The generic may not be as good as the branded drug
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration declared
that the generic version of Wellbutrin, an antidepressant, was not its
"biological" equivalent. Its maker, Teva Pharmaceuticals, stopped
About 80 percent of prescriptions filled in 2012 were
for generics, saving Americans $193 billion, says the Generic
Generics can be more different from the originals
than people believe. One reason is that, although the generic may state
that it contains the same ingredients, the original makers have not
revealed their manufacturing processes.
The processing and the additional ingredients to aid
it, can make a difference, in such areas as the amount of the drug that
will be absorbed into the bloodstream and how fast it will happen.
The FDA rules for bioequivalence say the active
ingredient in the blood must not fall more than 20 percent or be 25
percent above the brand name.
This is a potential range of 45 percent among
generics labeled as being the same.
According to Fortune magazine, the FDA standards
don't regulate how quickly the medicine reaches peak concentration in
the blood. It can be a big issue for patients taking generic versions of
If the generic drug you are taking seems to be doing
the job, that's fine. If not, it could be time to switch to the branded
Many high BMI people are 'metabolically healthy'
In case you wondered, it's definitely possible to be
fit and heavy at the same time. In fact, many obese Americans in one
large study were found to be more fit than those who weighed less.
Healthy obese participants were found to be free of
metabolical syndrome conditions such as insulin resistance, unhealthy
cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes.
Research reported by Tufts University and published
in the European Heart Journal shows that these metabolically healthy
people are at no greater risk of heart disease or cancer than
There is apparently a subset of obese people who are
protected from metabolic complications. More than one-third of obese
participants in this study were metabolically healthy.
Info on the big four pain relievers
If that old ankle injury bothers you after a day's
work, you might take a couple of ibuprofen tablets. Or maybe your back
starts to ache during the day, so you take a couple of naproxens.
Modern over-the-counter pain medications work well
and are safe to use as long as your follow instructions. Here's a
rundown by the Mayo Clinic on what kind of pain each one treats best,
along with their cautions.
Acetaminophen: (Tylenol, others). The safest
choice when taken at or below recommended doses. Taking two 500 mg pills
a day is safe for most people. The risk of liver damage may increase if
you already have a liver problem, if you exceed the maximum dosage, or
if you have more than three alcoholic drinks a day while taking it.
Many prescriptions and cold and flu drugs contain
acetaminophen. Account for "hidden" doses when adding up daily intake.
Aspirin: Provides pain relief, and low doses
can prevent blood clots that cause a heart attack or stroke. But even
the 81 mg low dose can increase the risk of stomach bleeding.
If you take low-dose aspirin, avoid ibuprofen and
naproxen to keep stomach risk as low as possible. Avoid aspirin if you
are taking other medications to prevent blood clots, such as warfarin
(Coumadin). Taking both increases the risk of stomach bleeding.
Ibuprofen: (Advil, Motrin IB) and Naproxen
sodium (Aleve). In addition to providing pain relief, these drugs help
to reduce inflammation. But they can increase the risk of stomach
bleeding and could also carry a low risk of worsening high blood
pressure and kidney problems.
An increased heart attack risk is possibly associated
with higher doses. Avoid ibuprofen and naproxen if you've had a heart
attack. Also avoid them if you take a medication like Coumadin or
aspirin to prevent blood clots.
If you take ACE inhibitors at the same time, your
risk of a kidney problem could increase.
Avoid inhaling spray cleaners
If you use a lot of sprays to clean furniture, polish
glass and perfume rooms, maybe you should consider cutting back on their
use. At least try to avoid inhaling the spray.
Researchers in Europe found that adults who used
these household products once a week or more increased their risk of
developing asthma by 30 to 50 percent.
Most of these cleaning products come in forms other
than aerosol sprays. Consider choosing one of those.