Ranexa (Ranolazine ER) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Ranexa
Ranexa is used to treat a certain type of chest pain in adults known as chronic angina. Chronic Angina refers to chest pain that occurs due to emotional stress, extreme temperatures, or by exercise. The generic name of this drug is Ranolazine. It is an antianginal drug which works to increase the blood flow to the heart, helping it to work more efficiently. The drug is available in the form of an extended release tablet. Ranexa can prove helpful in reducing the number of angina attacks but it may also cause certain side effects in some people. Therefore, you should buy Ranexa only after proper consultation with your doctor.
Side Effects for Ranexa
Some people may experience side effects after taking the recommended dose of Ranexa. However, it is not necessary that every person who takes this medication also experiences its negative effects. In fact, many people who take Ranexa do not complain about any side effects.
Constipation, nausea, headache and dizziness are some of the common side effects that you may experience after taking this drug. Some people may also experience serious side effect such as swelling in the ankles/feet/hands, blood in urine, less urination, skin rash, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, numbness or tremors. You should immediately notify your doctor if you experience any side effects after you take Ranolazine.
Ranexa may not be the right drug for people with certain medical conditions. You should not take the drug if you have a liver disease. You should inform your doctor about you personal or family medical history, especially of an innate heart condition known as Long QT syndrome (LQTS). Ranexa may interact with certain medicines. While you are using this medicine, do not take any new medicines without informing your doctor.
The safety of this drug in pregnant and lactating women has not been established. Talk to your doctor before taking Ranexa to treat angina if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ranexa is available in a tablet form in two strengths; Ranexa 500mg and Ranexa 1000mg. Your doctor will advise you the correct dosage. You can take the medication with or without food. A Ranexa tablet is an extended release type of tablet, which is different from a normal tablet. Release of medication in these types of tablets happens in slow and controlled manner. Therefore, it is necessary that you swallow the tablet whole and not chew it, as the drug will not work as intended. Ranexa is a prescription medication which means you need to consult your doctor before you can buy Ranexa tablets to treat angina.
Ranexa may interact with other drugs and cause side effects. The drug may interact with Tolterodine, Aprepitant, Digoxin, Arsenic Trioxide, Chloroquine, Simvastatin, Fluconazole, or Tamsulosin. Ranexa may also interact with ADHD medications, certain antibiotics, antidepressants, cough medicines, cancer medicines, blood pressure or heart medicines, migraine headache medicines, narcotic medications, and medicines used to treat nausea, and psychiatric disorders. You doctor or pharmacist will be aware of which drugs interact with Ranexa. Therefore, provide your doctor and pharmacist with the names of all medicines that you are currently taking.
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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.