Generic Medications

Generic medications are medications that do not have the brand name on them. The brand name is the name given to the medicine when they first came on the market. It is the name that may have made them well known and popular. They are the "original" or first medication of this kind.

A generic drug is the same as a brand name drug. The pills and medicine may look different. Government laws insure that generic and brand name drugs are the same.


  • The same active ingredients as the brand name drug. These are the substances in the medicine that have an effect on the medical condition for which the medication was prescribed.

  • The same strength as the brand name drug.

  • The same absorption rate as the original medication. This means your body is able to get them into the blood stream at the same rate as the original medication.

  • The same approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


  • Generic medications may differ in color, size, and shape from brand name drugs.

  • The inactive ingredients of generic medications may be different from brand name drugs. These are substances added to the pill that allow it to be shaped and colored and help to deliver and dissolve the active ingredients.

  • Generic medications are less expensive than brand name drugs.

There are many reasons for taking generic medications. One reason is that prices of generic medications are often less expensive than the prices of the same brand name medicines. Also, some insurance companies will not pay for brand name medications when less expensive generic medications are available. You can request generic medications when they are available.