questionsdo you buy brand name or generic over-the-counter…

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I used to buy generics, because it usually makes good sense. However, I now only buy brand name products because the companies will disclose the inactive ingredients and whether they contain any known allergens - like soy, wheat, peanuts, dairy, etc. For generics, the exact composition of the inactive ingredients may not even be known for sure (although they meet FDA standards.) After having a gluten reaction from a generic version of ibuprofen, I stick with the safer brand names.

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Generic - the pharmaceuticals have made their profits back covering development costs during the patent protected period, then they try to persuade you that the continuing price premium is justified by some very inventive claims that are just as valid for the generics, like the heart benefits of taking a 'Beyer' rather than aspirin...the cost of the generic reflects the cost of manufacture.

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The only thing I take on a regular basis is a stomach acid reducer, and I take the generic version of Pepcid. It costs 1/4 as much and is the same exact thing in the same exact dosage - so why pay more?

Slightly off-topic: I never take pharmaceutical antibiotics, haven't for years. They wreak havoc on the body's natural balance of flora and fauna, causing problems, particularly for women. A few years ago I discovered Goldenseal, an herb that acts as a blood astringent - it slightly alters the blood chemistry long enough to kill any bacteria or virus in the body, and has zero side effects. It's inexpensive and I've used it to treat everything from sinus infection to dermatitis to bronchitis and more. I take a large dose the first day, then a couple of capsules per day until the bug disappears. There's no need to "finish the entire prescription" like with pharma antibiotics, you just take it until you don't have to anymore. Herbal remedies can be miraculously effective.

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Depends on the medication...

Ibuprophen, pepto-bismol, Sudafed, etc I always get generics.... same for allergy pills.

The only exception to this is when I get Mucinex DM Max... There is no generic version of this pseudo-ephedrine packed chest cold Jackhammer of a drug. Usually, I pop no more than 4 of these over a 2 day period, and I no longer have any sign of the cold that once had me tied in knots.

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To meet FDA standards, generics must meet a threshold of within 15% +/- of the expected therapeutic effect of the brand name drug they are formulated to match with. In studies, I think most generics sold in the US are closer to 95-99% therapeutic equivalence. I've always opted for generics, and I've never seen enough difference for it to matter. Other studies have found that the variance between batches of drugs of the same brand can be greater than the differences between the brand name and the generic.

Studies also find that if you trick yourself into thinking your generics are brand name, they tend to work better, perhaps as good as brand name, such as refilling your brand name bottles w/ generic drugs, and trying to forget you did that. Save yourself some money and trust the science. Try tricking yourself or sincerely believe that generics are the equivalent of brand names and you might never see the difference.

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Generic all the way, whether it's aspirin or green beans. Never met a name brand I actually preferred. But then again we grew up without a lot of money, and my Mom bought the original generics. Anyone remember the plain white labels with the big black letters?

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@gmwhit: Jolly Green Giant Aspirin - there is no way I'm swallowing THAT!

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I look at the active ingredients/amounts in the brand name stuff. Then I find the generic/store brand version with the same ingredients. I'll buy whichever is on sale/cheaper per dose.

In looking at labels, I've noticed that a lot of brands sell the exact same active ingredients (and dosage) in different packaging/salesy-name at different price points. Like CVS has 4 different types of ibuprofen pain relief marketed as different things (for headaches, for menstural cramps, for muscle aches, etc.), but it's the same ingredients in the same amounts. Gotta love marketing.

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For pharma stuff, I go with Store Branded generics, because I rarely take medicine. Any dose of the "weak" stuff is enough for me.

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@gmwhit: Laughing at my own comment... Big pharmas do NOT make store brand food, okay? ::snort:: Hoping everyone knew what I meant. Or laughed w/me. (Picturing Jolly Green Giant aspirin.)

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@redspecial: It's my understanding that generics are actually made by the big pharmas. Ditto the store brand food. Less cost w/o the high price packaging & advertising. Probably not true in all cases. And, "I could be wrong." Thank you Dennis Miller. ;-)

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I go for the name-brand pharmaceuticals. They invested the funds, did the research, etc. I tend not to buy "store label" stuff in the grocery store either.

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Well I don't like taking any OTC med, or even meds in general. but have found that some things that I dont like to take the chance on. Long Term Antacids, IE Prevacid, or prilsec etc, it never seems to work right when I try the generics, of those, but aspirin, and acetometaphin etc, I can handle generics, but using sams club or coupons I normally get the a name brand when I get it

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I usually buy whichever is cheaper, usually the generic.

I bought generic Pepto-Bismol once, though. It wasn't emulsified well, and it was awful. Never again.

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It really depends on the medication. Benadryl or Tylenol I'll go generic. Stuff like nasal sprays, eye drops, etc - I will go with brand name. As far as Rx's go, I go with whatever my insurance makes me take. Often it isn't even a generic, it is a "therapeutic equivalent."

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@gmwhit: Not very often. I will on occasion for Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and my allergy meds. My pharmacists agrees with most generics as well. Again, I'm a bit of a snob though.

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@thunderthighs: I know there's been a lot of talk on both sides of the generic vs brand name of prescription products. Don't take any of those, though. I mentioned OTC 'cause that's how I self-medicate. ;-)

Do you buy generic OTC? I'm thinking they're pretty much the same. Have asked a few pharmacists & they agree - ingredients the same & in the same amount. <---not scientific at all! ;-)

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Even when it comes to prescription meds, I will buy the generic if my doctor recommends it will as effective as the brand name.

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I'm with @thunderthighs on this one. I had a pharmacist substitute a generic antibiotic for the erythromycin that the doctor prescribed, and I nearly ended up in an emergency room. I take almost no medication (unless you want to count things like Calcium and Vitamin D), but I seldom take generics over their name brand counterparts. It's my money (I pay for anything medical out of my own pocket), so I get to make the choice. When I still worked, and had medical insurance, my doctor always wrote no substitutions. He was my hero.

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My dad was a pharmacist and I grew up working in the pharmacy (not chain). He was and I still am a bit of a snob on medications. I'll often buy the name brand. I know generics are usually the same but they also sometimes don't have the same quality of ingredients.

An example is the steroid eye drops I have to use periodically to take care of a reoccurring problem. Most recent drops weren't working and the ophthalmologist asked to see them. They were generic. He said they were no good and I needed to get the Pred Forte, not generic. He wrote a new prescription specifying no substitution and my eye problem cleared up promptly.

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I nearly always buy generics, except for one item, used long ago, where a difference in the inactive ingredients seemed to reduce the product's effectiveness for me compared to the name brand version.

Other than that one instance, I've never been able to detect a difference except for price.