In most cases, generic drugs are a safe, effective and affordable alternative to their brand name counterparts. However, it’s important to note that there are some generics that can vary in concentration and purity.
According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), a drug is identified as generic if it’s the bioequivalent of its brand name drug. What that means is that it must have the same active ingredients, strength, dosage form, safety, quality, purity, stability and performance. The generic drug also must be absorbed at the same rate, but that’s where the area can be a little gray. The FDA allows for a deviation in blood concentration, so the generic can provide a little more or a little less potency within range, and still qualify as generic.
Because of that variation with some drugs, there may be differences in the way they are tolerated among people. This is especially true for critical dose drugs such as chemotherapy agents for cancer and anti-convulsants for epilepsy.Overall, though, generic drugs are a safe, cost-effective choice. Of course, if you have any concerns about taking generics, you should discuss them with your prescribing physician.