Most people nowadays tend to opt for generic medications instead of getting brand-name medications that most doctors recommend. You really can’t blame them because some of the prices of these brand-name medications are quite expensive. And you can always count it on generic medicines to be a fraction of the cost of brand-name medications and can even be treated as a deductible from your taxes.
However, since it’s about health, there will always be something on the back of your mind that questions the decision you make about buying generic brands. That said, is it a wise decision to buy generic?
Well, it’s something situational, so you can’t answer it directly.
However, once you made up your mind to buy generic to save up some cash, how would you pick a generic medication? Are there some things you can do to ease your mind when purchasing them?
Of course, there are. But before we talk about some tips on how to buy a generic medication, let’s talk more in-depth about them first.
What Are Generic Drugs Exactly?
In terms of chemical composition, generics are similar in that aspect, along with the same ingredients that brand-name medications use. However, since they are pretty much the same but don’t have brand recognition, they are mostly 85% cheaper than the original.
The FDA gives a brand patent and exclusivity protection for a set amount of time to profit from their sales. Other companies that have created the same medication aren’t allowed to enter the market yet. Once the exclusivity expires, these companies would enter the market to profit from their own creation.
So, Are Generics Safe To Take?
This is probably the most asked question regarding this matter, and to answer you this, yes, they are safe to take. Before a generic brand enters the market, the drug should have to prove that they are bioequivalent to the brand medicine. This means that they have to have a similar chemical composition, work the same way, and have the same effects.
The FDA checks these products and the manufacturers to see if they can earn approval. After approval, they still check up on the products to see if they work as intended. If they see an issue with the drug, they recall it from shelves to keep the public safe.
With that in mind, how does a person choose a generic drug? Here are some tips you need to know when choosing a generic medicine.
Know What You Need
Knowing what kind of ailment you’re suffering from is a good indication of which generic drug you should buy from a pharmacy. It makes you more efficient in choosing and even saves you a lot of time. Or you can just ask a pharmacist or doctor for a suggestion regarding generic drugs.
Read The Labels
Unlike prescriptions where you can just buy it directly from the pharmacy without saying so much of a word, buying a generic can be a lot tougher since there’s no prescription for them (unless you asked your doctor to give you one for a generic drug).
Make sure that you read the labels, especially the inactive ingredients. Why? This is to check if there is any ingredient that might trigger your allergic reaction. A reaction would be counterproductive and even make your condition much worse than before.
Pick One And Go
Let’s say you have a fever. Do you choose mefenamic or paracetamol? You ask yourself, and you just go, why not both and take them altogether. This is a bad decision. You should never mix two drugs as it can worsen your condition and give you a risk of getting an accidental overdose. Pick only one, and if that option is not practical, you can also buy the second one and take it at another time.
Make Sure It’s Medically Approved
To guarantee that a medicine is safe and effective, you should make sure that it’s approved by a medical body such as the FDA. You should always check the seal in the box to see if they are approved. Obviously, you should not take any drug that the FDA does not authorize. Or you could just ask a medical professional such as your doctor or a pharmacist.
You can ask them for a recommendation on what generic you should and should not take. Not only that, even if you think that the generic drug you chose is safe and effective, there are times that a pharmacist will not give you a generic drug. This happens when the doctor strictly tells in the prescription that the brand should be a specific one and should not be substituted.
Generic drugs are safe and effective, just like their brand-name counterparts. The misconception about them being only half as effective is completely false should not even be considered to be true. You should not just blindly take any generics for your condition. Before doing this, you should always consult your doctor.