Inspra (Eplerenone) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Inspra
Inspra is a prescription drug that can be used alone, or in combination with other medicines, to treat heart failure, regulate blood pressure in the body, and help prevent worsening of heart failure. You may wish to buy Inspra for the effective management of high blood pressure and for the treatment of congestive heart failure and kidney problems.
Inspra contains Eplerenone, an aldosterone antagonist. The drug works by blocking aldosterone, a hormone important for regulation of blood pressure in the body. High levels of aldosterone can increase blood pressure and lead to heart failure. Blocking aldosterone helps in lowering the amount of sodium and water retention in the body, thereby lowering a patient’s blood pressure.
Side Effects for Inspra
Inspra has not been associated with any major side effects and is well-tolerated by a vast majority of patients. In some cases, however, minor side effects such as headache, dizziness, stomach pain, diarrhea and nausea can occur. Gynecomastia and abnormal vaginal bleeding are some rare but possible side effects of Eplerenone (generic name of this drug). Consult your health practitioner immediately if any of the aforementioned side effects persist or if you experience a severe allergic reaction (itching, rashes or breathing problems) after taking Inspra. Patients suffering from renal impairment have a higher risk of developing Hyperkalemia, and need to be extra cautious when using Inspra.
Hyperkalemia can be a serious problem with Eplerenone. Reduce your potassium intake while on this medication, as it can lead to irregular heartbeat or muscle weakness. Let your doctor know about your medical history including any major disorders, or a health problem that you have been recently treated for. Also, inform the doctor in advance if you are allergic to certain food products, dyes or any chemical. The drug can cause slight drowsiness. Therefore, during the treatment, you should avoid activities that require alertness such as driving, operating machinery, etc.
The recommended dosage for hypertension patients is Inspra 25 mg, to be taken once daily. For best results, the medication should be taken at the same time daily, with or without food. Once the treatment has begun, the dosage can be adjusted according to the potassium serum levels in your body. Your doctor might advise a higher dosage of Inspra 50 mg twice daily in case your blood pressure is not coming under control. A high dosage of Eplerenone is usually not recommended, as it increases the risk of Hyperkalemia. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember and continue with your regular schedule. However, never take a double dose to make up for the missed one.
Before you start Inspra therapy, inform your doctor about all the other medicines/supplements that you are taking. This includes all prescription, non-prescription and herbal medicines. Eplerenone can react with a number of drugs such as Losartan (another drug for hypertension), Ibuprofen (an analgesic), Naproxen (an anti-inflammatory drug) Fluconazole (an anti-fungal medicine) and Erythromycin (an antibiotic). Combined use with these and certain other drugs can reduce the efficacy of Inspra and/or cause adverse reactions. Eplerenone may also interact with potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium. Depending on other medicines that you are taking, your doctor may alter the dosage to avoid any adverse side effects or problems during Inspra therapy.
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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.