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    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Concerned About Switching From A Brand Name To A Generic?

    For many people, generic drugs work very well. But if you are concerned about switching from a brand name to a generic, or among different generics, then you need to keep tabs on your meds and how they are affecting you.
    Here’s some guidance:

    1. KEEP THE PACKAGING If you take a generic medication or are switched to one, keep the label.
    Most state laws require that the manufacturer’s name be on the label, according to Kathleen Jaeger, chief executive of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.
    If the label does not state the name of the maker, ask your pharmacist to add it or write it down for you. You can also look up the pill at or (click on pill identifier) to find the maker.

    2. KEEP A DIARY Or at least make notes about any side effects you experience when taking a new drug.
    Generic drugs are allowed to contain different inactive ingredients from the brand drug — like flavors, fillers and dyes — which could potentially cause side effects.

    3. BE CHOOSY If one generic version works better than another, shop around for it.
    “Don’t assume your pharmacist will continue to carry a specific product indefinitely,” said Joe Graedon, who runs a consumer advocacy Web site, the People’s Pharmacy ( “Call ahead and ask.”

    4. ENLIST YOUR DOCTOR If you are convinced that only the brand name of a drug works for you, discuss the issue with your doctor.
    You can ask him or her to write “DAW” — dispense as written — on your prescription. This will usually ensure that the pharmacist gives you exactly what the doctor ordered.
    If your insurer balks, ask your doctor to make a phone call for you or write a letter explaining why only the brand name is appropriate for you. Sometimes this actually works.

    5. REPORT PROBLEMS If you do have side effects or reactions to a specific drug, tell your doctor and then report it to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Web site and post a message on the People’s Pharmacy Web site.
    If enough people complain about a specific medication, there’s a good chance the F.D.A. or an independent group will investigate it.

    Please remember, as with all our articles we provide information, not medical advice. For any treatment of your own medical condition you must visit your local doctor, with or without our article[s]. These articles are not to be taken as individual medical advice.

    Deepen your understanding of "medical malpractice"...

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