Venofer (Iron Sucrose) and/or alternatives
No Generic Alternative.
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General Information on Venofer
Venofer is an intravenous iron sucrose infusion specifically given to anemic patients. The generic name of the drug is iron sucrose injection. It is a sterile, brown, aqueous composition of polynuclear iron (III)-hydroxide in sucrose. Venofer replenishes the body’s iron stores and thus keeps anemia under control. The drug is highly recommended to treat iron deficiency in adult patients who have non-dialysis dependent-chronic kidney disease (NDD-CKD).
Venofer can be safely given to patients having NDD-CKD in both conditions, i.e. those who receive an erythropoietin and those who do not receive an erythropoietin. It is also recommended for treating iron deficiency for other kidney diseases in adults such as hemodialysis dependent-chronic kidney disease (HDD-CKD) (receiving an erythropoietin), peritoneal dialysis dependent-chronic kidney disease (PDD-CKD) (receiving an erythropoietin). Venofer is intended for patients whose doctor has determined that you have iron deficiency anemia related to chronic kidney disease
Venofer Side Effects
Some patients may experience side effects after taking Venofer such as cramps, headaches, diarrhea, and nausea. Though these side effects are less severe, you should notify your doctor if they become bothersome or persist for a long time. Some patients may also experience severe allergic reactions after taking Venofer, such as tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or lips, hives, rashes, convulsions, and loss of consciousness. You should immediately talk to your doctor if you notice or experience any allergic reactions. These allergic reactions are serious in nature and require immediate medical attention.
You should inform your doctor about any allergies or if you are allergic to any intravenous iron injection before you are recommended the dosage of the drug to cure anemia. Women should also inform their doctor about their pregnancy or if they are breastfeeding. You should buy Venofer only after consulting your doctor.
The drug needs to be injected in the vein and so, the dosage of Venofer is always given by a doctor or healthcare professional. Venofer is available in 2.5 mL (50 mg), 5 mL (500 mg) and 10 mL (200 mg) single dose vials. In a majority of cases, a cumulative dose of 1000 mg is given to NDD-CKD patients by giving Venofer 200mg 5 times in a 14 day period.
PDD-CKD patients are also given a cumulative dosage of 1000mg in a 28 day period. They are given 2 infusions of 300 mg (1 Venofer 200 mg + 2 Venofer 50 mg) in 1.5 hours in 14 days and one 400 mg (2 Venofer 200mg) over 2.5 hours 14 days later. HDD-CKD patients are given undiluted 100 mg of the drug, which is two Venofer 50mg over a period of 15 minutes per consecutive hemodialysis session.
This drug may react with vitamin products and other products containing iron. You should provide your doctor with a list of all medications including the over the counter medications (non-prescriptions) and herbal products that you take to treat common ailments. You should not make the decision of starting, stopping, or reducing the dosage of the medicines on your own. It is necessary that you consult your doctor for any decision about the dosage of other medications when you are taking Venofer.
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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.