1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Overview of Generic Drugs for High Blood Pressure

By

Updated March 04, 2008

Generic drugs are a safe, cost effective option for treating high blood pressure. The active ingredients in generic drugs are the same as those in name brand medicines, and generic drugs contain just as much active ingredient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration tightly regulates the production of generic drugs, so you can be assured that your medicines are pure and of the highest quality. Learn if making the switch to generic drugs is right for you and what to do if side effects occur.

1. What Are Generic Drugs?

Generic drugs are non-patent protected versions of medicines manufactured by many pharmaceutical companies. Generic medicines contain the same active ingredients as their name brand equivalents and are used the same way. Generic drugs typically offer significant cost savings because the companies selling them do not have to recoup research and development money. Often, once the patent on a name brand drug expires, the company that owns the name brand will actually start marketing the generic version in addition to the name brand version. All generic medicines have the same potency as name brand drugs.

2. Are Generic Drugs Safe?

Yes. Generic drugs contain exactly the same active ingredients, in the same amount, as more expensive brand name versions. Not only do non-name brand generic drugs contain the same active ingredients, but as prescription medications, they are subject to the same testing and safety requirements. The FDA regulates the production and sale of all prescription medications in the USA, including generics. Like name brand drugs, generic medicines are held to the highest standards of quality and purity.

3. What if I Have Side Effects From a Generic Drug?

A very small number of patients may experience temporary, mild side effects when switching from a name brand drug to a generic drug. These side effects are usually due to the inactive ingredients in the generic formulation. Sometimes switching to a different generic drug can alleviate these effects, but if another generic isn't available, the name brand version may be the only choice. Though these side effects are real, they are exceptionally rare, and most people make the name brand to generic transition with no problems.

4. How Can I Save Money With Generic Drugs?

Because the companies that make most generic drugs don't have to recover the significant amounts of money spent on researching and developing the drug - that money was spent by the company that originally marketed the drug during the patent protected period - generic drugs are usually much less expensive than name brand versions. Many insurance companies have begun introducing standard procedures that require doctors and pharmacies to use generic drugs when available. In some cases, the cost savings can be dramatic, and some patients may save hundreds of dollars per month by switching their medications to generic equivalents.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. High Blood Pressure
  4. Treatment & Monitoring
  5. Generic Drugs
  6. Introduction to Generic Drugs for High Blood Pressure - Generic Hypertension Drugs

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.