Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tylenol vs Tramacet

One more compound medicine that contains acetaminophen as an active ingredient is Tramacet. The formula of the drug is 37.5 mg of tramadol hydrochloride and 325 mg of acetaminophen.

You remember, of course, that acetaminophen (APAP) is a name of the active ingredient in Tylenol, sometimes even called Tylenol's generic name (which is not quite correct as different variations of Tylenol may contain other ingredients in addition to acetaminophen, too). And again, in Tramacet, APAP acts as an itensifier of analgetic effects of the other substance, tramadol hcl. The problem with tram is that it belongs to substances with a very high addictive potential, being very close to opioids, such as hydrocodone or morphine. Repeated high doses of tram very soon develop a strong mental and physical dependance in patients. To achieve the desired pain relieving effects and avoid drug abuse, a relatively small amount of APAP is added to tramadol hcl in Tramacet.

You may compare Mylan's M P/T Tramacet pill (tramadol/acetaminophen 37.5mg/325mg) to any pure tramadol preparation, such as Pliva 616 50mg pill, to see that in Tramacet, the amount of the addictive ingredient is noticeably lower, while the therapeutic effects are approximately the same.

Brand name Tramacet is better known in Canada. By the way, you may easily hear the names of the two active ingredients in it. In US, the medication is distributed as name brand Ultracet. And again, you may notice "acetaminophen" in it. As for the first part of the name, it obviously marks "Ultram", which is a brand name for pure tramadol in North America. Every now and then, we come to the point of brands and generics...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tylenol vs Darvocet-N 100

Now, that you know the difference between Tylenol and Darvocet brands (see our previous post), we may add a few more details to it.

Besides "regular" Darvocet (which consists of 650 mg acetaminophen and 65 mg propoxyphene hydrochloride), there is another preparation of the drug known as Darvocet-N 100. In place of hydrochloride salt of propoxyphene, the latter contains propoxyphene napsylate, a different kind of salt which has a remarkable feature of being insoluble in water. Moreover, it gives lower peak blood level, so the experienced effects are milder while the treatment remains as effective. At the same time, due to the fact that Darvocet-N 100 pills cannot be dissolved for making an injection, they have a less potential for abuse. Snorting them is useless, too, because propoxyphene napsylate has to go through the intestines (be digested) to become effective.

Each single Darvocet-N 100 dose contains 650 mg acetaminophen and 100 mg propoxyphene napsylate ("N" and "100" seen in the drug's name). The medication is commonly available in pills, such as MYLAN 155, or Mallinckrodt's M 1721 pill. One may guess that the medicine is stronger that regular Darvocet with its 65 mg of propoxyphene (hydrochloride), but, in fact, the effects of 100 mg propoxyphene napsylate are approximately equal to 65 mg propoxyphene hydrochloride.

An essential fact is that any Darvocet pill contains as much as 650 mg acetaminophen, much more than any Tylenol preparation, including Tylenol Extra Strength. As the maximum amount of acetaminophen must not exceed 1000 mg per dose, or 4000 mg taken during the day, one has to be careful in order not to overdose (an acetaminophen overdose is harmful for the liver).

Tylenol vs Darvocet

As we have already stated, Tylenol is a brand name while acetaminophen is a name of the active ingredient found in Tylenol (other name variations for that ingredient are paracetamol and APAP). Darvocet is a brand name, too. And acetaminophen is one of the two active ingredients found in this drug. So, what is the difference between Tylenol and Darvocet?

"Regular" Darvocet (the brand opposed to the so-called Darvocet-N 100) contains two active ingredients: acetaminophen and propoxyphene hydrochloride. Tylenol preparations always contain acetaminophen, either pure or in combination with other substances, such as codeine (in Tylenol 3), or diphenhydramine (in Tylenol PM). But in Tylenol, no matter what brand it is, acetaminophen is the main ingredient, while other substances are added to increase or prolong its effects. In Darvocet, we see that acetaminophen acts as intensifier added to the other active ingredient, propoxyphene.

However, the amount of acetaminophen found in Darvocet is noticeably higher as compared to any preparation of Tylenol brand. Even Tylenol Extra Strength contains just 500 mg acetaminophen, while in Darvocet we find 650 mg acetaminophen!

Do not forget that in pills, such as MYLAN 130, this amount is added to increase the effects of 65 mg propoxyphene hydrochloride, which is a strong analgetic itself. What do we get as a result? A strong pain killer, much stronger than Tylenol. Being so potent, Darvocet can hardly be recommended for use in pediatric patients, as even Tylenol 500 (Extra Strength) is not usually administered for children under 12 years of age.