In layman’s terms, a generic drug is produced by a rival company or sometimes even the same company, who once held patents for a particular brand drug, after the patent expires. When a molecule is patented it means that only the inventor can market the product and the procedure to make the molecule is a secret. But these patents come with an expiry period so when the patent expires, which is roughly some 16-17 years after the molecule was invented, then other companies have access to all the information related to the invented molecules. Then a number of similar products flood the market, which are the same in terms of dosage, safety, strength and quality, mode of action, ways and procedure of consumption as was the brand-name drug. As it is with all types of medicines, a doctor should be consulted before taking any kinds of medicines. The following article will throw some light upon the side effects that may come uninvited while you are on generic drug medication.
Side Effects of Generic Drugs
- If you were already on the brand-name drug prescription and if you have been advised to switch to the generic version then it is common to take a while to adjust to the new formulation. Give yourself some 2 weeks to get adjusted to the new drug. Mostly, switching to generic drugs is a cheaper option and it is also considered safe. But despite this, consult your doctor for further explanations.
- Mild side effects like headache and irritable stomach might materialise when you start taking generic drugs. But if these effects do not subside after the initial few days then you must consult your physician and get your regular check up done.
- Although, a bioequivalent of the original molecule is used in the generic drug, the filler ingredient or added colour may initiate allergic reaction in the patient.
- The brand-name drug may have some side effects which you may experience once you start taking the generic drugs as well. The company that takes over and starts producing the same compound that is present in the original medicine may not spend money on research and development and hence the side effects may not be taken care of. This is one major reason why generic drugs come cheaper than the original brand-name drug. The money saved in research and clinical trials indices them to lower the cost. But this also the reason why the same side effects that resulted while taking the original drug also occur when you are on generic drug prescription.
- Contrary to popular belief, generic drugs are safe and a perfectly healthy and cheaper option. The companies that manufacture these drugs are renowned and respectable and their products can be trusted. Apart from different inactive ingredients that include fillers, colours etc, all the other compounds that go into curing the disease are the same.
- Precautionary measures like consulting your physician for the exact dosage and timings are mandatory. Also, buying your pills from reputed pharmacy is a must.
Exercise prudence and alertness and take your pills regularly and complete your dosage to enjoy a healthy and disease free life.