Unless you’re allergic to certain non-active ingredients or have you have an unusual sensitivity, generally the brand-name and generic versions of over-the-counter medicines are pretty much the same. Manufacturers keep adding innovations to coax customers away from generic meds, like a film-coated version of Pfizer’s Advil that is supposed to relieve pain faster. Does it?
Our fast-acting and effective colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports looked at the evidence. Their answer: Yes, it works faster, but only sort of. Pfizer’s own tests showed that the film-coated version started to take effect only four to six minutes faster than the standard tablets. That’s not bad, especially if you’re in a lot of pain, but that study involved people who had just had their wisdom teeth removed. It took 42 to 80 minutes for the medication to take full effect, which makes those few minutes at the beginning seem insignificant.
Unless you have a good reason to stick with brand-name Advil or you’re exceptionally impatient, you won’t prolong your suffering by using plain old generic ibuprofen.
Do Advil film-coated tablets work faster than regular ibuprofen tablets? [Consumer Reports]