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. SWALLOW WHOLE. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing. This medicine may be taken on an empty stomach or with food. Take in the morning unless otherwise directed by your doctor. TAKE THIS MEDICINE WITH A FULL GLASS OF water. DRINKING EXTRA FLUIDS while you are taking this medicine is recommended. Check with your doctor or nurse for instructions. 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. 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.
SIDE EFFECTS that may occur while taking this medicine include coughing, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, lightheadedness, restlessness, or weight gain. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you experience trouble sitting still, trouble walking or standing, uncontrolled muscle movements (such as arm or leg movements, twitching of the face or tongue, jerking or twisting movements), increased salivation or drooling, unusual eye movements, decreased sexual ability, enlarged breasts, missed menstrual period, or nipple discharge. CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience abnormal thoughts; behavior changes; chest pain; confusion; difficulty concentrating, speaking, or swallowing; decreased urination; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; increased sweating; symptoms of high blood sugar (such as increased thirst, hunger, or urination; unusual weakness); mental or mood changes; muscle pain, weakness, or stiffness; prolonged painful erection; seizures; severe or prolonged headache or dizziness; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or attempts; uncontrolled movements of arms and legs; vision changes; weakness. 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.