The names of medicines can often be confusing, as the same medicine can sometimes be called different things.
Many medicines have two names:
- the brand name – this is given to a medicine by the pharmaceutical company it is developed by
- the scientific or generic name – named for the active ingredient of the medicine, which is decided by an expert committee.
If your prescriber changes your regular prescription from a branded medicine to a generic version, they should tell you about the change before you collect your prescription.
This is to ensure you understand that although your medicine may have a different name, it will still contain the same active ingredient. Your pharmacist can also be a helpful source of information and advice when this happens.
When you pick up your prescription, the medicine may look different and there will be a different name on the label. However, it will contain the same active ingredient as the medicine you used before.