Zaditen (Ketotifen Fumarate) and/or alternatives
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General Information on Zaditen
Zaditen is commonly prescribed for children that are suffering from a mild form of allergic asthma. Prepared by using a drug named ketotifen fumarate, the medication works as a non-bronchodilator antiasthmatic drug that produces anti-allergic activities inside the body. Ketotifen has been tested to inhibit a number of substances that are responsible for causing inflammation and other asthma symptoms. The result is that various asthma symptoms are controlled in terms of their frequency, duration, and level of severity. Some medical experts may recommend Zaditen for an acute form of asthma in children, while others find it ineffective for the same. It has been proven that a daily dose of Zaditen can reduce the need of other anti-asthmatic medications.
Side Effects of Zaditen
Weight gain is the most commonly experienced side effect of this medication. The less common side effects associated with Zaditen include chills, fever, cough, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, shivering, sore throat, and vomiting. Abdominal pain, drowsiness, sleeping problems, dizziness, tiredness and muscle pain may also be experienced. Rarely reported Zaditen side effects include redness of the skin, itching, increase in frequency of urination, burning sensation while passing urine, dizziness, skin peeling and skin rashes. Immediately contact your doctor if your child experiences one or more of these symptoms.
Your doctor must be familiar with the history of allergies if your child had experienced them in the past. It is also important to inform the doctor about your history of medications for any other health issue. If your child has been on other anti-asthmatic medications, you must provide complete information about the same to your doctor. Make sure that Zaditen is stored in a dry place with temperatures not more than 25 degrees Celsius.
The effectiveness of Zaditen in adults is still unknown. It is important that people having a history of diabetes or seizures consult medical experts before starting the medication. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should strictly discuss the use of Zaditen with their doctors before using it.
Zaditen 1 mg twice a day is recommended for children aged 3 years or more. Those in the age group of 6 months to 3 years are to take Zaditen 0.5 mg twice a day. You can buy Zaditen in tablet or syrup form, and you must seek advice from your doctor to make the choice. Zaditen can be taken with or without food. It is better to take the medication at a fixed time in the morning and evening every day. The weight of the child can affect the medication dosage and thus, it must be discussed with the doctor. Contact your doctor or the local poison centre in case of overdose that may lead to blurred vision, abnormal heartbeat, drowsiness, sweating, and loss of consciousness.
Zaditen may interact with oral antidiabetic medications like metformin. Antihistamines and sedatives are other medications that have the possibility of interacting with Zaditen. If your child is sensitive to benzoate compounds, it is recommended that you opt for the Zaditen syrup over the tablet. The medication has been tested to interact with alcohol as well. You have to discontinue the use of the aforementioned drugs to start the use of Zaditen.
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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.