As the cost of medications continues to rise, most people are taking advantage of the low-cost alternative.

Generic drugs are often substituted for name-brand medication when someone is looking for a way to cut costs. While this other option can help some save money,  the main question on everyone's mind is, will this drug be as safe and effective to use as the original?

Here's what you should know about name-brand medication versus generic drugs.

  • 1

    FDA APPROVAL

    Whenever a company creates new medication, there are lots of tests the drug must undergo in order to be approved by the FDA. These tests are to ensure the product is safe and effective for future consumers. When the generic drugs are being created, the number of tests they have to undergo are fewer and less complicated than the original model had gone through.

  • 2

    FILLERS IN GENERIC DRUGS

    Generic drugs can contain different fillers than the original medication you might typically get. Knowing more about the filler used in this product before purchasing is very important. While it is not as common as it used to be, some fillers contain lactose. For those who are lactose intolerant, those generic drugs with this lactose filler will cause harm instead of doing what the medication is intended to do.

  • 3

    SIDE EFFECTS

    Always check the side effects that come along with each drug you purchase whether it is the original or the generic version. Depending on the ingredients used to create each drug, this can affect the rate of absorption and the side effects you can experience.

  • 4

    LOWER COSTS

    While the price being less than the original may seem like a benefit, in some cases it is not. Sometimes a company that creates generic drugs will use low-quality ingredients to help cut the costs of their production. The company then can sell the drug for a lower and more affordable price, but will still make a large profit.