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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Drugs - Generic vs. Brand Name

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Drug Identification for Generic Lopressor
Question: My father has asked me to help ID a medication for him. He normally takes a generic Lopressor. I think his pharmacy switched generics on him and he has a pill he is not sure of. It is a round unscored pill with GG 264 stamped on it. Can you help me identify this medicine?

Answer: The generic name for Lopressor is metoprolol. You can tell whether your pharmacy has switched manufacturers by the code. Did your previous medication have the same or a different code? Each pill has a different code. I don't have the pharmacy index, but it is a simple home comparison.

Brand Name/Generic Drugs
Question: What recommendations would you make concerning generic vs. brand name drugs for patients?

Answer: In general, I don't have many reservations about generic drugs. I do prefer that pharmacies do not switch generic companies repeatedly since most drugs can be adjusted regardless of their biologic activity. I have had occasional patients who seem to be better off on brand name rather than generic drugs. This has happened about 5-10 times over the last 10 years. I would recommend that you know the name of the company making your drugs and be alert if the pharmacist switches for any change in symptoms.

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