Isoptin SR (Verapamil Hydrochloride SR) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Isoptin SR
A calcium channel blocker (CCB), Isoptin SR is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension), chest pain (angina), and certain heart rhythm disorders (such as atrial fibrillation and paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia). This drug works by preventing calcium from entering the coronary and other arteries. This, in turn, improves the flow of blood and reduces pressure on the heart.
Side Effects for Isoptin SR
Patients who buy Isoptin SR may experience various side effects. The side effects of this drug vary from less serious to serious. Less serious side effects of this medicine are: mild dizziness, nausea, mild headache, mild fatigue, constipation, itching, and skin rashes. Do not stop your medication if you experience any of these symptoms. With that said, you should always consult your doctor if any of the ‘less serious’ side effects become worse.
The list of ‘serious’ side effects of this drug includes: yellow eyes or skin, severe pain in the stomach, persistent nausea, severe headache, shortness of breath, sudden and unexplained weight gain, severe dizziness, swelling of the feet and/or ankles, dark-colored urine, black or tarry stools, and abnormally slow heartbeat. Consult your physician if you experience any of these side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is highly unlikely. Symptoms of allergic reactions include: difficulty breathing, itching or swelling (especially of the face, throat, tongue, or lips), hives, and severe dizziness. Stop the treatment and seek medical help if you show signs of any allergic reaction.
Those who are allergic to Verapamil (generic name of this drug) should not use this medicine. In addition, people who suffer from low blood pressure, certain heart conditions (such as sick sinus syndrome), or have suffered a cardiac arrest recently should not use this drug.
Before you use this medicine, tell your doctor about your medical history, especially if you’ve suffered from liver disease, kidney disease, neuromuscular disease, and congestive heart failure.
This medicine may affect your ability to focus, so exercise caution while driving, handling heavy machinery, or doing any other job that requires you to stay alert. Alcohol may make you more vulnerable to certain side effects of this drug. That is why it is recommended that you avoid alcohol during treatment.
The effect of this medicine on an unborn child is inconclusive. Pregnant women should only buy Isoptin SR after consulting their doctor. Similarly, talk to your doctor about the safety of this drug if you plan to become pregnant during treatment. This medicine passes into breast milk, so if you are a nursing mother, use this drug only after receiving the go ahead from your doctor.
Isoptin SR Dosage
Your doctor will determine the dosage based on your condition and response to therapy. It is imperative that you take the medicine as directed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, you should skip the missed dose if it is about time for your next dose.
Those who are prescribed this medicine for an extended period may be asked by their doctor to undergo regular blood pressure, kidney function, and liver function tests.
Verapamil may interact with certain medicines, so make sure you inform your doctor about all the medications you are currently using.
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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.