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Are Generic Medicines Effective For Children?

By Nishkak +2 more

What are generic medicines?

There are two types of medicines, non-generic and generic medicine. Generic medicines are exact copies of non-generic medicines in terms of the active ingredients, effectiveness and safety, but generic medicines are available at a much lower cost than non-generic medicines. 

The minor differences between non-generic and generic medicines are their packaging, looks and inactive elements like flavouring, colouring agents, etc. Manufacturers make generic medicines after receiving approval from the Central and State government authorities.

Why do generic medicines cost less?

Non-generic brand-name medications are produced by manufacturers who invest money in research, development, testing, patent and marketing of new medicines, increasing the price of these medicines. These are also protected by patents or other exclusivity periods after the patent or trademark expiration. The generic version can be developed and sold after approval, which costs less as it involves no further rework in research, testing and marketing. 

Things a parent must know about generic medicines for children.

  • Like non-generic brand medicines, generic medicines will also have to undergo approval before being sold. These medicines receive approval from CDSCO only if they meet the same standards of quality, strength, purity and stability as non-generic medicines. The generic medicines submit an application that gets reviewed to ensure these medicines are safe for consumption.  
  • A paediatrician may or may not prescribe generic medicine alternatives for your child if they feel it is inappropriate for your child’s health. You must always discuss with a paediatrician if you can use generic medicine. Since non-generic medicines and generic medicines have the same active ingredient, if a child is allergic to a non-generic medicine, they will also be allergic to the generic medicine and you must discuss this with the paediatrician.
  • In rare cases, the inactive ingredients in generic medicines which are different from non-generic medicine can cause allergic reactions in patients when switching from one manufacturer to another. These unlikely events can occur if the patient is switching between different generic manufacturers as well. Not every non-generic medicine has a generic substitute. You should talk to the paediatrician about your concerns and do what’s best for your child.


Parents are hesitant to use generic medication for their children. They fear side effects associated with generic medicines. These medicines are beneficial to patients and the healthcare system.

 Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.


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