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Are All Brand Name Medications Created Equal?

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I recently began taking Zoloft, which I purchased here in Qatar. It was manufactured in Italy by Pfizer Italia. I do not feel like I am receiving the same benefit as I did when I was taking the Zoloft (Sertraline) that I brought from the States. Is this possible, or is it just my imagination?

Are All Brand Name Medications Created Equal?

Answered by on -


Each medication made by different companies may be slightly different. With generic medication for instance, the active ingredients of the drug, according to the FDA, are the same as the name brand drugs. Other elements of the generic product, such as color, flavoring, packaging, preservatives and other inactive ingredients, may be different. The same may be true of medications made by different manufacturers. That is, the active ingredients are the same but the packaging, flavor, etc. may be different.

With regard to generic vs. name brand medicine, some individuals report a slight difference between the two. You may be highly sensitive to the inactive ingredients and this causes you to believe that there is a difference. There may actually be a difference for you.

It’s probably not your “imagination.” You did not say what the difference was for you. If there is a big difference you may want to consider a new medication. If the differences are negligible then you may be okay with staying on the medicine. It may be helpful if you called a pharmacist and asked them specifically about the difference, if any, between the two medications. It may make you feel better. Thanks for your question.

Are All Brand Name Medications Created Equal?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Are All Brand Name Medications Created Equal?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.