Glucophage (Metformin Hydrochloride) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Glucophage
Glucophage or Metformin belongs to the biguanide family of drugs used for treating diabetes mellitus observed in obese/overweight patients who have stable kidney function. Doctors are trying to establish the efficacy of Metformin in controlling gestational diabetes. You may buy Glucophage for treating polycystic ovary syndrome and other conditions that can develop insulin resistance if your physician recommends it. Metformin is the only anti-diabetic drug that has been shown to control triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels that help in preventing cardiovascular complications observed by diabetic patients.
Glucophage may sometimes be used in combination with other anti-diabetic drugs or insulin, but it is not used for treating Type I diabetes. Along with Glucophage, doctors will advise a proper diet and exercise regime to control your sugar levels. Metformin regulates blood sugar by helping your body respond properly to the insulin that it is naturally producing. It also reduces the sugar produced by liver that is absorbed by the intestines and stomach.
Side Effects for Glucophage
During initial days of treatment, if you buy Glucophage and use it, you may experience headache, weakness, muscle pain, vomiting, gas, diarrhea, stomach pain, and gas until your body gets adjusted to this medicine. The prolonged use of Glucophage can result in lactic acidosis, which can prove to be fatal. Therefore, if you observe symptoms of lactic acidosis such as muscle weakness and pain, numbness in limbs, breathing difficulty, light headedness, stomach ache, uneven heartbeat, etc., then stop taking this medication and contact your doctor immediately. Some people may experience a metallic taste in their mouth when they initially start taking this medicine. This sensation should disappear after few days of using Glucophage.
Patients allergic to Metformin should not buy Glucophage or use it. Before you buy Glucophage, inform the doctor about your medical history, especially if you are suffering from severe breathing disorders like asthma, obstructive lung disease, blood problem, kidney disorder, liver problems or metabolic acidosis. You should always inform your doctor that you are using this medicine when going for any surgery. As this drug can make you drowsy or blur your vision, do not perform any activity that requires high alertness after using this medicine. If you sweat excessively or are using diuretic pills, inform your doctor if you suffer from dehydration as it can increase the chances of lactic acidosis. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, buy Glucophage and use it only under doctor’s supervision.
Glucophage 500mg, Glucophage 850mg, and Glucophage 1000mg tablets are available in the market. The tablet should be swallowed completely with a tall glass of water. Glucophage dosage is decided based on the patient’s age, medical history and tolerance level. Doctors may start with a lower dose of Glucophage and gradually increase the strength until the right dosage is achieved. You also have to exercise regularly and eat right along with using Glucophage if you want to keep your sugar under control. Get your sugar levels checked regularly when using this medication. Doctors may recommend that you use vitamin B-12 along with Glucophage.
Inform doctors about all the prescription/non-prescription/herbal/vitamin supplements that you are using before you buy Glucophage. You should also tell the doctor if you are using medicines like nifedipine, furosemide,cimetidine,digoxin, amiloride, procainamide, morphine, vancomycin, quindine or trimethoprim, as they can interact negatively with Glucophage. You can suffer from hyperglycemia if you use Metformin with diuretics, isoniazid, steroids, niacin, thyroid medicines, seizure medicines, diet pills, asthma medicines, phenothiazines, and birth control pills.
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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.