Generic drugs contain the same active ingredients in the same amounts as the brand-name drugs and work the same way. They are proven to be just as safe and effective as brand-name drugs. So they have the same risks and benefits as brand-name drugs do. However, generic drugs typically cost less. When appropriate, your doctor may decide to prescribe a generic drug, or allow the pharmacist to substitute a generic drug.
A generic drug is the same as a brand-name drug in:
- The way it works
- The way it is taken
- The way it should be used
Compared with brand-name drugs, generic drugs may:
- Be a different color, shape or size
- Have different fillers, binders, coloring agents and flavorings - all of these are also known as "inactive ingredients"