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Are generic brand over the counter medicine the same as national brands?

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Are generic brand over the counter medicine the same as national brands?

Old 11-07-04, 02:48 PM
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Are generic brand over the counter medicine the same as national brands?

I am mainly talking about Equate(Wal-Mart) medicines, not precription. They are alot cheaper.
Old 11-07-04, 02:51 PM
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Re: Are generic brand over the counter medicine the same as national brands?

a doctor would be best to be answer, but i've been told by my doctor.. it varies... some are the same, some are pretty similiar, but may be a tiny bit less effective

Originally posted by gusamo
I am mainly talking about Equate(Wal-Mart) medicines, not precription. They are alot cheaper.
Old 11-07-04, 02:57 PM
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Repost. I answered this indepth about 2 years ago.
Old 11-07-04, 03:37 PM
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the active ingredient is the same, but sometimes the inactive filler stuff might be different
my dad's a pharmacist (in general a pharmacist knows more about various medicines than doctors) and we'd usually use the store brand stuff
Old 11-07-04, 04:16 PM
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I'm a pharmacist. I use the generic (or whatever I can get the cheapest).
Old 11-07-04, 04:18 PM
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Gee, I think all I got is this acyetlsalicylic acid. Generic. See, I can get six hundred tablets of that for the same price as three hundred of the name brand. Makes good financial sense. Good advice.
Old 11-07-04, 05:44 PM
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I've been told in most every case generic is the same. However, "most" doesn't do very much if you happen to get one that is not as good (or has different or unexpected side effects). My wife's doctor always recommends to "try" generic. If no problems, go for it.
Old 11-07-04, 05:56 PM
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I can't remember exactly ... but iirc (a pharmacist will tell you more clearly) there's some stipulation that once a drug has run it's course and clones are allowed to be produced (generic brands) then the formulation should/must be the same. At least the active and important ingredients.

Put it this way - from a layperson's POV if you look at the ingredients between a name brand and a generic brand you'll find that the ingredients are invariably the exact same.

Most pharmacists will tell you to check out the generic and see if it's okay for you. My aunt is a pharmacist and she says the same thing.

I bought some back pain medicine for my wife awhile ago and thought about picking up the Robaxacet and then I saw the generic branded stuff which was on sale and much cheaper. Looked at the back for the ingredients and they were exactly the same.

I fought the urge of the programming inflicted upon us by commercials and bought the generic stuff and all was well.

The way I see it is that the extra 6-7 dollars that I would have spent on the Robaxacet would have been spend on paying for their stupid commercials and not on a better pill. I hate being a sucker.
Old 11-07-04, 07:44 PM
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The active ingredients are supposed to be the same, but the inactive ones can be different. This can be a problem for some people. My mom has a lot of drug reactions, so her doctor has insisted that she stick with the regular brands rather than switch to generic as they become available (there was a bit of a problem with insurance over this, but they agreed to it since it was a medical decision).

I usually buy generic though since I can't tell the difference.
Old 11-07-04, 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by costanza
Gee, I think all I got is this acyetlsalicylic acid. Generic. See, I can get six hundred tablets of that for the same price as three hundred of the name brand. Makes good financial sense. Good advice.
Thanks Louis.
Old 11-07-04, 07:55 PM
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Re: Are generic brand over the counter medicine the same as national brands?

Originally posted by gusamo
I am mainly talking about Equate(Wal-Mart) medicines, not precription. They are alot cheaper.
Yep, I use Equate when possible for pain relievers and they put out an alternative to Gaviscon for half the price.

Other than increased twitching and posting in Other, no bad side-effects



just kidding about the twitching!
Old 11-07-04, 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by devilshalo
Thanks Louis.
you think it's too hot in here for the brie?
Old 11-07-04, 08:55 PM
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I used to work for one of the nation's largest pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, and I can tell you that there is more than the ingredient list.

When a prescription goes off-patent, the other major pharmaceutical manufacturers reverse engineer the active ingredient. This reverse engineering includes a way to synthesize the drug from other known basic elements.

In reality, it takes a while for the manufacturers to get the batches right -- cook time, drying rate, etc. all take some "fiddling" to predict based on the machinery being used. Also, they don't build a new operating train for generic pharmaceuticals as they would with a new name brand, so there's some tinkering that has to go on there, and there's the potential for cross contamination.

For instance, if a pharmaceutical is improperly cooked, there could be an increased concentration of the undesired optical isomer (assuming there is one), or of an overly substituted base molecule. Maybe the drug wasn't dried properly and there's still some ethyl benzene left in the matrix. Those kinds of issues do not show up on an ingredient list, and a pharmacist wouldn't have any idea. Generic drug manufacturers are not held to the same FDA scrutiny of a new launch, so it's entirely possible they could have these issues and not even know about it. Of course, after a few years, they have enough experience and can produce it as well as the brand name.

I usually take the generic when I go to the drug store. I am weary, however, of jumping on a new drug as soon as it hits the generic market.
Old 11-07-04, 10:27 PM
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Originally posted by costanza
acyetlsalicylic acid.
Old 11-07-04, 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by griz
I'm a pharmacist. I use the generic (or whatever I can get the cheapest).
kewl. Where do you work?
Old 11-08-04, 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by matta
I used to work for one of the nation's largest pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, and I can tell you that there is more than the ingredient list.

When a prescription goes off-patent, the other major pharmaceutical manufacturers reverse engineer the active ingredient. This reverse engineering includes a way to synthesize the drug from other known basic elements.

In reality, it takes a while for the manufacturers to get the batches right -- cook time, drying rate, etc. all take some "fiddling" to predict based on the machinery being used. Also, they don't build a new operating train for generic pharmaceuticals as they would with a new name brand, so there's some tinkering that has to go on there, and there's the potential for cross contamination.

For instance, if a pharmaceutical is improperly cooked, there could be an increased concentration of the undesired optical isomer (assuming there is one), or of an overly substituted base molecule. Maybe the drug wasn't dried properly and there's still some ethyl benzene left in the matrix. Those kinds of issues do not show up on an ingredient list, and a pharmacist wouldn't have any idea. Generic drug manufacturers are not held to the same FDA scrutiny of a new launch, so it's entirely possible they could have these issues and not even know about it. Of course, after a few years, they have enough experience and can produce it as well as the brand name.

I usually take the generic when I go to the drug store. I am weary, however, of jumping on a new drug as soon as it hits the generic market.
This should be a Sticky. Good info! Thanks.
Old 11-08-04, 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by Cool Kitten
kewl. Where do you work?
I work in a hospital pharmacy (~300 beds).
Old 11-08-04, 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by matta
I used to work for one of the nation's largest pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, and I can tell you that there is more than the ingredient list.

When a prescription goes off-patent, the other major pharmaceutical manufacturers reverse engineer the active ingredient. This reverse engineering includes a way to synthesize the drug from other known basic elements.

In reality, it takes a while for the manufacturers to get the batches right -- cook time, drying rate, etc. all take some "fiddling" to predict based on the machinery being used. Also, they don't build a new operating train for generic pharmaceuticals as they would with a new name brand, so there's some tinkering that has to go on there, and there's the potential for cross contamination.

For instance, if a pharmaceutical is improperly cooked, there could be an increased concentration of the undesired optical isomer (assuming there is one), or of an overly substituted base molecule. Maybe the drug wasn't dried properly and there's still some ethyl benzene left in the matrix. Those kinds of issues do not show up on an ingredient list, and a pharmacist wouldn't have any idea. Generic drug manufacturers are not held to the same FDA scrutiny of a new launch, so it's entirely possible they could have these issues and not even know about it. Of course, after a few years, they have enough experience and can produce it as well as the brand name.

I usually take the generic when I go to the drug store. I am weary, however, of jumping on a new drug as soon as it hits the generic market.
With prescription meds, you're paying for process costs as much as the raw materials.
Old 11-08-04, 06:41 PM
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I'm not a pharmacist....but from what I've heard that they 'should' be the same, but aren't always. It seems like matta gave an excellent answer.

-pedagogue
Old 11-08-04, 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by griz
I work in a hospital pharmacy (~300 beds).
I think she was hitting on you. You had your chance.
Old 11-08-04, 08:27 PM
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Originally posted by Bushdog
I think she was hitting on you. You had your chance.
Dangit. What was I thinking?!?!
Oh well, it's not that I have any free time anymore with the new baby.
Old 11-08-04, 08:33 PM
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Originally posted by griz
Dangit. What was I thinking?!?!
Oh well, it's not that I have any free time anymore with the new baby.
You from Missoula?
Old 11-08-04, 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by Bushdog
I think she was hitting on you. You had your chance.
I would never in a million years date a pharmacist. They're all freaks i tell ya!!!!
Old 11-08-04, 10:54 PM
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wow, this is a great thread to ask our resident pharmacists. Can I send a few of you some questions for a school project I have? Should only take about 10 mins of your time, and there's compensation involved.
Old 11-09-04, 12:35 AM
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Originally posted by David Blair
You from Missoula?
Went to school there (hence my username).
I'm in Billings.

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