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What is a generic name?

Generic name drugs contain the same active ingredients that name-brand drugs contain and are FDA-approved, but they almost always cost less. Generic name drugs can only be released after the patent for the brand-name drug has expired (which generally takes 20 years), so not all drugs can be purchased in a generic form. But some drugs that are available only in brand-name form do have a generic equivalent, which may be a slightly different formulation or a combination of two generic drugs. Ask your doctor if a generic drug is right for you.

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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.