Hyalgan (Sodium Hyaluronate) and/or alternatives
No Generic Alternative.
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General Information On Hyalgan
Hyalgan is specifically prescribed to treat osteoarthritis and knee pain. Patients are advised to take this drug when other treatments such as conservative non-pharmacologic therapy, simple analgesics, acetaminophen, and exercise don't give the desired relief. The generic name of the drug is Hyaluronate, which is also known as Hyaluronan. The drug is similar to a substance that occurs naturally in the joints. It acts as a shock absorber in the joint and also as a lubricant, thus lessening the pain. The result is that the patient is able to move the knee far better after taking a Hyalgan injection in the joint. However, it is important for you to consult your doctor before you buy Hyalgan.
Side Effects for Hyalgan
Some people may experience side effects after taking the Hyalgan injection. You may experience side effects such as severe headache, back pain, fever, fast/pounding heartbeat, or tingling skin. You should immediately tell your doctor if you experience any side effects after taking the medication. Some people may also experience allergic reactions such as swelling of the throat/face/tongue, breathing trouble, and rash. If you experience any of these conditions, contact your doctor right away. You may also experience swelling or increased pain in the knee at the injection site. You should immediately notify you doctor if the swelling persists for a long time or worsens.
You should not take Hyalgan if you are allergic to Hyaluronan. Consult your doctor if you have any allergies or are allergic to feathers, bird proteins, or egg products. It is necessary that you tell your doctor about your medical history of skin infections/problems in the area where the drug is injected or about knee joint infections or circulation problems in the legs. Hyalgan should not be injected into an artery or vein as this may give rise to more side effects. After the drug is injected in your body, you should avoid all activities that will put stress on your knee. You should strictly avoid activities such as standing on your feet for more than one hour, jogging, heavy lifting, and tennis for at least 48 hours post the Hyalgan injection.
Hyalgan is supplied as a non-pyrogenic and sterile solution in a 2ml prefilled syringe or 2ml vials. The medication needs to be administered via intra-articular injection. Doctors may recommend you to take five injections at weekly intervals as a part of the complete treatment cycle. Some people may start experiencing benefits after taking three injections of the medication at weekly intervals. Your doctor or healthcare provider will administer the dosage as an intra-articular injection by following strict aseptic administration techniques. The required dosage of Hyalgan depends on your medical condition and your body's response to the treatment. You should buy Hyalgan only as per your doctor's recommendation.
Hyalgan may interact with other drugs and cause side effects. Therefore, it is necessary that you provide your doctor a list of medications you take, which includes prescribed, non-prescribed and herbal medications.
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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.