Also, how are the generics different from the brand named ones? I have read that generic brands are allowed to have up to 25% error while the brand names are only allowed 3% error. Is that true? I have only been able to find information about this from forums, but I would like an answer that is more reliable because you never know when it comes forum posts.
Welcome to the site.
All generic medications must undergo certain tests to compare them to brand-name medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then reviews these tests to decide if the generics are equivalent to the brand-name medications and assigns each generic a rating. An "AB" rating means that the FDA has determined that a generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name medication.
However, generic medications are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication. This might include fillers, dyes, or other ingredients that may cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.
FDA recently evaluated 2,070 human studies conducted between 1996 and 2007. These studies compared the absorption of brand name and generic drugs into a person’s body. These studies were submitted to FDA to support approval of generics. The average difference in absorption into the body between the generic and the brand name was 3.5 percent. Some generics were absorbed slightly more, some slightly less. This amount of difference would be expected and acceptable, whether for one batch of brand name drug tested against another batch of the same brand, or for a generic tested against a brand name drug. In fact, there have been studies in which brand name drugs were compared with themselves as well as with a generic. As a rule, the difference for the generic-to-brand comparison was about the same as the brand-to-brand comparison.
Any generic drug modeled after a single, brand name drug must perform approximately the same in the body as the brand name drug. There will always be a slight, but not medically important, level of natural variability – just as there is for one batch of brand name drug compared to the next batch of brand name product.
I have been told by more than one pharmacist, and many people here will agree that generics have a +/- 10% comparison to the original medication. Therefore, if you have 100mg of drug X, and take 100mg of generic X, you can get either 90% up to 110% of the medication. Due to absorption, and the way your body processes the fillers, it can even be as much as 30%. With me, some generics are just fine, and I see no difference. Others, I have to take brand names. Thyroid supplements come to mind. If you are extremely sensitive to the medication, your thyroid can go completely out of whack.
That's true, and also, they don't always use the same inactive products to make the pill. This can change the absorption rate of the medication. This isn't all bad. I take generic meds as a practice, because of cost. The only ones I wouldn't do it with are seizure meds. Your body can be regulated on the generic medication, and the dose adjusted.
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