Harvard Men's Health Watch

Generic cholesterol drug works as well as the brand-name version

The FDA ensures that generic medications are just as effective as brand-name versions. Now it's been confirmed in a study of generic atorvastatin (Lipitor).

Researchers tracked changes in cholesterol in 85 people before and after they switched from brand-name
Lipitor to the generic equivalent. On average, their "bad" LDL increased just 0.3% after the switch—an insignificant change that would have no effect on the participants' health.

The study estimated that, at worst, the switch to generic could increase LDL by about 6%, increasing cardiovascular risk very little. In the best-case estimate, switching statins might reduce LDL by about 5%. This would not have a significant impact on health, either.

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