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.
Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. An additional patient information leaflet is available with this medicine. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about this information. SWALLOW WHOLE. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing. If you cannot swallow the capsule whole, you may open it and sprinkle the contents over a spoonful of cool applesauce. Mix the medicine with the applesauce and swallow the mixture right away, followed by a glass of water. Do not crush or chew the medicine before swallowing. Do not store the mixture for future use. TAKE THIS MEDICINE by mouth with food. Do not drink alcohol or take medicines that contain alcohol within 2 hours before or after you take this medicine. STORE THIS MEDICINE at room temperature 77 degrees F (25 degrees C), away from heat, moisture, and light. Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Take this medicine regularly to receive the most benefit from it. Taking this medicine at the same time each day will help you to remember. CONTINUE TO TAKE THIS MEDICINE even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses. IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF THIS MEDICINE, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you have had an allergic reaction to it or if you are allergic to any ingredient in this product. INFORM YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE ANY SEVERE ALLERGIES. You may be at risk for an even more severe allergic reaction if you come into contact with the substance that caused your allergy. Some medicines used to treat severe allergies may also not work as well while you are using this medicine. DO NOT EXCEED THE RECOMMENDED DOSE or take this medicine for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor. PATIENTS WHO TAKE MEDICINE FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE often feel tired for a few weeks after starting treatment. DO NOT STOP TAKING THIS MEDICINE without checking with your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the medicine is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be slowly lowered to avoid side effects. LIMIT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WHILE you are lowering your dose. If new or worsened chest pain or other heart problems occur, contact your doctor right away. Laboratory and/or medical tests, including blood pressure, liver function, and heart function may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. KEEP ALL DOCTOR AND LABORATORY APPOINTMENTS while you are taking this medicine. BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL OR DENTAL TREATMENTS, EMERGENCY CARE, OR SURGERY, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using this medicine. This medicine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, fainting, or blurred vision. DO NOT DRIVE, OPERATE MACHINERY, OR DO ANYTHING ELSE THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS until you know how you react to this medicine. Using this medicine alone, with other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks. This medicine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. These effects may occur within the first hour after you take your dose. They may be more likely when you start taking this medicine or if your dose is increased. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects. BEFORE TAKING ANY NEW MEDICINE, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any medicines used to treat colds or congestion. CAUTION IS ADVISED WHEN USING THIS MEDICINE IN THE ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the medicine, especially dizziness. FOR WOMEN IF YOU PLAN ON BECOMING PREGNANT, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. IT IS UNKNOWN IF THIS MEDICINE IS EXCRETED in breast milk. DO NOT BREAST-FEED while taking this medicine. IF YOU HAVE DIABETES, this medicine may affect your blood sugar. It may also hide signs of low blood sugar, such as a rapid heartbeat. Be sure to watch for other signs of low blood sugar (such as vision changes, headache, chills, tremors, increased hunger). Check blood glucose levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine. SIDE EFFECTS that may occur while taking this medicine include diarrhea, dizziness, dry eyes, fatigue, headache, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, and weakness. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you experience cold or numb legs or feet, or unusual leg pain. CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience change in the amount of urine produced chest pain disorientation fainting fever irregular or unusually slow heartbeat persistent or severe vision changes severe dizziness shortness of breath sudden unusual weight gain swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet or unusual bruising or bleeding. AN ALLERGIC REACTION to this medicine is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.