, scarring, angulation, or Peyronie’s disease, and blood cancers like multiple myeloma, leukemia, or sickle cell anemia. You should remember that Caverject does not provide protection against diseases like Hepatitis B, syphilis, gonorrhea, or HIV, and therefore, you should use a barrier form of contraception like condoms while on this drug. As Caverject causes dizziness, you should not perform any activity which requires complete alertness, such as driving a vehicle or operating a machine.
Caverject treatment usually starts off with Caverject 2.5mg, which can be increased up to Caverject 140mg depending on the patient’s condition and his response to treatment. However, most patients do not need to take 140mg, and many respond well to Caverject 40mg. You should not stop using the drug if you feel that your symptoms have been relieved, and you must also not use Caverject for a longer period than prescribed, as it will not help you more.
Before your doctor advises you to buy Caverject, you should tell him/her if you are taking blood thinners like heparin or warfarin. As the drug causes dizziness, you should not take along it with sedatives, sleeping pills, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines, anti-seizure medicines, and narcotic pain relievers. Other than the above drugs, you should inform your doctor about all the medicinal products you are using at present, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, herbal products, and health supplements.
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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.