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Story Updated: Jul 16, 2014
The bad news: depending on the maker, one generic medication can confusingly come in many shapes and colors. And now new research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reveals that heart patients are less likely to keep taking their meds if the generic they're prescribed lacks a consistent look. The observation follows the tracking of about 11,500 patients all of whom had a heart attack between 2006 and 2011. Over the course of a year about 30% saw 1 or more of their generic blood pressure, cholesterol or blood thinning medications change shape or color and about 1/3 stopped taking a prescription drug for 1 month or more. Shape and color changes seemed to be largely responsible with the odds rising by 34% when a medication changed color and by 66% when a medication changed shape.
The finding suggests that doctors may need to alert patients about the cosmetic inconsistencies of generic drugs and urge them to stick to their regimen regardless.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news you can use for healthier living.