What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.

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    Berberine is a compound that is predominantly found in plants such as European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric. The benefits of berberine as a dietary supplement may include managing health conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It is believed to work by activating an enzyme inside cells called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is sometimes referred to as a "metabolic master switch" due to its role in regulating metabolism.


    Berberine is typically consumed by mouth. The recommended dosage may vary depending on the specific health condition it's being used for. A typical dosage is 500 mg two to three times per day before meals. It’s recommended to follow the dosing guidelines provided with the berberine supplement or as directed by a healthcare professional.


    Berberine is a naturally occurring alkaloid, a type of plant compound, that’s in various plants. Specifically, it’s found in the stems, bark, roots, and rhizomes of plants such as European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, tree turmeric, and Amur cork tree.


    You may need to avoid berberine in the following individuals:

    • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
    • People with liver disease
    • Individuals with a known allergy to plants containing berberine


    • Before using berberine, discuss the following with your doctor or healthcare provider:
      • Other medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
      • Any medical conditions you have.
      • Whether you have a history of allergies to any medications.
    • Berberine may interact with cyclosporine, potentially increasing its effects and side effects by decreasing the rate at which the body breaks it down.
    • Use caution if you're taking dextromethorphan, losartan, or medications processed by the liver (like Cytochrome P450 substrates). Berberine may alter how your body processes these drugs, affecting their efficacy and side effects.
    • For those on diabetes medications, berberine has the potential to lower blood sugar levels, which could increase the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Monitoring your blood sugar levels may be recommended.
    • Berberine might also lower blood pressure. This could be a problem if you're already taking medications for high blood pressure. Regular blood pressure monitoring may be recommended.
    • Be aware that berberine may slow blood clotting. This is particularly important if you're taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications, which may increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
    • Taking berberine may increase the levels of metformin in your body, especially if taken two hours before metformin, possibly leading to more pronounced effects and side effects.
    • Sedative medications, including midazolam, pentobarbital, and other CNS depressants, may interact with berberine, potentially causing increased sleepiness or slowed breathing.
    • If you are taking tacrolimus, be aware that berberine might slow its elimination from the body, which could increase its side effects.
    • Berberine may also interact with herbs and supplements, especially those that lower blood pressure, blood sugar, slow blood clotting, or have sedative effects. Examples include CBD, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, and L-arginine.
    • Taking berberine alongside probiotics might reduce the effectiveness of the probiotics.
    • While berberine is typically used in doses of 500 to 1500 mg daily, it's recommended to consult a healthcare provider to determine the right type and dosage for your specific condition.

    Side Effects

    The use of berberine may result in several side effects. Common berberine side may include diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps, and gas. Other side effects may include fatigue, headaches, and dizziness.

    In rare instances, berberine may cause more severe side effects, which may require immediate medical intervention. These serious adverse reactions may include liver complications and allergic reactions characterized by symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, hives, swelling, and itching. If you experience any severe side effects, contact a healthcare provider immediately.


    1. Berberine Herbs and Supplements.MedlinePlus; 2023.

    LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2012-. Berberine. [Updated 2020 Oct 6].

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

    Product Code : 14424

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