Expensive Drugs with Cheap Alternatives


Prescription medications can be one of the most expensive parts of healthcare. You’ve managed to pay for a visit to your doctor, any tests that you need, and any connected hospital costs. Great! But now you have a monthly cost for a prescription medication that your life depends upon. If you are a senior citizen living on a fixed income, or in a financial situation that has you on a tight budget, you might have a hard time affording your medication. Fortunately, there are often less expensive generic options available. And they can save you hundreds of dollars. The name brand drugs Coumadin, Benicar, and Avodart are examples of common prescription drugs that have less expensive alternatives. Read on for answers to common questions about these drugs.


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1

What is Coumadin?

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Coumadin is a medication that helps prevent blood clots. Coumadin is often prescribed for people with a history of heart attack or stroke. This medication is a blood thinner or anticoagulant. Coumadin can help prevent pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis.

2

What is Benicar?

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Benicar is a drug that lowers blood pressure. It's usually prescribed for patients with a history of hypertension (high blood pressure). Because it helps keep blood vessels from narrowing, Benicar can improve blood flow. Benicar is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist.

3

What is Avodart?

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Avodart is a medication that is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia-BPH (enlarged prostate). For men who suffer from the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, Avodart can improve urinary flow and may reduce the need for surgery. Avodart works by preventing testosterone from being converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

4

What are some alternatives to Coumadin?

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Coumadin is a brand name for the anticoagulant warfarin. Warfarin is also sold as a generic drug, and buying the generic instead of the brand name may save you some money. Many patients save about $25 per month by using generic warfarin instead of Coumadin. Warfarin is also sold under the brand name Befarin, and Befarin may also be a cheaper alternative to Coumadin.

5

What are some alternatives to Benicar?

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Benicar is a brand name for the blood pressure drug olmesartan. Buying generic olmesartan can save you a significant amount of money. Some patients save $180 per month by buying generic olmesartan instead of Benicar. There may be other inexpensive blood pressure medications that would work for you, too. If medication cost is a factor for you, ask your doctor about valsartan or losartan. These generic blood pressure drugs are usually very inexpensive.

6

What are some alternatives to Avodart?

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Avodart and Proscar are very similar drugs for reducing prostate size, and Proscar is sold as a generic (finasteride). Finasteride is significantly less expensive than Avodart, so it's worth checking with your doctor about whether finasteride would work for you.

7

Why is this important?

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Prescription drugs can be extremely expensive. Anyone who is on a tight budget should consider less expensive or generic options for drugs like Coumadin, Benicar, and Avodart. Talk to your doctor about whether a less expensive option might work for you.




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