All generic medications must undergo certain tests to compare them to brand-name medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then looks at these tests to decide if the generics are equivalent to the brand-name medications and assigns each generic a rating.
An "AB" rating means that the FDA has determined that a generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name drug. All of the generic Duragesic versions currently available have an "AB" rating, meaning they should be equivalent to Duragesic.
However, generic medications are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication. This might include fillers, dyes, or other ingredients that may cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed January 4, 2010.
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