Are generics the same as brand-name drugs?
I live in South Africa and have recently been advised by my medical aid that they will be changing all Atripla patients to a generic drug called Tribuss.
This is because Tribuss is cheaper.
I have checked with my doctor and she advised that there is no reason to worry because it is almost the same thing – just that the other is a generic.
My concern was around side effects. I wanted to know if I should expect going through the side effects all over again.
My other question is what is the actual difference between the actual drug and a generic?
Your consultant has given you the good information about Tribuss.
The main difference between generics and brand-name drugs is just the cost. Generic drugs cost much less than brand-name counterparts.
The active ingredients for the generic and brnd versions are both the same.
Generic drugs might be a different shpae size or colour but they have the same activie ingredients. They are just as effective and also have the same risk of side effects.
Generic drugs are also carefully tested. They undergo similar strict regulations for safety and its effectiveness. In the UK, between 65% to 85% of all drugs prescribed by the NHS are generic.
In theory, you should not have any side effect problems, since they share the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs. However, if you do get from side effects, please talk to your doctor.
This answer was lightly edited in January 2016 from an original answer in February 2012.