Negative effects jump after bloodstream pressure drugs go generic

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

Side effects quickly rose among users of three common bloodstream pressure drugs 30 days after generic versions grew to become obtainable in Canada, new research shows.

The findings, printed Tuesday in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, suggest generic versions from the drugs might not be exactly equal to their brand-name counterparts. But more scientific studies are needed, researchers stated.

“Because most users of the brand-name drug are switched to generic versions within 2 or 3 years after it might be available, the observed rise in adverse occasions could reflect a severe reaction to equivalent, although not identical, generic drugs for recently switched patients,” stated study author Paul Poirier, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of pharmacy at Laval College in Quebec City.

Variations in the potency of the drugs can lead to negative effects, such as dizziness, diarrhea, headache and coughing, or insufficient effectiveness that can result in an urgent situation room visit or hospitalization.

Researchers compared hospital visits and er consultations of 136,177 patients who required losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan) and candesartan (Atacand) pre and post the generic versions grew to become available. The high bloodstream pressure drugs will also be accustomed to treat heart failure.

Before generic versions were commercialized, about 10 % of patients experienced negative effects. After generics grew to become available, negative effects rose 8 percent for losartan, 11.7 % for valsartan and 14 % for candesartan. The rates for losartan continued to be consistently greater throughout the twelve months researchers examined.

“The results should be construed very carefully because studies such as this assessing adverse occasions more than a fixed period of time, coupled with variations between patients, make drawing firm conclusions difficult,” Poirer stated. “Also, since the findings were according to medical claims data, there might be inaccuracies.”

Following the first month, the main difference between brands and generics narrowed, however, many variations persisted — mainly cardiovascular problems, he stated.

“Although generic medicine is generally regarded as equivalent, patients as well as their physicians must be aware that they’re going to not have access to the identical effect his or her brand-name counterparts, especially throughout the first month as patients transition towards the new medicine,” Poirier stated.

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