Research states that switching from name brand to generic over-the-counter (OTC) medications could save you as much as 73%. You’ve already mastered the top ten life hacks to save money, but have you looked at your pharmacy purchases? If you’ve been buying a name brand pain reliever for years, it might be time to consider looking into store brands instead.
How do you know if it’s right for you? Take the quiz below to find out and then keep reading to learn more.
The Difference Between Generic and Name Brands
Generic and name brand over-the-counter medications are both regulated by the FDA. They must meet the same standards concerning the efficacy, active ingredient dosage, potential side effects, intended use, route of administration, and patient safety. The FDA refers to this as being “bioequivalent.”
The difference lies in the inactive ingredients of each medication. Inactive ingredients are ones that do not affect the way a medication functions in the body or its level of effectiveness. They are often fillers or binding agents, ingredients that color or flavor a medication, or preservatives. Though these ingredients may differ, they are still regulated and held to the same standards by the FDA.
When to Stick to Name Brand Medications
The FDA must approve generic over-the-counter medications. But, the inactive ingredients may make a difference in whether or not the specific drug is right for you. Be sure to read the full list of inactive ingredients before you purchase a generic drug. If you see an ingredient that you are sensitive or allergic to, that is not present in the name brand version. You should steer clear of the generic med.
Additionally, if an inactive ingredient in the generic medication is contraindicated with another medication you are currently taking, prescription or otherwise, stick with the name brand version. If you have a chronic health condition or are pregnant, seek medical advice before taking any new medication. If you have questions about the ingredients in any drug, ask a doctor or pharmacist before you make the switch.
And before you go shopping for your next pain reliever, learn the difference between acetaminophen and ibuprofen to get the best results.