Kytril (Granisetron Hydrochloride) and/or alternatives
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General Information on Kytril
Kytril is the brand name for the Granisetron hydrochloride, a potent anti-emetic drug. It is used for the treatment and prevention of chemotherapy or radiation induced nausea and vomiting. Kytril belongs to the group of Serotonin – (5-HT3) receptor antagonists. You doctor may ask you to buy Kytril to prevent the early and late onset of nausea and vomiting. The medicine works by blocking the action of serotonin in the body. It is available in three forms - injectable (I.V), oral tablets, and oral solution. While Granisetron can be safely administered to adults, it’s not recommended for pregnant women and pediatric patients.
Side Effects for Kytril
Granisetron is known to cause mild to moderate side effects such as headache, dizziness, fever, pain/redness at the injection site, and diarrhea. However, most of these symptoms subside and do not need medical intervention. Although rare, this drug can also cause skin allergies such as rashes, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, etc. Some serious reactions reported with Kytril are chest pain, irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, and abdominal pain. If you experience these or other serious symptoms while taking this medication, inform your doctor immediately.
Before you buy Kytril, inform your doctor about your medical history. He/she may need to adjust your dosage if you are suffering from liver disorder/disease, electrolyte imbalance, heart rhythm disorder, or have a family history of Long QT disorder. The drug may not be suitable for you if you are allergic to Granisetron or other 5-FT3 blockers such as Dolasetron, Ondansetron, etc. The safety of this medicine has not been established for use by pregnant and lactating mothers, so in such cases, it is best to consult your health practitioner. The drug is usually taken an hour before the chemotherapy session. Inform your doctor if you forget to take your scheduled dose.
For treating or controlling chemotherapy induced nausea, the usual dosage is Kytril 1 mg to be taken an hour before chemotherapy, and another 1 mg to be taken 12 hours after the session. The medicine can also be given in the IV form. The recommended injectable dosage is Kytril 10mcg/kg to be administered intravenously 30 minutes before the chemotherapy session. For adults undergoing radiation therapy, the dosage is Kytril 2 mg to be taken an hour before therapy. In case you have missed the dose or have not taken it at the scheduled time, inform your doctor about it, as he/she may want to reschedule the timing of chemotherapy.
Kytril does not inhibit Cytochrome P-450 enzymes, so no confirmed drug interaction studies available in this regard. Granisetron injection can be used concurrently with Benzodiazepines, neuroleptics, and the anti-ulcer group of medications. Alcohol can increase the severity of side effects associated with this drug, so Kytril patients should limit their alcohol intake. Avoid using Granisetron with drugs that are known to prolong QT interval, as any such combination may cause serious clinical problems. In general, Kytril is considered a safe and non-reactive drug which can be concomitantly administered with most other 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.