Save more on medicines by buying generic -

Save more on medicines by buying generic

Many of us wonder if generic medicines will work just as well as their branded competitors.

It may come in a different size, shape or taste; but we found out that won't necessarily change the relief you're getting.

Judy Childers and Jenna Miller don't have time to experiment with medicine. Both are competitive swimmers.

"I want to perform well at the meet and do my best times and be in the best possible shape for my races," says Judy.

She suffers from a torn rotator cuff in her shoulder, while Jenna battles severe headaches and allergies.

"We went through rehab and this shoulder's perfect. And now [the other one] is giving me fits with bursitis, arthritis, tendonitis and impingement," says Judy.

Both have tried dozens of pain killers and muscle rubs for a quick fix. But Walgreens Pharmacist Elaine Inigo says they're throwing money down the drain.

"They think it's better and more potent if it costs more money, and that's why they buy it instead of the generic. They think they're getting cheated out of a product, which is not true," she explains.

FDA standards require all generic and name brand medicine to have the same dosage of active ingredients.

When it came to shoulder pain, that could be why Judy never noticed a difference between the two.

"Whatever was cheaper, that's what I go for," she says. "But I was at the maximum dose for a long time and it wasn't doing anything, and I couldn't see any improvements in that."

Jenna had the same results when she switched between Icy Hot and generic muscle rubs.

"I feel that it's the same as getting name-brand Icy Hot as opposed to Equate or some other generic brand," she notes.

Elaine's advice: Try generic whenever possible.

And look at the money it can save you:

On Ibuprofen -- $1.50. And on muscle rubs - another $1.50 difference.

But what about Jenna's pesky allergies?

She swears by Benadryl, so we had Elaine compare it to Wal-Dryl.

"Allegra has 180 milligrams of afexaphedine, which will be the same thing in the generic - the Wal-Flex in Walgreens - it's the same thing," she says.

Elaine says Jenna's wasting $1.50 she doesn't have to, all on a name.

Experts say high demand is why you're finding more generic versions of your favorite medicines on store shelves. Over the last five years, generic medicine sales have dramatically increased.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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