Kidney Patients: Are You Being Prescribed the Right Medications?
Have I Been Prescribed The Wrong Medications? How do I tell if the drugs and therapy my doctor prescribed me is the right one for my personal situation? A lot of people are asking these questions on our blog and Facebook page. Hello and welcome, this is Katherine from 00Kidney. If you've read the news lately, there have been several cases of medical malpractice. Patients have been prescribed wrong medications, medications were prescribed to the wrong patients.
Doctors were convicted for forging prescriptions and for unnecessary use of pain drugs. Cancer doctors have been condemned for prescribing unnecessary chemotherapy. It seems that always more doctors are taking money from this or that pharmaceutical industry. And this kind of malpractice has become so common that in some circles is not even considered unusual anymore. As more cases of frauds done by medical practitioner are hitting the news, the confidence of patients is decreasing. There have been several alarming reports in the US for doctors prescribing a huge amount of drugs especially pain medications even to those who don't need them. If you are suffering from chronic illness, like chronic kidney disease, you are more at risk than others, since every single drug you put in your body goes through your kidneys. Taking the wrong drugs, or taking more medications than needed, will cause damages to your kidneys.
Especially if your kidney function is already impaired. This is why kidney patients, in particular, should be informed and should know more about their illness and treatments. In the US 45 million people are suffering from CKD.
How many of those are in need of a better treatment? What should you do to tell if your doctor is prescribing you the right medications? The most important thing to know is what the medications for kidney disease are. Kidney disease is not directly treated; medicine is only used to treat symptoms, complications and risk factors. The aim is more to slow down the progression of kidney disease than to reverse it. Every single patient has a different clinical history, symptoms and conditions, so each treatment is unique. Chronic kidney disease has 5 different stages, with increasing severity and different treatments and dietary restrictions for each stage. Among kidney patients, high blood pressure is common, so the following medications are often prescribed: ACE inhibitors Beta-blockers Calcium channel blockers Vasodilators Angiotensin II receptor blockers Diuretics If the patient is undergoing dialysis, Erythropoietin is also prescribed, along with vitamin D and iron therapy.
Generic drugs and brand-name drugs If you are taking any prescription drug, there's a good chance you're taking a generic. And there's nothing wrong with that, generic drugs are as useful as brand names. Except for a few cases that we will see here. But what are generic drugs? Generic drugs are medications, approved by the FDA, aimed to offer the same effects of brand name drugs at a lower price. FDA claims that generic drugs can be trusted to have the same effects, strength, active ingredient and testing standards of brand-names.
The generic should also be bioequivalent - it should work the same way in the body. According to a poll by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, 3 out of 4 prescription medications are generics. Still, 43% of Americans show some concerns about them. Why? Generic drugs are often made overseas, in India or in China, to save on costs. There have been several scandals lately on the news; several pharmaceutical companies have been found guilty of importing adulterated generic drugs. Pharma companies are in fact tempted to cut corners to keep the production costs as low as possible. When the production is moved to India and China, FDA will have hard times doing quality controls.
This can result in adulterated batches containing toxic ingredients. For example in 2013 a generic drug manufacturer, Ranbaxy, pleaded guilty and was fined 500.000$ for selling in the US adulterated drugs imported from India. And this is only one of many cases.
While it's unlikely to come across an adulterated drug in the US, there are other problems that could be caused by switching to generic drugs. There are in fact some differences between brand-name and generic version of the same drug, especially if you've been prescribed an antihypertension med, or other narrow therapeutic index drugs. Also called NTIs, these drugs are defined by a very thin difference between a beneficial dosage and a harmful one. In fact a very small change in the blood concentration of the drug can lead to severe adverse drug reactions and even life-threatening situation.
This is why for some patients switching from a brand name to a generic can be exceptionally dangerous. So, be careful with generic drugs too. This is all for today! If you liked this video, please like and subscribe! Thank you for watching!.
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