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Are generic and brand name drugs different?

Generics are approved by the FDA and must demonstrate that they contain the same amount of active ingredients as the brand name product. However, generic products sometimes have different inactive ingredients. The inactive ingredients do not affect how well the active ingredients work and most patients do not notice a difference between the brand and different generic products. Some patients have reported noticing differences in how they respond to certain generic products. Discuss your concerns with your pharmacist when you pick up your prescription if you have any further concerns. They can advise you on the specific brand of generic that they use. You can also follow up with your doctor if you are concerned about how well your medicine is working for you.
Both generic and brand name drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA requires the potency and amount of an active ingredient in a generic drug to be identical to its brand name equivalent. According to the FDA, and based on a study published in 2008 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, brand name cardiovascular drugs and generic drugs have identical therapeutic effects. However, physicians and patients often report otherwise based on personal experience with some drugs. Ultimately, the best advice is to consult with your doctor or other healthcare provider who prescribed the medicine and to together make a decision based on effectiveness, cost and potential risks.
 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.