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December 2008 Mayo Clinic Health Letter Highlights: Colorectal Screenings, Lighting Tips for Low Vision and Generic Medications
Date:12/9/2008

ghtly. But if the generic is widely used, other companies will manufacture the drug, and usually the price drops substantially.

Here are some brand-name drugs available as generic since 2006:

  • Altace (ramipril) for blood pressure and heart failure
  • Ambien (zolpidem), a sleep aid
  • Depakote (divalproex) for seizures, migraines and bipolar disorder
  • Fosamax (alendronate) for osteoporosis
  • Requip (ropinirole) for restless legs syndrome
  • Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate) for blood pressure, heart failure and angina
  • Zyrtec-D (cetirizine/pseudoephedrine) for allergies. Now available over-the-counter.

Many more brand-name medications are expected to be available in generic forms in the next two years. Among those to watch are the migraine medication Imitrex (sumatriptan), the glaucoma drug Cosopt (timolol/dorzolamide), the anti-seizure drug Topamax (topiramate), and the herpes anti-viral drug Valtrex (valacyclovir).

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about less-expensive medication options. Not all brand-name medications have generic equivalents, but always inquire.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today's health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9771, or visitwww.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com.


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