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Top 5 Generic Alternatives to Branded Drugs

Looking for ways to save money on your prescriptions? Opting for generic alternatives to branded drugs is a great way to significantly reduce your prescription bills. Nearly eight of ten prescriptions filled in the United States are for generics, according to figures from the FDA. These drugs are often a fraction of the branded equivalent's price, so it pays to spend a bit of time researching your medication before buying. 

Generics appear on the market once the patent for a new drug has expired. "Authorized" generic drugs are approved brand name drugs marketed as generic products without the brand on its label. "Traditional" generic drugs are copies of a brand-name drug made by a company other than the original developer of the product. Generics have the same active ingredients, strength, route of administration, quality and intended use as their branded counterparts.  

We have put together a list of some of the most prescribed brand-name drugs and generic alternatives to help you save money on your prescriptions.  


Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic used to treat patients with insomnia, a sleep disorder characterized by difficulties getting to sleep, staying asleep, or both. It is produced by Sanofi-Aventis and has been on the market in its branded form since gaining FDA approval in 1992.

The generic of Ambien is zolpidem, which is now manufactured by a number of companies. It is available in a variety of forms, including tablets and oral sprays. 


Zocor is the brand name for an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (otherwise known as a statin) produced by Merck & Co. It is commonly prescribed to lower blood cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease in at-risk patients. Zocor may also be prescribed to patients who already have a cardiovascular disease. 

Simvastatin, the generic version of Zocor, has been available since 2006 and is now produced by a number of pharmaceutical companies. Doctors often recommend patients on this drug undergo diet and lifestyle changes to improve their health.


First approved by the FDA in 1987, Prozac has been on the market for some time and is available in several forms. This antidepressant, produced by Eli Lillly and Company, is used to treat, depression, binge-eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). 

Prozac belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and works by increasing serotonin in the brain. Fluoxetine is the generic alternative and is available in tablet, liquid, capsule and delayed release capsule forms. 


Lipitor is a statin, one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. It is a branded drug produced by Pfizer and used to lower cholesterol in patients with heart disease. Lipitor may also be prescribed as a preventative drug for those with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or other conditions that might increase the risk they will develop heart problems. 

The generic version of Lipitor, atorvastatin, is also available. If you have been prescribed Lipitor, you may be able to save money on your prescription by switching to a cheaper generic drug.


Adderall is a branded drug produced by DSM Pharmaceuticals and it is used to treat children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall one of the most commonly prescribed medications for children and may also be used to treat narcolepsy.

Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and is prescribed to help improve the attention span of patients with ADHD. Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine is the generic form of the drug and is significantly cheaper than branded Adderall.

More information..

Explore cheaper generic alternatives for your prescriptions by searching for your medication on RxSpark. Our results automatically list prices for branded drugs and generic alternatives, making it easy to compare costs. You can also filter results to show only generics or specify a dosage, form or quantity.

For more information on possible savings and safely choosing a generic alternative, speak to a pharmacist or doctor about switching from a branded prescription drug or over-the-counter medicine.