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A lot of people do not know exactly what generic drugs mean. This misunderstanding often results in underestimation of generics and people may not use the opportunity to save more money by buying drugs cheaper or on the contrary consider them to be exactly the same as brand drugs and forget about their peculiarities which may lead to a converse effect. Let us make clear some of characteristics of generics to answer the most frequently asked questions as for them and help people to grasp the drugs better.
Generic drugs – what are they?
Generics contain the same active ingredients as drugs that are brand – names. The USA government has certified them as ones which are equivalent to the brand-name drugs. The main role is played by the active ingredient that is the actual medicine aimed to treat diseases. Generic name may be seen in brackets of almost every drug after its brand name. It is actually the title of the active ingredient. Let us take Tylenol as an example. Its generic name is acetaminophen. You always have got a choice – you may buy the pharmacy brand of acetaminophen or acetaminophen of any other company. Such sign as ® appears to indicate a registered trademark. What does it mean if we see this sign? It means that the producer has a copyright protection on this name as in case for Tylenol, for example.
For better understanding, let us take another example with very popular medicine nowadays – Valium. Valium is the brand name of a drug used to deprive of anxiety and feeling of worry. Diazepam – is the generic name. Valium was the first that appeared on the pharmacy market and only the brand name existed and was possible. When the exclusive rights of the original producers on this drug had come to an end – other companies got the opportunity to manufacture the drug Diazepam and sell it on the market. Of course, this drug has the same active ingredients and the same characteristics but other producers cannot name their drug as Valium because this name belongs to the original manufacturer of this medication. The generic manufactures just call it by the generic name that is Diazepam.
What is the difference between generic Drugs and Brand Drugs?
It is clear that both these drugs, Generic and Brand, have one and the same active ingredient, but still there is the difference in their inactive ingredients which are chosen by manufactures and which may give the drug its bulk as well as taste or even change its look. That is the reason why generics may have another taste and look than their brand drugs. Despite of the fact that inactive ingredients do not change the medicine itself – some patients may find out different reactions of their organisms to inactive ingredients effect. For instance, some producers may have a yellow tinge for the color of the medicine while others use a red one. A patient who has an allergy to a certain tinge may react differently to various drugs according to their colors. That is the case when your doctor assures that you should take only brand drug to escape some unequal reaction of your organism despite of the fact, that a generic is available. Then your doctor will mention about this in his prescription to notify a pharmacist of possible negative effect and necessity to take exactly brand drug. If you look closer at your prescription that was given to you by your doctor – you’ll notice a little box with the letters “daw” or “dispense as written” in the bottom of the list which means that your pharmacist should not suggest you generic but only a brand drug.