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.
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Renagel Helps Treat the Following Conditions:
Chronic Kidney Disease
Healthy kidneys remove waste products, minerals and excess fluid from the body through urination. Chronic kidney disease impairs the kidneys’ ability to filter away wastes and other unnecessary substances.
The early stages of this condition may go undetected. In advanced stages of kidney disease, fluids and wastes can build up in the body. In such cases, patients have to go through dialysis, a process in which blood is filtered through machines. Kidney transplantation is another option.
Patients with advanced kidney disease may develop high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones and nerve damage. They are also at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes of chronic kidney disease.
Renagel Active Ingredient
Generic Renagel Alternative: Sevelamer-Hydrochloride
Renagel contains the active ingredient sevelamer which is a phosphate binder. It reduces phosphorus from being absorbed in the digestive tract and, as a result, helps to reduce levels of blood phosphorus – a major concern for patients with chronic kidney disease.
General Drug Information
What is Renagel and What Is It Used For?
Renagel is prescribed to kidney disease patients on dialysis. Dialysis helps to reduce blood phosphorus levels but often cannot remove enough alone. Renagel contains the active ingredient sevelamer which helps to additionally lower blood phosphorus levels.
High blood phosphate can reduce calcium levels, affecting bone health. It may also lead to a build-up of minerals in the body, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Usage and Application
Renagel should be taken as prescribed, the dosage dependent on the medical condition, response to treatment and other medications the patient may be taking. In children, body size is also a factor that determines dosage.
Patients are usually prescribed one oral dose three times daily, usually with meals. Tablets should be swallowed whole. Patients should not crush, chew or split the tablets.
Those who are taking this medication in powder form should check the manufacturer directions for mixing with water and other liquids. It is important to mix with the proper amount of liquid, stir the mixture well and drink all of it. The powder should be fully diluted and should not settle to the bottom of the cup. It is possible to mix the powder with a small amount of food or beverage to take as part of a meal. In this case, patients should not heat the powder or add it to heated foods or liquids.
Patients need to take Renagel regularly to experience its full benefit.
Considerations Before Taking Renagel
Patients need to discuss the possibility of allergic reactions to Renagel before starting treatment.
It is vital to discuss the patient’s medical history, especially issues with low blood phosphorus levels, constipation, swallowing problems, and stomach or intestinal blockage. Patients preparing for surgery or certain dental procedures should inform their doctor or dentist about all medicines, supplements and herbal products they are taking.
Renagel should only be used when clearly needed during pregnancy. Patients should discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor.
It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.
Delayed and Omitted Doses
Patients who miss a dose of Renagel should skip it unless they have just eaten. If this happens near the time of the next dose, patients should skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. Patients should not double up the dose in order to catch up.
Other Medications and Renagel
Drug interactions may change the way Renagel works, and can increase the risk of side effects. Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss the full list of medications and supplements they are taking with their doctor. Patients should not change their dose or stop taking this medication unless their physician advises them to do so.
Renagel may interfere with other drugs patients are taking, reducing the stomach’s ability to absorb them. Examples include the antibiotic Cipro, the immunosuppressant Cellcept and thyroid medications such as Eltroxin. Patients should ask their pharmacist for advice about the best times to take any medications they have been prescribed.
Many patients are able to take Renagel safely without serious side effects.
Some common side effects include headache, diarrhea, stomach upset, vomiting, gas, constipation or cough. Patients should contact their doctor if any of these effects persist.
Serious side effects include severe constipation, stomach pain or swelling. Some patients may experience problems related to the access of their dialysis site.
Patients should seek immediate medical help in the event of symptoms like trouble breathing, chest pain and redness, swelling or pain in the lower part of the legs.
Serious allergic reactions to Renagel are rare, yet patients should be aware of allergy symptoms such as rash, itching and swelling, severe dizziness and trouble breathing.
How to Store Renagel
Renagel should be stored at room temperature away from light or moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.
Unwanted medication should be disposed of properly and should not be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods.
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