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Consumer guide to generic drugs.

Questions to ask your doctor

Asking your doctor to prescribe generic medications when they are available and appropriate is a smart way to cut down on your healthcare costs.

1. Is there a generic version of my medication?

2. Are generics right for me?

3. Are there any risks (side effects or reactions) if I change medications?

Questions to ask your pharmacist

1. Is there a generic version of my drug available?

2. Can I substitute my drug with the generic?

3. Will I have different side effects?

4. Does this generic look different than my brand-name medicine?

5. Are there any special instructions I should know about before I take this drug?

Glossary of terms:

Active ingredient

* The specific chemical ingredient that makes a drug work.

Brand-name drug

* The first approved version of a drug.

Generic drugs

* Equivalent versions of brand-name drugs approved for safety, efficacy, quality, and purity by the Food & Drug Administration.

Inactive ingredient

* Ingredients that are used only as additives for color, flavor, binding, or bulk.
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Publication:Consumer Guide to Generic Drugs
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 9, 2009
Next Article:The facts about generic drugs.

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