What Are Generic Drugs?
A generic drug generally works just like a brand drug at the same dose, strength and use. Generics are also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but often cost less.
Generic drugs can be used in two ways:
1) A generic equivalent has the exact same active ingredients as the brand drug and are often available at the same dose. The active ingredient treats your condition or relieves your symptoms.
Your pharmacist can often fill a prescription with a generic equivalent without a new prescription from your doctor. Consider asking your doctor or pharmacist if there is a generic equivalent of the medicine you take.
According to the FDA, compared to its brand counterpart, an FDA-approved generic equivalent drug:
- Is chemically the same
- Works just as well in the body
- Is as safe and effective
- Meets the same standards set by the FDA
Not all prescription drugs have a generic equivalent. If there is no generic equivalent, you can ask your doctor if a generic alternative is an option. Only your doctor can decide if a generic alternative is right for you.
2) A generic alternative is used to treat the same condition as the brand drug you may have been prescribed, but the active ingredients differ from the brand drug.
If a generic alternative is right for you, your doctor will need to write a new prescription for the medicine.