Glucotrol (Glipizide) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Glucotrol
Patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes may be prescribed to buy Glucotrol for treatment of the disease. Usually, doctors prescribe this medicine as part of an overall treatment plan for a diabetic patient. Besides Glipizide (generic name of this medicine), other essential components of an effective diabetes treatment plan include: diet, exercise, weight management, and regular testing of blood sugar levels. A sulfonylurea-type medicine, this drug helps your pancreas produce insulin.
Side Effects for Glucotrol
Like other medicines, this drug too may cause certain side effects. However, the side effects of Glucotrol generally are less serious. In case you notice any serious side effects or an allergic reaction to this drug, you must stop the medication and seek medical assistance. To help you distinguish between less serious and serious side effects of this medicine, we present a list of side effects that this drug may cause.
Common and less serious side effects of this medicine include: pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, rashes, drowsiness, or dizziness. Continue to take your medicine in case you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms. In case any of these symptoms exacerbate, contact your doctor immediately.
Uncommon but serious side effects of this drug include: fever, persistent sore throat, an unusually fast heartbeat, excessive sweating or thirst, dark colored urine, yellowed skin, easy bruising/bleeding, or swelling of the hands and feet. Stop taking this medication immediately if you notice any of these symptoms and seek medical help.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is highly uncommon. With that said, if you notice any of the symptoms discussed below, then you must immediately stop the medication and seek emergency medical help. The symptoms of an allergic reaction are: breathing problems or swelling/itching (especially of the face, tongue, throat, and lips).
You should not buy Glucotrol or consume it if you are allergic to it or if you are in state of Diabetes Ketoacidosis (DKA). Also, before using this medicine, talk to your doctor about your medical history, especially if you have: kidney disease, liver disease, blockage in your intestines, heart disease, or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.
Pregnant women should not use this medication before consulting their doctor. Although it is not established if this drug passes into breast milk, nursing mothers should only use this medicine after receiving a go ahead from their doctor.
Depending on your condition and response to the medicine, your doctor will recommend the set dosage. Usually, the starting dosage is Glucotrol 5mg once daily, 30 minutes before breakfast.
This medicine may interact with certain drugs. The following drugs may increase your risk to hyperglycemia when taken with Glucotrol: thyroid medicines, diet pills, diuretics, birth control pills, high blood pressure medicines, seizure medicines, and steroids. The following drugs, when taken with this medicine, may increase your risk to hypoglycemia: sulfa drugs, blood-thinner drugs, beta-blockers, aspirin, other oral diabetes drugs, and exenatide. In addition, this medicine may also react with certain over-the-counter medicines, such as vitamin pills or herbal medicines. Ensure that you inform your doctor about all the medicines that you are currently taking.
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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.