Hiprex (Methenamine Hippurate) and/or alternatives
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General Information on Hiprex
Hiprex, also knwon as Methenamine, is primarily used for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections. This drug is an antibacterial agent and works by eliminating and stopping the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract. Generally, doctors prescribe this medication only when other antibiotics fail to heal the infection.
This medicine is not meant to be used for the treatment/prevention of viral infections. Also, do not use this drug for the treatment of bacterial infections other than those in the urinary tract.
Side Effects of Hiprex
Possible side effects of this drug include: diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, cramps or pain in the abdomen. In case any of these symptoms persist or exacerbate, then you must immediately contact your doctor. In a few cases, this drug may cause pain or difficulty while urinating. When this happens, you should immediately contact your doctor, who is likely to reduce your medication or change your treatment.
In rare cases, this drug may cause certain serious side effects. Unlikely but serious effects of this drug are: muscle cramps, swelling in the legs and/or arms, sensation of ringing in the ears, headache, or mouth sores. Immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of these symptoms.
In the rarest cases, this medicine may trigger a serious allergic reaction. Symptoms of allergic reaction are: breathing difficulty, rash, swelling of tongue/throat/face, itching, and dizziness. Seek your doctor’s guidance if you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms.
Overdosing on this medicine may cause the following unpleasant symptoms: irritation in the bladder, pain during urination, frequent urination, and/or pinkish or reddish urine. Immediately consult your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms.
Anyone who is allergic to Methenamine, formaldehyde, or any of the ingredients used in this medicine should not take this medicine. This is why you must consult your doctor before you buy Hiprex. Also, you must share your medical history with your doctor, especially if you suffer from: dehydration, kidney problems, or liver problems.
Women who are pregnant should use this medicine only when advised by their doctor. This medicine is known to pass into breast milk. However, it is unclear whether the medicine is harmful for the infant. Even then, breastfeeding mothers are advised to talk to their doctors before taking Hiprex.
You should take Hiprex as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will prescribe the correct dose based on your condition and your response to this drug.
Certain types of drugs are known to interact with this medicine. You should tell your doctor about all the medicines that you are taking, especially the following: Sulfonamide drugs, urinary alkalinizers (such as sodium or potassium citrate, antacids, or sodium bicarbonate), and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (such as water pills, or acetazolamide). This medicine can interact with other certain non-prescription drugs and herbal medicines. Make it a point to inform your doctor about all the over-the-counter and herbal medicines that you are 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.