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Variation between different generics


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I had to get one of my prescriptions refilled while I was out of town for Christmas, and the pharmacy filled it with a generic made by a different company than I'm used to.  Is it possible that I'd be ok on one generic, but another would make me sick?  It took me until yesterday to realize that two weeks of being nauseous and having no appetite coincides with the new prescription, so yesterday I went back to the pills made by the original manufacturer and I'm already feeling much better. 

Also, I know a doctor can specify brand on the prescription, but is it possible to request a specific generic?  Or is it just a matter of opening the bottle and checking every time, which I usually do anyway?

Thanks ;)

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Heya Tomboy,

The requirement for a generic is that it has "concordance" -- overlap -- with thte brand of 80%.

That means it's at least 80% the same, and up to 20% different, than the brand.

There's no standard for how similar generics are to each other.

Your doc *can* specify which generic you've been using and ensure this is the one you have filled.

There are enough differences among products that it's absolutely worth getting the same name every time, and absolutely possible the effects you feel are the result of differences between your usual generic and the one you're now taking.

First, go back to the pharmacist and inform him/her of your usual generic.  Usually generics are all the same price, so it should be an easy task to sub for you your usual drug.

Other than that, make sure your doc specifies the name of your specific pill on the scrip -- like, for example, "novo-paroxetine."

Yes, it can be done, easily.

--ncc--

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Hi ncc.  Thanks for replying.  Sorry if I'm being really dense, but both bottles say Metformin HCl 500mg.  Does that mean that they're the same pills even if they're made by different companies?

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Heya Tomboy,

Pretty close.  But if they're made by different companies, the formulations (especially the non-medicinal fillers that make into the shape of a pill) can change.

I would ask my pharmacist how close they are.

--ncc--

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