An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Are generic over the counter drugs not as good?

Discussion in 'Prescription Drugs' started by suntasticsunni, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Every big pharmacy you go to has their own variety. Are the CVS/Walgreens/Ekerd versions any less effective? Are they bad for you? They are usually a lot cheaper, is the quality any worse? This is just about generic OTC medicine
  2. MerMer21

    MerMer21 Member

    No way. Most of them are just as good as named brand. When you buy Tylenol you are paying for that image and packaging. You don't have to take my word for it either. You can always grab a generic box and a named brand box and compare the ingredients. Most times, they will have the same exact ingredients. You'll also want to check the dosage amount. For example, one box might have .25 mg of a particular ingredient and another might have .30mg .. You just have to do a little research and paying attention. Most times they will have the exact same dosages and active ingredients. I look at ingredients on there also because there may be something in it that you could be allergic to. You can never be too sure. This goes for medicated lotions and soaps as well.
  3. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    As a rule generic products are cheaper because they have fewer quality controls, but there is a limit to what the FDA will put up with, so most generic products are very similar to the name brand products. In fact a lot of generic products are made by the same manufacturer that makes the name brand product.

    There are a lot of varieties of sinus medicine, but there are only a few active ingredients, and that is what counts. When you look at the active ingredients you will find the common chemical compound that makes the medication work. Some brands may have different concentrations, but usually they come in set doses. The inactive ingredients list will vary with the dyes and other chemicals that are used to construct the medication, but these ingredients don’t have any effect on your body. If you buy aspirin, then you get the medication salicylate acid every time (Wikipedia: Some aspirins have caffeine while others may have different combinations of chemicals or they may be in different forms, but in ALL of them the aspirin itself is chemically and medically identical. Wallgreens ‘brand medication is just as good as Eckerds’, or Wal-Mart’s, or Krogers’ medications are.

    In the case of generic drugs there are three kinds; the knockoff, the cheap version, and the one made when the original company's patent expires. All of these drugs have to conform to the FDA standards and perform exactly as the name brand drug would. This is true for all generic drugs prescription drugs and over the counter drugs.

    The knockoff is almost exactly like the name brand drug, but there is some minor change in the chemical formula so that the drug company that makes it isn't violating the patent of the name brand drug. When you think of knockoffs you think of poorly made handbags that claim to be Gucci. However, to be prescribed that drug has to match the exact effects of the drug it mimics. The active ingredients have to be the same, and given in equivalent doses. The drug also has to produce no more side effects than that which are possible from the name brand drug, and they have to have the exact same medical value. A drug company can do this by sticking an extra molecule on the molecular chain. The change is slight, and virtually has no effect, but it is significant enough that the drug patent can be bypassed.
    A lot of drugs can't be mimicked in this way. So in that case the generic is just a less expensive from of the name brand drug, it may even be made by the exact same company. It will use the same ingredients and probably be made on an assembly line just a few feet from where the name brand drug is made. Drug companies do this so they can sell their drugs to more people. Many HMO plans require the pharmacist to only use generic drugs. If a drug company wants everyone to use their new drug, then they may quietly come out with a generic version later so the HMO’s doctors will be allowed to prescribe it and their pharmacies can fill the prescription. This allows them to be the exclusive marketer of the drug for the life of their drug patent, as well as marketing it to the widest group of people.

    A drug patent’s life varies by country, but it is always a short one and it cannot be renewed. Although the American drug companies have tired to increase the length of time for their patents. So far with no success, but, they did get pretty close. Once the patent expires then other drug companies can make their own version of the drug and sell it in competition with the company that originally made the drug. It costs on average around $800,000,000 to develop and test a new drug before it is approved for use, so you can see why the drug companies want to try and expand the life span of their patents. They will have to charge a very high price to make up the R&D investment that it took to make the drug, and to pay for the manufacturing process that had to be set up. This is why some generics can be as much as 50% cheaper then the original brand name drug.

    The differences between Generic Drugs and the drugs that they stand for are so minor that they are insignificant. It is like when you buy an IBM computer, you can get the exact same computer, made by a different manufacturer, for 75% of the cost. The extra 25% you are paying for is for that brand name, and all that the brand name stands for. In the case of IBM or Dell it could be support and a very nice case with components that fit very well into them. For drugs though the FDA rules are tighter.

    Thanks to FDA regulations generic drugs and name brand drugs are so similar that for all intents and purposes they are the same drug. You can feel perfectly safe by sticking with generics; this is one area where the HMOs are not ripping off their clients.
  4. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    Generic drugs are supposed to be chemically identical to the brand name, and in the vast majority of cases they are just as effective. I have heard of rare cases when the physiological individuality of a patient apparently responds differently to the brand name than to the generic.
  5. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    The only thing I've heard is that some generic pills may be compressed different than the originals. Therefore they may release into your body slower or quicker. I was told this by a person who worked for a generic pill company.
  6. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    Generic medicine has the same ingredients. But the real test is trying both generic and name brand. If the "name brand" medicine feels significantly different and works better, then you have your answer. But I think you will find there is no difference.
  7. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    they must be exactly the same as far as the drugs contained, they just dont have the profit margin because they let the name brands do all the drug research and then when a drug is no longer protected by legal stuff, they make their own version. it works exactly the same though the binders may be different,
  8. Auril

    Auril Active Contributor

    I've heard of a few people saying they have problems with generic forms of a certain drug and they insist on taking only the name brand. Personally, I take a whole slew of medications and never notice a difference between name brand and generic, or between generics made by different manufactures.
    The difference in the generic drugs is that there are different fillers in them (the extra stuff that binds the drug, hold stuff into a pill form, etc). The actual drug content in generics has to be within a very close percentage of the name brand to be approved by the FDA.
  9. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    In here there are several generic brands and there are some that are really being promoted as effective as those the branded ones. I have tried generic branded drugs and I could say that those are also effective aside from the fact that these are usually much cheaper.
  10. smartmom

    smartmom Senior Contributor

    I am not so sure but I have heard that they are just as good. I know they seem to save a little money. We will never know for sure. I use them sometimes and I can't tell the difference one way or another. Sometimes I even think that maybe manufacturers use the same meds but label some of them differently making us think that their is a generic brand for marketing purposes.
  11. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    The majority of generic OTC medicines are comparable to their branded counterparts. I'm not keen on taking generic over branded drugs though. There have been occasions where the pharmacy has run out of the branded drugs and I've had to accept generic ones instead. I definitely felt more "wobbly" on the generic stuff and it's entirely possible that it contained less, or more of the active ingredient than the branded version.
  12. Cheeky_Chick

    Cheeky_Chick Community Champion

    I have tried out this theory with almost everything I have taken, and due to this I know for sure that there is nothing that I take that isn't just as effective when it isn't the branded product. I buy a lot of things like painkillers from my local supermarket, and they are ridiculously cheap, yet they work just as well as anything else that you could buy for a lot more money. This is definitely worth remembering, as it means that you can save a lot of money without having to go without any of the medication that you really need for the good of your health.
  13. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    Just look at the ingredients. Acetomimophen is just as effective no matter what brand is stamped on it. Same goes for any drug. The only difference I could see is the release method (extended release, etc.), but other than that it makes no difference as long as it has all the same amount of every drug in it. I never buy name brand and I'm not sure why anyone would.
  14. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Generic. A drugs a drug right. They would have cheaper fillers in them. Anything like this. What's the difference? If you are taking something fake made in a lab thats just some chemicals jammed in a pill. I'm gonna say no. If its anything like what they do with food I wouldn't take the generic if you could help it. They make the GMO foods that cause health problems so my guess is generic is the GMO of drugs, lol. I never thought about that but I wouldn't put it past them. Regular corn will make you sterile or infertile so who is to say they wouldn't do something jacked up with generics.
  15. SLTE

    SLTE Community Champion

    That's such a weird correlation that I'm not sure where to start. Also couldn't find anything about humans being made infertile by corn, only rats. And the sources for those were dubious.

    Anyway. Not the topic. I've never found generics to be any different from the regular brands in terms of potency or effects, and I always buy 'em. I don't care about brand name if the result is going to be the same.
  16. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I think there about the same. If they were any different they wouldn't sell them in these well known stores. The prescriptions are supposed to do the same thing any way. If there much cheaper they may not cost as much to produce. There may be a difference but probably not much.
  17. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    Store brands are typically as good, but if you have any doubt compare the ingredients label. Sometimes the ingredients that are in generic drugs differ in quantity than others. These are the ways that you know the difference between the two. Typically you are paying for advertising and packaging and shipping costs with the big brand label.
  18. Hiraeth

    Hiraeth Active Contributor

    Generic or not, what matters are the ingredients and dosage. Big brands give you the meds in shiny packaging, fooling you into paying extra for the flashy coat that makes us feel like it's a good medicine. A medicine is medicine is a medicine. There is only so much risk a company will take in tampering with the quality of medicines.
  19. Rowe992

    Rowe992 Senior Contributor

    I think the only thing that that matters is the ingredients in the drug and not the name of the company that is on the packaging. As long as the ingredients are the same or they achieve the same purpose then I don't have a problem with generic drugs.