What is a generic medication?
Generic medications are significantly discounted copies of brand name medication that have the same active ingredients, intended use, dosage, side effects, effects, and route of administration as the original brand name medication. In other words, generic medications have the same pharmacological effects as their brand-name counterparts. Over half of all prescribed medications are for generic medications.
Who Should Take Prograf and Why
Prograf contains the active substance tacrolimus and is usually prescribed to patients following heart, kidney or liver transplants. It may also be used following lung transplants.
Prograf suppresses the function of the human immune system, the body’s defense mechanism against viral and bacterial infections. In a healthy person, the goal is usually to boost immune function rather than suppress it. However, following a transplant there is a risk that the patient’s immune system will attack the new organ, recognizing it as a foreign body. By suppressing immune function, Prograf lowers the chance that transplanted organs are rejected.
How to take Prograf
Prograf can be administered by blood infusion, especially in the period immediately following transplantation. Prograf ampules contain 5mg/ml concentrate for infusion, which must be diluted before use.
The concentration of a solution for infusion and the total volume of infusion is patient-specific. Doctors determine this based on blood test results and clinical assessments of each patient. Intravenous therapy should not last longer than a week as the goal is to switch to oral administration as soon as possible.
Prograf capsules are available in different dosage strengths: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 5 mg. As with intravenous therapy, oral therapy requires a valid prescription with appropriate dosage formulated and monitored by physicians who have experience in dealing with transplant patients.
Patients can take the medicine with or without food. In most cases, Prograf is taken orally every 12 hours. It is important that the same pattern is kept and the medicine is always taken in the same manner, at the same time.
The information above is a quick summary of facts about Prograf, provided by third parties. Patients should always refer to a physician for medical advice on how to administer this drug and any other specific questions they may have.
Generic Alternatives to Prograf
Generic medicines which contain tacrolimus as an active ingredient are available for purchase through our online drug store.
Generic medicines have the same active substances as the brand-name drugs, although inactive substances may vary. It is important that patients consult their physician if they are considering a switch from the brand-name drug to generic alternatives.
Once a switch is made, it is important to monitor the body’s response through routine blood tests to ensure the patient is receiving the same therapeutic response.
Prograf has a number of side effects, including tremors, high blood pressure, kidney problems, diarrhea, stomach pain, headaches and others.
Some serious side effects involve an increased risk of developing cancer or infections. Before taking the drug, female patients need to tell their doctor whether they are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. Patients also should communicate whether they have recently received any live vaccines.
In addition, a patient’s medical history needs to be reviewed thoroughly, especially for people with a history of liver, kidney or heart problems.
Prograf can interact with other medications, so it is important to discuss with a physician the patient’s full list of medications and supplements. A final word of caution has to do with the need to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
Prograf in the News
Generic Transplant Drugs as Good as Brand Name
A University of Cincinnati-led research team has found that generic formulations of tacrolimus are as good as the name-brand version. Funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the study analyzed 70 patients.
"Most immunosuppressant drugs require individualized dosing and careful management to ensure the proper blood concentrations are maintained," said one of the authors.
Novartis Expands Transplant Portfolio with First Branded Generic Prograf
Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis has announced the US introduction of Hecoria (tacrolimus) capsules, the first generic tacrolimus that can be prescribed by its brand name. The drug is a copy of now off-patent Prograf from Japanese drugmaker Astellas.
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