Generic vs. Brand Eye Drops: Which is better and how do I know what they are for?

generic drugs vs brand name drugs

Patients often want to know if generic eye drops are just as good a brand-named eye drops.  This is usually because there is an assumption that the generic eye drops are less expensive.  Everyone is looking to save a buck which is understandable.  The answers here are not always simple.  Dr. Vital is always trying to prescribe the most effective and safe medications with the lowest costs and side effects.  In technical terms, generic drugs are bioequivalent (they act the same) but not necessarily therapeutically equivalent (they don’t always work the same).  This balance means that for some situations and for some medications, generics are just fine.  While for other situations, the branded eye drops are the better choice.

All of this is made even more complicated by the fact that certain insurance companies require patients to use either generic eye drops first, or certain brands over others.  Requirements for pre-authorization are more and more common now and slow patients’ access to some eye drops in an attempt to control costs.  Furthermore, we see hundreds of different insurance plans, all with differing rules and preferences.

Remember that Dr. Vital (and all your other doctors) take each of these factors into consideration when choosing medications for you.  Some pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies provide discounts and coupons that lower the costs of branded eye drops to, and even below, the cost of generic eye drops.

Trust that we are working hard to choose the right combination of generic and branded eye drops as well as the pharmacies (in and out of Houston) to keep your eye drop costs as low as possible while still providing the best care for your eyes. We tend to like Sena Pharmacy Sena does a great job of understanding the medications that Dr. Vital uses, applying discounts, and delivering to your location the same (or next) day.

Here is how to know what each of your drops are for.  The color of the top lets you know!

Tan = antibiotic drops

Pink = steroid drops

Red = dilation drops

Gray = NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) drops

Green = (constriction drops) glaucoma drops

Yellow = (beta-blocker) glaucoma drops

Blue = (beta-blocker combination) glaucoma drops

Purple = (adrenergic agonist) glaucoma drops

Orange = (carbonic anhydrase inhibitor) glaucoma drops

Turquoise = (prostaglandin analogue) glaucoma drops