Question of the Month
I have been reading that there are conflicting views on whether it is as
effective to take a generic form of Aldactone. What is your opinion on this? I
am on Spironolactone. Is the generic form as effective as the name brand for
women's hair loss?
This is an important matter because the generic
is much cheaper than the brand name. There are FDA standards for manufacturing
all medications which the companies have to follow. However, it is hard to be
certain that all are really identical. I know of some generic companies with
excellent quality control. But others may not be as good. When you get your
prescription filled generically, neither you nor the pharmacist knows anything
about how it was manufactured. When tablets are made by cheaper processes, they
may not disintegrate properly in the stomach and so not be absorbed. Or there
may be too much variation in how much medication they contain.
With some medications, it may not make much difference. With an allergy
medication for example, the worst is that you might sneeze a little more. With
hair loss, it takes months for Aldactone to start working so it is hard to tell
if you have a batch which is not as good. No one with alopecia wants to take a
chance on taking less effective medication.
In general, I suggest the brand name unless the person cannot afford it. Generic
spiro is better than none at all.
The big chain pharmacies like you to use generics because they make a much
bigger profit on them than they do on the brand name -- though they don't tell
Hope this is helpful.
Geoffrey Redmond, MD
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