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Switching To Another Type of Medication

Written by: Editors

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When you switch your Medication is it harmful?

Sometimes you will get given a medication at a pharmacy that is a different brand name to what you normally use. Your trusted medicines suddenly cease to be available or are no longer reimbursed by you health care provider. “Don’t worry,” the pharmacist says, “It’s exactly the same active ingredients, so you will not notice a difference.” Generally, generic medicine or a drug of another brand does indeed cause you trouble. However, there are cases where it could go wrong. Read further for an explanation on what to consider when you’re changing your medication.

Side Effects or Impaired Effects

Switching the brand is usually not a problem. What’s different? It’s when it comes to medicines. For example Medicine for epilepsy, or certain cardiac medication. The active substance in the substitute is the same but in the ingredients.These substances can cause the body to react slightly to the drug. For example, the effect is stronger or there is a delay in when it begins to work start. This can have very annoying consequences.

Problems when switching to other medication

Strikingly enough, in recent years there have been reports of side effects when switching to other medication. The Lab Update Center has seen the number of complaints increase significantly in the past two years. Patients reported, the following problems after receiving a replacement medicine:

1.Disordered thyroid function in levothyroxine (thyroid drug, in thyroid complaints)
2.Bleeding in some contraceptive pills
3.Reduced effects of certain inhalation medications in asthma
4.Reduced activity of certain epileptic drugs

For some patients, the switch to a replacement medicine may have serious consequences. Therefore, the KNPG ( the trade association for pharmacists) recommends that certain drugs, such as anti-epileptic drugs, be replaced by a drug of another brand. Unfortunately, in practice, this sometimes occurs because certain medicines are not available.

Questions to ask your pharmacist about new medicine

  1. Can you use over-the-counter medicines alongside your new medication such as painkillers or indigestion tablets?
  2. How should I store my medication? How to store it and for how long?
  3. When should you take it?
  4. How and When the new medicine should be taken?

What are you looking out for when trying out a new drug brand?

Are you having to take medication from another type of brand?
Prevent problems by being alert. Always consult with your Doctor if you have any questions.

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