Are generic drugs as safe and effective as brand name drugs?

The FDA thoroughly tests each potential generic drug to make sure it is effective and safe. To gain FDA approval, a generic drug must:

  • Contain the same active ingredients as the original brand drug
  • Be identical in strength, dosage form, and how it’s taken
  • Be used to treat the same conditions and have the same dosing and labeling
  • Provide the same effectiveness and safety to patients

A generic drug often has a different color or shape than the brand name drug. These differences don’t have any effect on how the drug works-they help distinguish one product from another.