Oforta (Fludarabine Phosphate) and/or alternatives
No Generic Alternative.
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General Information On Oforta
Oforta is used for the treatment of B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or CLL mostly after all other cancer medicines have proved to be unsuccessful in treating the condition. The generic name of the drug is fludarabine phosphate and it belongs to the class of antimetabolites, which interfere with the cancer cells’ ability to spread and multiply. The structure of the drug is such that it bypasses the actions of adenosine deaminase enzymes and gets inside the cancer cells even before they become active. You can buy Oforta in the form of an injection that is given to a patient intravenously.
Side Effects for Oforta
Muscle pain, swelling of the legs, mild nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, sweating, mild itching, skin rash, and symptoms of cold like a stuffy or runny nose and sneezing are some of the common symptoms associated with Oforta. Most of these are mild and improve on their own as your body gets used to the drug. However, you should immediately seek medical help if you experience dark urine, pale or yellow skin, shortness of breath, easy bruising or bleeding from the rectum, vagina, mouth or nose, red or purple spots under the skin, vision problems, cough with green or yellow mucus, bloody or black stools, stabbing pain in the chest, blood in the urine, burning or pain while urinating, tingly feeling or numbness around the mouth, contractions, tightness, muscle weakness, overactive reflexes, or lower back pain. You should also inform your doctor if you develop an allergic reaction to Oforta, which can be identified by hives, trouble breathing, severe dizziness, or swelling or itching on the face, tongue, lips or throat.
Before you buy Oforta, you should inform your doctor if you have a history of virus illnesses like chickenpox or herpes, blood disorders like clotting problems or anemia, or any kidney problem. Do not take any vaccination or immunization without consulting your doctor, and avoid contact with those who have recently received flu vaccine inhalation or an oral polio vaccine. To lower your risks of getting cut, injured, or bruised, you should avoid being near or using sharp objects such as nail cutters, razors, scissors or knives. If you are pregnant, you should not use Oforta as it may cause harm to your unborn baby. You should take Oforta only if clearly needed if you are breastfeeding a child.
You may be given Oforta 25mg/m2 per day for 5 days. This cycle is repeated every 28 days. The dosage will be reduced by 20% if you are a patient with weakened kidney function. Reconstitute the powder with 2ml of sterile water, use it within 8 hours, and do not mix it with any other drug. The injection should be stored under 2ºC to 8ºC in a refrigerator, but it should not be frozen.
Some of the medicinal products that may adversely interact with Oforta include blood thinners like warfarin and enoxaparin, salicylates or NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen, live vaccines like typhoid, polio or flu vaccines, and pentostatin. Apart from that, you should inform your doctor about all the medicines you are taking at present, whether they are prescription or non-prescription drugs, herbal products, or health supplements.
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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.