Pradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate Mesylate) and/or alternatives
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General Information on Pradaxa
Pradaxa is a medication that is used for minimizing the risk of stroke in patients suffering from certain heart rhythm disorders. The generic name of this medication is Dabigratan. You can buy Pradaxa as an oral capsule. Pradaxa works by preventing the blood from clotting.
Side Effects for Pradaxa
Allergic reactions may occur when taking Pradaxa. Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical assistance if you face an allergic reaction. When an allergic reaction occurs you are likely to experience the following symptoms – hives, swelling of the throat, tongue, lips or face, and difficulty in breathing.
Inform your doctor at once and stop taking Pradaxa if you suffer from serious side effects. Some severe side effects include continuous bleeding, easy bruising, weakness, and unusual bleeding from the nose, rectum, vagina or mouth. Other serious side effects include red or purple pinpoints under the skin, coughing blood, brown or pink urine, heavy menstrual bleeding, and joint swelling or pain.
Pradaxa may also cause certain mild side effects such as indigestion, stomach pain, stomach upset, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, and mild itching or skin rash. Inform your doctor if these side effects worsen or persist for a long time.
Do not buy Pradaxa if you are allergic to Dabigatran. Inform your doctor if you suffer from any active bleeding due to injury, surgery or any other reason. Tell your doctor in advance if you have a kidney disease or if you have a history of stomach bleeding or ulcers.
Pradaxa may or may not be dangerous to an unborn baby. Inform your doctor beforehand if you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant in near future. Pradaxa may or may not pass into breast milk. Do not take this medication without consulting your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.
This is not a complete list of precautions. Before starting the treatment, read the patient information leaflet that you receive with the purchase of Pradaxa, as it contains a complete list of precautions and other valuable information that helps you to safely use this medicine.
Your doctor will prescribe the correct dose for you after studying your condition and taking several other factors into account. It is imperative that you take the medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. The capsule should be swallowed whole without chewing or breaking. Pradaxa prevents blood clotting, so it is possible that you may bleed even after sustaining a minor injury. Inform your doctor or seek emergency medical help in case this happens.
You should seek emergency medical help in case of an overdose. The symptoms of an overdose are unstoppable or excessive bleeding.
Before you buy Pradaxa, inform your doctor all the medications that you have recently taken or are still taking. Also, tell your doctor if you have been prescribed any other medication to prevent blood clots. Examples of such medications include Abciximab, Anegrelide, Cilostazod, Clopidogrel, Dipyridamole, Eptifibatide, Prasugrel, Ticlopidine, and Tirofiban. Other medications that you must notify your doctor before using Pradaxa are – Quinidine, Rifampin, and St. John’s Wort.
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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.