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Isentress 400mg (Raltegravir)

Isentress general information

What is Isentress used for?

Isentress tablets 400mg are used to treat Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, in combination with other HIV medications.  This combination therapy is known as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).  HIV impairs the immune system by attacking specific immune cells called CD4+ cells that are involved in fighting infection, which can lead to opportunistic life-threatening infection (infections that would not normally be harmful).  If too many CD4+ cells are destroyed this can result in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).  Isentress tablets 400mg help prevent or slow down the ability of HIV to replicate, which reduces the viral load by keeping the amount virus down to a low level and this results in an increase in CD4 cell numbers, so that the immune system can recover reducing the risk of disease progression. 

How does Isentress work?

Isentress tablets 400mg contains the antiretroviral raltegravir, an integrase strand transfer inhibitor.  Raltegravir in Isentress tablets 400mg inhibits the catalytic activity of HIV integrase, an HIV-encoded enzyme that is required for viral replication.  HIV is a retrovirus, which is an RNA virus that produces an enzyme called reverse transcriptase to transcribe its RNA into DNA.  Another viral enzyme, integrase, is used to insert or integrate viral DNA into the host cell genome during the early phase of infection.  By blocking the action of viral integrase, raltegravir in Isentress tablets 400mg prevents replication of the virus and thereby inhibits production of new infectious viral particles.  Isentress tablets 400mg slow down the replication of HIV within your body but does not kill the virus already incorporated in the CD4+ cells or prevent the spread of the infection to others. 

What does Isentress contain?

Isentress tablets 400mg contain the active ingredient raltegravir, an antiretroviral used in the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection.  They also contain microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, calcium phosphate dibasic anhydrous, hypromellose 2208, poloxamer 407, sodium stearyl fumarate, magnesium stearate.

Treating HIV infection with Isentress

Isentress tablets 400mg contain the antiretroviral drug raltegravir, an inhibitor of the viral integrase enzyme.  HIV impairs the immune system by attacking specific immune cells called CD4+ cells that are involved in fighting infection, and this can lead to opportunistic life-threatening infection (infections that would not normally be harmful), including pneumonia, herpes virus infections, and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection.  If too many CD4+ cells are destroyed this can result in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).  HIV is a retrovirus, which is an RNA virus that produces an enzyme called reverse transcriptase to transcribe its RNA into DNA.  Another viral enzyme, integrase, is used to insert or integrate viral DNA into the host cell genome during the early phase of infection.  Raltegravir in Isentress tablets 400mg works by blocking the action of the viral integrase and this inhibits viral replication and thereby inhibits production of new infectious viral particles.  Isentress tablets 400mg are used in combination with other HIV medications to slow down the replication of HIV within your body but they do not kill the virus already incorporated in the CD4+ cells or prevent the spread of the infection to others. 

What are the side effects of Isentress?

The most commonly reported side effects when taking Isentress tablets 400mg include: nausea, vomiting, headaches, tiredness, inflammation of the nasal passages and throat, trouble sleeping, upper respiratory tract infection, cough, fever, bronchitis, back pain and depression.  A more serious but less common side effect is a condition is a severe skin reaction including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis.

When should Isentress not be used?

You should not use Isentress tablets 400mg if you:

  • are allergic to raltegravir or any ingredients in Isentress
  • are pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • are taking medicines that interact with Isentress, including antacids containing aluminium and/or magnesium, the anti-infective rifampicin

How should Isentress be taken?

You should take your Isentress tablets 400mg with a glass of water twice daily, with or without food and in combination with other antiretroviral drugs that have been prescribed.  You should continue to take your Isentress tablets 400mg for as long as recommended by your doctor, and you will be monitored carefully to ensure that you do not develop any serious side effects, in which case your doctor will probably recommend that you stop taking your Isentress tablets 400mg. 

How long should you take Isentress?

You should continue to take your Isentress tablets 400mg for as long as recommended by your doctor, and you will be monitored carefully to ensure that you do not develop any serious side effects, in which case your doctor will probably recommend that you stop taking your Isentress tablets 400mg. 

Missed dose of Isentress

If you miss a dose of Isentress tablets 400mg take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose.  Do not take a double dose.

How should Isentress be stored?

You should store your Isentress below 25°C in a cool dry place. 

Wysolone 5 (Prednisolone 5mg)

Wysolone general information

What is Wysolone used for?

Wysolone tablets 5mg are a steroid medication used in wide range of inflammatory, allergic and immune disorders to suppress clinical symptoms of the disease.  Amongst their many applications, Wysolone tablets 5mg are used to reduce inflammation in conditions where the immune system is overactive, like anaphylaxis, severe asthma, acute outbreaks of eczema and severe allergies; to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, where the body’s immune system is directed against self, and to prevent rejection following organ transplant.  Wysolone 5 is also used as an anti-cancer medication along with other drugs, to treat certain tumours like leukemia and lymphoma, and to replace a lack natural corticosteroid cortisol in conditions where there is not enough produced, such as underactive adrenal glands or congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which can affect the ability of the body to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, energy levels, normal development and protect against stress.

How does Wysolone work?

Wysolone tablets 5mg contain prednisolone, which is corticosteroid hormone and is a synthetic derivative of the natural glucocorticoid cortisol.  Prednisolone is the active metabolite of prednisone and can be converted from prednisone into prednisolone in the liver.  Prednisolone in Wysolone 5 acts directly through the glucocorticoid receptor that is expressed inside most cells of the body and regulates transcription of specific genes that control many aspects of development, metabolism and the immune response.  Prednisolone in Wysolone 5 has potent anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-rheumatic and immunosuppressant properties and has widespread effects acting on most tissues in the body to modify, glucose, fat, protein and calcium metabolism.  The major therapeutic actions of prednisolone are to reduce the vascular (blood vessels) and cellular inflammatory response primarily by blocking the production of inflammatory chemicals, like prostaglandins and leukotrienes, from inflammatory cells to reduce the swelling, redness and pain associated with inflammation; to modify the actions of cells involved in the allergic response, and to suppress the immune system to prevent rejection following organ transplant.  Prednisolone in Wysolone 5 also has anti-cancer properties and is used to prevent growth of certain tumours like leukemia and lymphoma. 

What does Wysolone contain?

Wysolone tablets 5mg contain the active ingredient prednisolone a potent synthetic corticosteroid used to treat a wide range of inflammatory, allergic and immune disorders.

What is the difference between prednisone and prednisolone?

Prednisone is an inactive drug precursor that must be converted to prednisolone in the liver to become active.  Prednisolone is particularly helpful for patients with liver problems who cannot metabolise prednisone into prednisolone in the liver.

Treating inflammation with Wysolone

Wysolone tablets 5mg contain prednisolone, which is a corticosteroid hormone and is a synthetic derivative of the natural glucocorticoid cortisol, with potent anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-rheumatic and immunosuppressant properties.  Wysolone 5 is used in a wide range of inflammatory disorders, to suppress clinical symptoms of the disease where inflammation is caused by many different factors.  For example, where the immune system is overactive, like severe asthma, acute outbreaks of eczema and severe allergies; autoimmune diseases, where the immune system is directed against self, like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus or Crohn's disease.  The anti-inflammatory actions of prednisolone in Wysolone tablets 5mg are to block the production of inflammatory chemicals, like prostaglandins and leukotrienes, from inflammatory cells which reduces the swelling, redness and pain associated with inflammation.   

What are the side effects of Wysolone?

The most commonly reported side effects when taking Wysolone 5 include: increased susceptibility to infection, muscle or bone aches and pains, weight gain, thinning of skin, bone demineralisation, slow wound healing, acne, redistribution of body fat creating the typical moon face, altered vision. Also behavioural and mood disturbances such as depression, irritability, anxiety, sleep disturbances.

What are the health risks of taking Wysolone?

Long term use of Wysolone 5 may cause the adrenal glands, which produce endogenous (naturally occurring) corticosteroids, to stop working efficiently.  This may slow down the growth rate in children and will need regular monitoring.  Wysolone 5 may also cause decreased bone mineral density, if used for long periods.  Long term use of steroids may be associated with a range of side effects such as round face, altered body shape, altered hair growth, thinning of the bones, decreased resistance to infection, increased salt and water retention, increased blood pressure and diabetes.

When should Wysolone not be used?

You should not use Wysolone 5 if you:

  • are allergic to prednisolone or any ingredients in Wysolone
  • are pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • have thyroid, stomach, heart, kidney or liver problems, high blood pressure, mood disorders, epilepsy, diabetes, glaucoma, osteoporosis
  • have any infectious disease, acute infection, systemic fungal infection, tuberculosis, uncomplicated viral hepatitis
  • are due to receive a vaccination with a live virus vaccine
  • are taking medicines that interact with Wysolone like anti-inflammatories such as; diclofenac, ibuprofen, mefenamic acidor naproxen; barbiturates, phenylbutazone, phenytoin or rifampicin, anticoagulants, insulin for diabetes
  • are taking diuretic medicines such as the thiazides or frusemide, these may cause increased loss of potassium when taken with Wysolone 5

What medications interact with Wysolone?

Several medications interact with Wysolone and should either not be taken while you are taking Wysolone or only after discussion and instruction from your doctor:

  • Drugs that cause a serious reaction with Wysolone: anti-inflammatories such as; diclofenac, ibuprofen, mefenamic acidor naproxen
  • Drugs that affect Wysolone: rifampicin, barbiturates, phenylbutazone, phenytoin
  • Drugs that are affected by Wysolone: live virus vaccine may be less effective, anticoagulants, insulin for diabetes

How should Wysolone be taken?

You should take your Wysolone tablets 5mg swallowed whole with a glass of water and with food.  The dose of Wysolone 5 that you take, how often and for how long depends on what you are being treated for and as recommended by your doctor.  You should continue to take your Wysolone 5 for as long as recommended by your doctor and should not stop taking them suddenly; withdrawal should be gradual to reduce risk of side effects.   

How long should you take Wysolone?

You should continue to take your Wysolone 5 for as long as recommended by your doctor and should not stop taking them suddenly; withdrawal should be gradual to reduce risk of side effects.   

Missed dose of Wysolone

If you miss a dose of Wysolone 5 take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose.  Do not take a double dose.

How should Wysolone be stored?

You should store your Wysolone below 25°C in a cool dry place. 

 

 

Hyphoral 200mg (Ketoconazole)

Hyphoral general information

What is Hyphoral used for?

Hyphoral tablets 200mg are used to treat severe systemic fungal infections only in patients who cannot tolerate other treatments or where other treatments have failed and where the potential benefits are considered to outweigh the potential risks.  Hyphoral tablets 200mg are used for systemic fungal infections caused by inhalation of the spores of a soil fungus that can affect internal organs and cause influenza-like illness with fever, cough, headaches, skin rash, and myalgia (muscle pain), such as coccidioidomycosis caused by Coccidioides immitis, Blastomycosis, caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis and histoplasmosis caused by Histoplasma capsulatum.  Serious symptoms can develop including chronic lung infection and widespread infection reaching the bones, skin and urinogenital tract.  Hyphoral 200 is also used to treat chromomycosis, caused by penetration of the skin by a thorn or splinter and infection by several different fungal species that spread slowly through the skin.  Hyphoral tablets 200mg should not be used to treat fungal meningitis as the medication cannot penetrate into the nervous system. 

How does Hyphoral work?

Hyphoral tablets 200mg contain ketoconazole, a synthetic broad-spectrum antifungal agent that specifically kills the fungus by inhibiting the synthesis of ergosterol, an important component of fungal cell membrane that is not found in animal cells.  Ketoconazole in Hyphoral tablets 200mg weakens the fungal cell membrane, causing the cell contents to leak out which kills the fungus, preventing the infection from spreading and relieving symptoms caused by the fungal infection, including pain and inflammation.

What does Hyphoral contain?

Hyphoral tablets 200mg contain the active ingredient ketoconazole, a synthetic broad-spectrum antifungal used to treat severe systemic fungal infections.

Treating systemic fungal infection with Hyphoral

Hyphoral tablets 200mg contain ketoconazole, a synthetic broad-spectrum antifungal agent that is used to treat severe systemic fungal infections in patients who cannot tolerate other treatments or where other treatments have failed and where the potential benefits are considered to outweigh the potential risks.  These infections include coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis and blastomycosis, which are all caused by inhalation of spores produced by soil fungi.  Symptoms usually include influenza-like illness with fever, cough, headaches, skin rash, and myalgia (muscle pain), however, these infections can be difficult to treat and can affect internal organs causing serious symptoms including chronic lung infection and widespread infection reaching the bones, skin and urinogenital tract.  Ketoconazole in Hyphoral tablets 200mg inhibits the synthesis of ergosterol, an important component of fungal cell membrane that is not found in animal cells, which weakens the fungal cell membrane, causing the cell contents to leak out which kills the fungus, preventing the infection from spreading. 

What are the side effects of Hyphoral?

The most commonly reported side effects when taking Hyphoral include: upset stomach, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, headache, rash, dizziness, tingling sensations, sensitivity to light, erectile dysfunction, swelling of the breast.

What are the risks of using of Hyphoral?

Ketoconazole in Hyphoral tablets 200mg can cause serious liver toxicity and can result in the need for liver transplant or be fatal.  Liver function should therefore be checked before and during treatment with Hyphoral tablets 200mg.  Symptoms of liver toxicity include: nausea, vomiting feel tired, stomach pain or tenderness, weight loss, or loss of appetite, dark urine or light coloured stools, yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes, fever or rash.  Ketoconazole in Hyphoral tablets 200mg can also cause QT prolongation due to changes in the electrical activity of the heart, which can cause irregular heart beat and can be life threatening

When should Hyphoral not be used?

You should not use Hyphoral tablets 200mg if you:

  • are allergic to ketoconazole or any ingredients in Hyphoral
  • are pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • have liver disease or are recovering from hepatitis as there is a risk of serious liver damage
  • have adrenal insufficiency
  • have had an abnormal heart rhythm tracing (ECG) or anyone in your family have or have had a heart problem called “congenital long QT syndrome
  • drink alcohol, as this may make you feel sick or cause headache in combination with ketoconazole
  • are taking medicines that interact with Hyphoral, including terfenadine, mizolastine or astemizole for allergy, halofantrine for treating malaria, cisapride for reflux, statins for cholesterol lowering (simvastatin, atrovastatin lovastatin) pimozide for mental disorders, calcium channel blockers (bepridil, epleronone, nisoldipine) for angina and high blood pressure, medicines containing ergot alkaloids such as ergotamine, antiarrhythmic drugs for irregular heat beats (quinidine, disopyramide and dofetilide), irinotecan for cancer chemotherapy

What medications interact with Hyphoral?

Several medications interact with Hyphoral tablets 200mg and should either not be taken while you are taking Hyphoral or only after discussion and instruction from your doctor:

  • Drugs that cause muscle problems with Hyphoral: the cholesterol lowering statins simvastatin, atrovastatin and lovastatin.
  • Drugs that prolong the QT interval with with Hyphoral: pimozide for mental disorders, cisapride for reflux, methadone, the antiarrhythmics disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, and ranolazine, medicines containing ergot alkaloids such as ergotamine
  • Drugs that affect Hyphoral: ritonavir for HIV, anticonvulsants like phenytoin and carbamazepine, anti-infectives like rifampicin, nevirapine, isoniazid and rifabutin
  • Drugs that are affected by Hyphoral: triazolam, midazolam, or alprazolam, halofantrine for treating malaria, terfenadine, mizolastine or astemizole for allergy, calcium channel blockers (bepridil, epleronone, nisoldipine) for angina and high blood pressure, irinotecan for cancer chemotherapy

How should Hyphoral be taken?

You should take your Hyphoral tablets 200mg swallowed whole with a glass of water and with food once a day.  You should continue to take your Hyphoral tablets 200mg for 5-10 days or up to several months, depending on what you are being treated for and your doctor’s recommendations.  Always finish your course of tablets even if you feel better, if not, the infection may not clear up completely.  Do not take medicines that neutralise stomach acid within 2 hours of taking Hyphoral 200mg tablets, as sufficient stomach acid is required for ketoconazole to be absorbed and do not drink any alcohol while taking Hyphoral tablets 200mg.

How long should you take Hyphoral?

You should continue to take your Hyphoral tablets 200mg for 5-10 days or up to several months, depending on what you are being treated for and your doctor’s recommendations. 

Missed dose of Hyphoral

If you miss a dose of Hyphoral tablets 200mg take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose.  Do not take a double dose.

How should Hyphoral be stored?

You should store your Hyphoral tablets 200mg below 25°C in a cool dry place.  

Glyciphage 500mg (Metformin)

Glyciphage general information

What is Glyciphage used for?

Glyciphage tablets 500mg are an oral diabetes medication that is used to control blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes mellitus (also called non insulin-dependent diabetes or maturity onset diabetes) who are unable to achieve adequate glycaemic control (normal blood sugar levels) with diet and exercise alone, which is a particular problem in overweight people. Glyciphage tablets 500mg can be used as first time treatment for newly diagnosed diabetics, or for patients who are not responding to an alternative medication, and can be used either alone or in combination with another oral antihyperglycaemic medication (lowers blood sugar). In some cases Glyciphage is used in conjunction with insulin in type 1 diabetes (also called insulin -dependent diabetes), where insulin alone is not enough to control blood sugar levels.

How does Glyciphage work?

Glyciphage tablets 500mg contain the active ingredient Metformin hydrochloride, which is an oral antihyperglycaemic medication belonging to the biguanide group of drugs. Metformin in Glyciphage tablets 500mg controls blood glucose (sugar) by lowering levels of glucose after a meal (posprandial) as well as keeping levels normal between meals (basal levels), by helping the body respond to insulin without increasing insulin production. Metformin in Glyciphage tablets 500mg works using three different mechanisms: decreasing glucose production in the liver, which is normally switched off when blood glucose levels are high enough; increasing sensitivity to insulin in fat and muscle tissue, where excess glucose is removed from the blood and stored; reducing absorption of glucose by the intestines form the diet. Maintaining glycaemic control with Glyciphage tablets 500mg reduces risk of serious health complications associated with diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina in the eye with loss of vision), diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) and diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage).

What does Glyciphage contain?

Glyciphage tablets 500mg contain the active ingredient metformin, which is an oral antihyperglycaemic medication used to control blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes mellitus.

Treating type 2 diabetes with Glyciphage

Glyciphage tablets 500mg contain Metformin, which is an oral antihyperglycaemic medication that is used to control blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes mellitus (also called non insulin-dependent diabetes or maturity onset diabetes) who are unable to achieve adequate glycaemic control (normal blood sugar levels) with diet and exercise alone, which is a particular problem in overweight people. Metformin in Glyciphage tablets 500mg lowers blood sugar after a meal (posprandial) as well as keeping levels normal between meals (basal levels), by helping the body respond to insulin without increasing insulin production, using three different mechanisms: decreasing glucose production in the liver, which is normally switched off when blood glucose levels are high enough; increasing sensitivity to insulin in fat and muscle tissue, where excess glucose is removed from the blood and stored; reducing absorption of glucose by the intestines form the diet. Maintaining glycaemic control with Glyciphage tablets 500mg reduces risk of serious health complications associated with diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina in the eye with loss of vision), diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) and diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage).

What are the side effects of Glyciphage?

The most commonly reported side effects when taking Glyciphage tablets 500mg include: gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, which are usually mild and resolve spontaneously during continued treatment; metallic taste in the mouth; and skin rash. A rare and potentially life threatening side effect is lactic acidosis (a build up of lactic acid in the blood) that can occur due to accumulation of metformin, particularly if you are taking high doses of metformin above 2000mg per day, have kidney problems, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, are elderly.

When should Glyciphage not be used?

You should not use Glyciphage if you:
  • are allergic to metformin or any other biguanide or any ingredients in Glyciphage tablets 500mg
  • are pregnant or are breastfeeding without discussion with your doctor
  • have liver or kidney disease
  • have a conditions affecting renal function, like dehydration, severe infection or shock
  • have diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic precoma
  • have acute or chronic disease which may cause tissue hypoxia such as heart failure, recent myocardial infarction, respiratory failure, pulmonary embolism, shock, acute significant blood loss, sepsis, gangrene, pancreatitis
  • have a history of lactic acidosis
  • have a problem with alcohol
  • are taking medications that may interact with Glyciphage tablets 500mg including: cimetidine for reflux and ulcers, medications for high blood pressure and heart conditions like nifedipine, beta-blockers, diuretics, other diabetes medications like sulfonylureas and repaglinide, corticosteroids such as prednisone, cortisone, anticoagulants
  • undergoing radiological treatment with intravascular iodinated contrast agents which may lead to renal failure, resulting in metformin accumulation and a risk of lactic acidosis

What medications interact with Glyciphage

Several medications interact with Glyciphage and should either not be taken while you are taking Glyciphage or only after discussion and instruction from your doctor:
  • Drugs that interact with Glyciphage to increase side effects: other diabetes medications like sulfonylureas and repaglinide, ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure, corticosteroids such as prednisone, cortisone
  • Drugs that affect Glyciphage: cimetidine for reflux and ulcers, medications for high blood pressure and heart conditions like nifedipine, beta-blockers, diuretics , thyroid medicines
  • Drugs that are affected by Glyciphage: anticoagulants

How should Glyciphage be taken?

You should take your Glyciphage tablets 500mg with a glass of water and with food. The dose you take and how often should be as recommended by your doctor. The usual starting dose is one tablet once, twice or 3 times daily during or immediately after a meal, to reduce stomach effects. You will have your blood sugar levels monitored and your dose may be adjusted after a few weeks, depending on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. You should continue to take your Metformin tablets 500mg for as long as recommended by your doctor, which may be for long periods.

How long should you take Glyciphage?

You should continue to take your Glyciphage tablets 500mg for as long as recommended by your doctor, which may be for long periods.

Missed dose of Glyciphage

If you miss a dose of Glyciphage take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.

How should Glyciphage be stored?

You should store your Glyciphage tablets 500mg below 25°C in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight.



Mirena (Levonorgestrel) 20mcg
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