Allergic to generic blood pressure drug and not to the brand name.

Q: I was forced by my Medicare insurance company to change from Hyzaar brand to the generic. However, I was unable to take it because I had adverse effects and even an allergic effect within one week of its use. Why, if they claim they are the same?

A: A generic drug is equivalent to the active ingredients in a brand name drug. Pills contain other non-active ingredients. The non-active ingredients are not necessarily the same in a generic and brand name drug. For example, a brand name drug may be a different color than the generic equivalent. The two pills would contain a different dye but would still be medically equivalent. It is possible you are reacting to a non-active ingredient in the generic preparation. Your insurance company may allow you to receive the brand name drug since you are having a problem. Call the customer service number found on the back of your insurance card and find out how to request an appeal.

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