What you need to know about generic medication

Generic medication is essentially a duplicate of an original brand. The ingredient that makes the medicine effective is called the active substance. Generic medicine contains the same active substance, with the same strength. In other words, generic medicine is as effective as original/brand medicines. The active substance in generic medication is equivalent to the original/brand medicine making it fit for consumption.

Generic drugs are commonly mistaken for fake or less effective medication, which most people opt to stay away from. This is however due to the lack of knowledge about them and with the wide variety of medication available in the market, it is easy to get confused when buying medicine.

Generic medication can be hard to recognize as they carry different names and branding from the original drug. Often (but not always) the manufacturer of a generic drug will include the name of the active substance in the product’s name. Manufacturers are free to decide what their pills, oral suspensions and inhalers look like. Therefore, generic medicines may have a different colour, shape and taste from brand medicines.

There are also concerns on whether one can switch between the generic and original drugs, this can be as a result of the unavailability of either of the two. It is perfectly safe to switch without any problems. Generic medicine is as good as brand medicine. However, it may take you a little while to get used to the new brand, particularly if you use more than one type of medicine and/or if you regularly switch from one brand to the next. If you have any concerns or experience any symptoms when you use a particular type of medicine, you should consult a doctor or pharmacist for more information.