Viramune (Nevirapine) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Viramune
The drug Viramune (Nevirapine) is used in the treatment of HIV infections. Although this drug is known to prevent the HIV virus from multiplying in the body, it does not help cure or prevent the spread of the disease. This drug is used in combination with other antiretroviral agents to help treat HIV-1. It actually improves the performance of your immune system whilst lowering the risk of the disease.
Side Effects for Viramune
Hepatitis, hepatic failure, toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and hypersensitivity reactions are the major side effects of using Viramune. It is important to note that this drug can cause severe to life threatening hepatotoxicity in patients, especially in women. Given these dangerous side effects, it is important to monitor the patient intensively during the first 18 weeks of treatment for early detection of any such complication.
Other side effects include tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, loss of appetite, pain in the stomach, dark urine, clay colored stools etc. Some patients may experience jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes, as well a skin rash. Changes in body fat also occur in certain cases, where you can witness either a dramatic increase or decrease in the amount of body fat.
While these are some of the adverse reactions that have been observed, it is important to note that this list is not exhaustive. If you exhibit any of the above symptoms or any other discomfort, it is important to immediately contact your doctor and seek medical attention.
It is important to understand that Nevirapine can cause serious repercussions, including life threatening ones, if you do not monitor its use properly. Make sure that you intensively monitor the usage of the drug during the first 18 weeks. Report to your doctor about any discomfort that you may experience during such use.
Buy Viramune only as per your prescription and ensure that you take the prescribed dosage in the correct form. Do not change or modify the dosage without consulting your physician. Ensure that you discuss your medical history in detail with your doctor before taking Viramune. Inform your doctor if you have a history of kidney or liver disease. Similarly, it is important to inform your doctor about the use of drugs like Delavirdine, Efavirenz, etc., especially if they were ineffective in treating your problem.
If you are using birth control measures, make sure to tell your doctor about your choice of birth control medications and ensure that this drug doesn’t interfere with your birth control. Also, it is important to tell your doctor about your pregnancy, or if you wish to get pregnant, in order to ensure safe use of the drug.
Viramune 200mg is the recommended dosage for adults, which is to be taken once daily for a period of 14 days. After 14 days, you need to take Viramune 200mg twice daily as per the recommended dosage. For pediatric patients, Viramune 150mg/m²/day is the recommended dosage, which is to be taken once daily for 14 days and then twice daily. In any case, it is important not to exceed 400 mg per day.
It is important to inform your doctor about the use of drugs like Maraviroc, Fentanyl, heart or blood pressure medications, anti fungal medications, ergot medicine, seizure medications, and other HIV medications before you buy Viramune. Given that several drugs interact adversely when used with Viramune, it is important to inform your doctor about all medications that you are 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.