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Psychiatric medication

Explains what psychiatric drugs are, what to know before taking them, possible side effects and information about withdrawal.

Why do some medications have different names?

Any individual medication can have two kinds of name:

  • A generic name. This is the drug's medical name, describing the active chemical in the drug. There will only be one generic name for a specific drug.
  • A trade or brand name. These are names given to a drug by companies which manufacture the drug. Individual drugs can have several different trade names.

For example, the antidepressant with the generic name fluoxetine is also known by the trade names Olena, Oxactin, Prozac and Prozep. These are all names for the same medicine, containing the same active ingredient.

Whatever medication you are taking, it is useful to know the generic and trade names for a certain drug. This is because different people might refer to the same drug using different names.

This information was published in March 2021. We will revise it in 2024.

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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