© 2018 by Sanford Severin, MD

Dr. Sanford L. Severin

San Ramon, CA 94582 USA


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How Good are Generic Drugs

October 31, 2017

About 3/4 of prescriptions in the U.S. are now generic drugs. This has made insurance companies happy because they are putting out more money. Should this make you happy? The FDA and most medical groups state that generics are as effective and safe as the original products. Generics must be equivalent to the original in terms of strength, quality, purity and safety. Generics must deliver the same amount of active ingredients at about the same rate as their brand name counterpart.

The generic can differ in shape, color and inactive ingredients. These subtle differences may be important especially with time release drugs. Overall the absorption of generics differs from the brand names by only 3 to 4%. These small differences will not matter for most drugs, but in some instances it may reduce effectiveness and safety.

If you switch from a brand name to a generic be alert for any change in your condition or for side effects. This is especially true if you are switched to a generic of a drug that must keep your blood level in a tight range.

If you have problems or side effects with any drug talk to your health care provider. 


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