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All About Generics

Misconception 3: Generics Aren't Safe

A concern for many is that generic medications are not as safe as brand-name medications. People may think that generic medications will have more side effects than the brand-name product. They may also believe that generics are manufactured in substandard facilities. These are all misconceptions.
We have already stated that brand-name and generic medications are almost always bioequivalent, so we know that the medications should produce the same desired effects. The same is true for the undesired effects, and there is no data that suggests generic medications produce more side effects than the brand-name product.
While brand-name and generic medications have the same active ingredients, the inactive ingredients (such as fillers and dyes) are not necessarily the same. Therefore, it is possible that someone could have a reaction to a generic medication because of sensitivity to an inactive ingredient, while they may not have a reaction to the brand-name product. Keep in mind that the opposite could also be true -- a person could be sensitive to an inactive ingredient in the brand-name product, while they may tolerate the generic without problems.
Finally, the FDA regulates all facilities in which drugs are manufactured. Manufacturers of both brand-name and generic medications are held to the same standards. Some facilities even manufacture both brand-name and generic medications. The FDA frequently inspects manufacturing facilities and monitors manufacturing processes to ensure that all medications sold in the United States are manufactured in a clean environment.
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