Resources Medication Resource Centre Brand Name and Generic Antipsychotic Medications

Brand Name and Generic Antipsychotic Medications

It is important to know that all antipsychotic medications have two names. The first name is the brand name. This is the original name given to the medication by the pharmaceutical company that discovered the medication. The second name is the chemical name of the medication. This name represents the active ingredient in the medication.The chemical name should not be confused with “generic” brand medications, which are medications that are copies of the brand name medications made by different companies and sold for lower prices.The chemical name of a medication stays the same for brand and generic brand medications.
Example: Zyprexa (olanzapine); Apo-Olanzapine (olanzapine)
In the above example Zyprexa is the brand name of an antipsychotic discovered by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.
The chemical name of the medication is olanzapine, which is the active ingredient of the medication.
Apo-Olanzapine is the name of an antipsychotic medication produced by the generic pharmaceutical company Apotex.  In this case the chemical name is still olanzapine as that is the active ingredient.

Generic medications are essentially copies of brand name medications.They have the same active ingredients, dosages, side effects and intended uses as the brand name medications. Sometimes generic medications have different colours, flavours, shapes or combinations of inactive ingredients compared to the brand name medication; however the main ingredients responsible for the effect are exactly the same. The only reason the generic medications are sold for less is because the generic drug manufacturers did not have the expenses of developing and marketing the new medication.  Just like brand name medications, all generic medications go through a rigorous approval process by Health Canada to ensure their quality and safety.