Therapeutic substitution means the medication you were prescribed has been switched by a pharmacist to a drug with different active ingredients. Therapeutic substitution is different than when a brand name drug is switched to its a generic. In any of these cases your Doctor is contacted and consulted prior to changes. If he approves then patient is advice of changes.
Did I get the right prescription?
Sometimes you may not get the medication your doctor prescribed because of therapeutic substitution. Therapeutic substitution means the medication you were prescribed has been switched by a pharmacist to a drug with different active ingredients. Therapeutic substitution is different than when a brand name drug is switched to its a generic. Generic substitution means a brand name drug is switched to a generic with the same active ingredients and is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an equivalent drug.1, 2 This is typically done to save money for an insurer.
In the case of therapeutic substitution, medicines in the same class of drugs, intended to treat the same condition, may have different active ingredients and work in different ways. This means that they can have different side effects, dosages and risks for the patient.
Because therapeutic substitution means you may not receive the medication your doctor believes is the best treatment for you, it should only be done with the full knowledge and consent of your health care provider. Despite state laws that prescribers approve therapeutic substitutions,3 both patients and prescribers may not be aware that it has occurred. This could be due to the type of notification a pharmacy or pharmacist uses.
As a patient, you should not feel pressured to agree to a proposed switch and have the right to say no.