Harvard Health Letter

Generic and brand-name drug inconsistencies

Brand name

Generic name

Uses

Comment

Accuzyme

papain and urea

Debridement (removal) of dead tissues from sores, including bed sores, carbuncles, and diabetic ulcers

Ointment is available as a generic, but spray emulsion is brand-name only.

Allegra

fexofenadine

Nonsedating antihistamine used for allergies

Tablets in various doses (30 mg, 60 mg, 180 mg) are available as a generic, but oral suspension for children is brand-name only.

Ambien

zolpidem

Sleeping pill

Regular tablets are available as a generic, but the controlled release pill (Ambien CR) is brand-name only. The controlled release pills are supposed to keep you from waking after the quick-release part of the pill helps you get to sleep right away.

Augmentin

amoxicillin

Antibiotic

Some doses of chewable tablets (200 mg, 400 mg) are available as a generic but others (125 mg, 250 mg) are not. Same goes for oral suspension: the 200 mg and 400 mg tablets are generic, the 125 mg and 250 mg doses are brand-name only. All doses of the tablets (250 mg, 500 mg, 875 mg) are generic.

Bactroban

mupirocin

Antibiotic for skin infections

The ointment is available as a generic, the cream is brand-name only.

Catapres

clonidine

Lowers blood pressure

Tablets are available as generic, but the dermal patches (Catapres-TSS) are brand-name only.

Ciloxan

ciprofloxacin

Antibiotic for eye infections

The ophthalmic solution is available as a generic but brand-name only as an ophthalmic ointment.

Coumadin

warfarin

Prevents blood clots

Tablets in all doses are available as a generic, but injectable form is brand-name only.

Demadex

torsemide

Diuretic that lowers blood pressure

Tablets in all doses are available as a generic, but the injectable form is brand-name only.

Exelon

rivastigmine

Cholinesterase inhibitor for treatment of dementia in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients

Capsules are available as generic, but the patch is brand-name only.

Flumadine

rimantadine

Prevention and treatment of some strains (type A) of influenza

Tablet (100 mg) is available as a generic, but the syrup is brand-name only.

Humatrope

somatropin

Injectable, synthetic human growth hormone used legitimately for a variety of growth disorders and illegitimately to improve athletic performance

Smallest dose (5 mg) available as a generic. Larger doses (6, 12, and 24 mg) are brand-name only.

Lexapro

escitalopram

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for depression and anxiety

Tablets are available as a generic but the oral suspension is brand-name only.

Nitro-Dur

nitroglycerin patch

Prevention of angina

Some doses (0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6 mg per hour) are available as a generic, but others (0.3, 0.8) are brand-name only.

OxyContin

oxycodone

Opioid pain reliever

Most doses are available as a generic, but the 160-mg pill is brand-name only.

Paxil

paroxetine

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety

Tablets and some controlled-release tablets are generic, but 37.5-mg tablet is brand-name only.

Pramosone

pramoxine and hydrocortisone

Anti-itch topical medicine

The cream and lotion are available as generics but the ointment is brand-name only.

Sandimmune

cyclosporine

Immune system suppressant

Ampules for infusion are generic, but the oral solution and capsules (all doses) are brand-name only.

Viokase

pancreatic enzymes

Pancreatic insufficiency because of pancreatitis, removal of the pancreas

Tablets are generic, but the powder is brand-name only.

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