Comparing Generic vs Brand Name Pet Meds: Prednisolone, Heartgard, Amoxicillin, & More
When it comes to cheap pet meds, it can be easy to spend hours puzzling over prednisolone vs. prednisone, angsting over Augmentin vs. amoxicillin – wondering what the real difference is between similarly-named meds, brand names, and your generic options.
Let’s simplify things. The generic vs. brand name pet med debate boils down to:
- Which option will treat your pet’s specific issue?
- If two options are similar, safe, and effective, are the cheaper pet meds okay to buy?
Here, we’ll provide a no-nonsense, easy-to-understand guide to affordable pet meds, both brand-name and generic.
We’ll also give you a simple way to order the brand-name and generic pet meds of your choice through a Canadian online pet pharmacy.
Prednisolone vs. Prednisone, Hydrocortisone, and Dexa: Pet Steroid Medications, Demystified
Steroid medications are effective for treating allergic, inflammatory, and autoimmune conditions. Let’s discuss some of the most commonly matched-up medications:
Prednisolone vs. Prednisone
These two glucocorticoid medications treat arthritis, allergies, skin issues, and IBS. Many vets prescribe prednisolone if a dog has poor liver function to save the extra stress of conversion.
Prednisolone is typically more expensive.
You may see brand-name versions of these drugs under names like Rayos, Deltasone, and Millipred. Because of the widespread affordability and availability of the generic medication, many veterinarians simply prescribe low-cost prednisolone and prednisone.
Dexa vs. Prednisolone
While prednisolone vs. prednisone effectively compares apples to applesauce, dexamethasone vs. prednisolone concerns two completely different steroid medications.
Dexamethasone, which you’ll sometimes see as brand Decadron, differs from prednisolone in the following ways:
- Dexamethasone and prednisolone come in oral tablet form, but dexamethasone also has eye solution and injection formulations.
- Dexamethasone is stronger than prednisone or prednisolone. It also lasts longer in your body.
- Dexamethasone is a little less expensive than prednisolone. It retails for around $0.40 per pill. Because it is both available and cost-effective, generic dexamethasone is more frequently prescribed than the brand-name alternative.
Hydrocortisone vs. Prednisolone
Hydrocortisone is a cream most often used to soothe minor rashes or irritations – think bug bites or small allergic reactions.
You might see brand-name hydrocortisone creams under various brands, such as Zymox, but generic hydrocortisone is very effective (and affordable, at about $1.00 per gram).
When comparing hydrocortisone vs. prednisolone, it’s essential to consider the context. Prednisolone is far stronger than hydrocortisone, so while both steroid medications can relieve inflammation and irritation, many vets will reserve prednisolone for more severe or systemic conditions.
Which is Best for Parasite Protection? Interceptor vs. Heartgard vs. Sentinel vs. Trifexis
Pets pick up parasites by eating contaminated food, water, soil, or feces. These parasites can cause much suffering for pets and their owners. Parasite infections can even be fatal – so giving your pet broad-spectrum parasite protection is necessary.
Here are the four most common options.
Interceptor vs. Heartgard
Interceptor (milbemycin/praziquantel) is a once-monthly chew that interferes with the parasite life cycle. Taking Interceptor regularly keeps intestinal parasite colonies controlled – from hookworms to heartworms, roundworms, and more.
Heartgard (ivermectin and pyrantel) uses different active ingredients to control parasite populations. Heartgard interferes with a different part of parasite survival (nervous system and muscle function, instead of larval nerve transmission).
What are the differences between these two pet meds?
- Interceptor has been demonstrated to be safe for lactating and nursing mother dogs.
- Heartgard Plus is only for dogs, although there is a specific Heartgard for cats. Interceptor can be used for both dogs and cats.
- Interceptor has better protection against whipworms – definitely a consideration if whipworms are an issue in your area.
Heartgard vs. Sentinel
We just discussed Heartgard. What about Heartgard alternatives, or generics?
To start: What does Sentinel bring to the table?
Sentinel (milbemycin oxime/lufenuron/praziquantel) protects pets with three parasite-busting active ingredients. It can control a wide range of parasites, including various worms and fleas. And, thanks to the presence of praziquantel, Sentinel can make it easier for dogs to eliminate worms through their feces.
Heartgard doesn’t offer protection against fleas or whipworms. Sentinel does. However, Heartgard is less expensive when compared to Sentinel’s monthly cost of about $21.00.
Heartgard vs. Trifexis
Trifexis (spinosad/milbemycin oxime) combines one of the active ingredients of Sentinel with a new active – spinosad.
Trifexis is more costly than Heartgard (starting at around $35.00 per monthly dose), but it does treat a broader range of parasites.
An online survey of Trifexis and Heartgard customers noted that more pets did not enjoy the taste of Trifexis. Depending on how discerning your pet’s palate is, this may or may not be an issue.
As we look at Interceptor vs. Heartgard vs. Sentinel vs. Trifexis, what’s the takeaway?
These four products all accomplish similar ends. Your veterinarian will take your pet’s specific breed, location, and risk factors into consideration when recommending one medication over another, but you can always ask if another medication would be appropriate.
You’ll see many Heartgard alternatives and generics under names like Iverhart Max or Tri-Heart Plus. Most veterinarians tend to prescribe brand-name medication for parasite protection because they’re familiar with the way a brand medication works.
Fighting Bacterial Infections: Augmentin vs. Amoxicillin vs. Azithromycin (and More)
Often, the only way to stop a bacterial infection in its tracks is through antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics work by killing bacteria or stopping them from reproducing. Either way, these medications make it impossible for bacterial colonies to spread.
These medications are powerful, prescription-only, and (unfortunately) very similarly named.
Augmentin vs. Amoxicillin vs. Azithromycin
Here’s a quick breakdown of each of these pet antibiotic medications:
- Amoxicillin is an antibiotic with one main active ingredient – amoxicillin. Amoxicillin may be available under various brand names, like Aqua-Mox or Amoxi-Tabs, but the generic version is widespread, affordable, and effective.
- Augmentin is amoxicillin plus clavulanate, or clavulanic acid. (You might say that Augmentin has been augmented with a second ingredient.) Sometimes, this combination antibiotic can be more potent than amoxicillin alone.
- Azithromycin is another type of antibiotic entirely. It treats bacterial infections but uses a different strategy. (While amoxicillin is a beta-lactam/penicillin antibiotic, azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic.) Azithromycin may provide better results if an infection does not respond to amoxicillin. You may see azithromycin available under the brand name Zithromax for around $9.00 per pill, or you can buy generic azithromycin for about $1.00 per pill.
Amoxicillin vs. Amoxicillin Clavulanate
Which is better, amoxicillin or Augmentin (amoxicillin clavulanate)?
Because Augmentin contains both amoxicillin and clavulanate, it can fight against a broader range of types of bacteria.
However, Augmentin is more expensive. You can buy amoxicillin for around $0.25 per dose, but brand Augmentin can cost upwards of $50.00 per pill in America (or around $2.00 per pill through NorthWestPharmacy.com).
Ciprofloxacin vs. Amoxicillin
We’ll discuss one more antibiotic in this section: Cipro, or generic ciprofloxacin.
Ciprofloxacin is another type of antibiotic medication – a quinolone antibiotic. This just means it targets different types of bacteria than amoxicillin or azithromycin. If your pet’s infection is not responding to amoxicillin, Cipro or ciprofloxacin may be an option.
- Ciprofloxacin tends to have more medication interactions than amoxicillin.
- Ciprofloxacin comes in IV and injectable forms, in addition to oral tablets.
- Generic ciprofloxacin is more expensive, at around $4.00 a tablet, than amoxicillin. Brand Cipro starts at around $5.00 a tablet through NorthWestPharmacy.com.
If your pet has a bacterial infection, your vet will examine their symptoms and prescribe the best antibiotic to target and kill the responsible bacteria. They may start with cheap, generic amoxicillin or recommend something stronger, like Augmentin.
Carprofen vs. Rimadyl vs. Previcox, Meloxicam, and Metacam: Which Is Best for Treating Inflammation in Dogs?
This group of medications treats inflammation associated with arthritis.
Carprofen vs. Rimadyl
Rimadyl is the brand name equivalent of generic carprofen. Whether you choose brand or generic, this medication is a prescription NSAID, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, that can reduce joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.
The main difference between these two medications is price: While generic carprofen starts at about $0.50 per daily dose, brand-name Rimadyl retails for around $1.00 per daily dose.
Meloxicam vs. Rimadyl for Dogs
Meloxicam is a prescription NSAID osteoarthritis drug. You might see it under the brand names Mobic, Loxicom, or Metacam.
Meloxicam is the generic pet med and is more affordable than brand-name alternatives. (Meloxicam starts at around $0.90 per daily pill, and Mobic starts at approximately $1.50 per day.)
Which is better, Meloxicam (or Metacam) vs. Rimadyl for dogs?
- Metacam is available as an oral suspension, which can be ideal if a dog has issues swallowing or is suspicious of the pill in their kibble.
- Metacam, unlike Rimadyl, is approved for feline and canine use. Rimadyl should only be used with dogs.
Previcox vs. Rimadyl for Dogs
Previcox is a chewable NSAID tablet that can help arthritic dogs move more easily. It can also be helpful for dogs who are carrying more weight than their joints can carry without pain.
The main difference in pitting Previcox vs. Rimadyl for dogs against each other comes down to how these medications behave around COX proteins – specific proteins associated with inflammation.
To reduce inflammation, Rimadyl blocks two types of COX proteins, COX-1 and COX-2.
Previcox only blocks COX-2 and leaves COX-1 alone.
Why is this important? There are some situations where COX-1 is helpful. For example, it’s responsible for maintaining the stomach lining. It’s also involved in platelet function.
The bottom line regarding Previcox vs. Rimadyl for dogs is that they are similarly priced and helpful for maintaining normal function with arthritis. If your dog has a weak stomach lining, your vet may recommend Previcox over Rimadyl for dogs.
Keflex vs. Cipro vs. Cephalexin vs. Suprax vs. Cefzil: Comparing Pet Meds for Treating Infection
What do you do when your pet has a urinary tract infection or is inflamed? These antibiotics can provide life-saving relief.
Keflex vs. Cipro
Keflex (cephalexin) is a prescription antibiotic that dogs and cats can take to treat skin, respiratory, and urinary tract infections.
Cipro (ciprofloxacin) should sound familiar – we discussed it above when comparing it to amoxicillin. Comparing Keflex vs. Cipro is a similar exercise: Keflex and Cipro are two different types of antibiotics and can treat the same issue (such as a urinary tract infection) by targeting different types of bacteria.
There is a significant price difference between the two.
Keflex vs. Cephalexin
Comparing Keflex vs. cephalexin comes down to your preference for brand vs. generic products. Keflex is a brand-name prescription antibiotic. Cephalexin is the generic version. They provide very similar functionality.
Keflex is already very affordable when purchased through an online Canadian pharmacy, but you can save even more by purchasing cephalexin instead. Through NorthWestPharmacy.com, cephalexin retails for about $0.25 per dose.
Keflex, Cipro, Suprax, Cefzil: Which to Choose?
Keflex and Cipro aren’t the only antibiotics used to treat pet infections. Two other standard options are:
- Suprax or generic cefixime, an antibiotic veterinarians prescribe to dogs and cats to fight tonsillitis, strep throat, UTIs, and skin infections. Both Suprax ($4.00 per pill) and generic cefixime ($2.60 per pill) are available through NorthWestPharmacy.com.
- Cefzil, or generic cefprozil, is an antibiotic used to treat many different infections in dogs, including the skin, bones, upper respiratory system, and urinary tract. American patients can buy Cefzil for around $3.00 per pill and cefprozil for about $1.10 per pill through NorthWestPharmacy.com.
Start Here to Buy Low-Cost Generic and Brand Name Pet Meds
If you’re weighing the pros and cons of brand-name and generic medications, you might also wonder: Are pet meds cheaper in Canada or internationally?
Yes, they often are. This can simplify your pet med decisions even further. Whether the question is prednisolone vs. prednisone or Inceptor vs. Heartgard, you should use the pet med that is most effective and affordable for your situation.
Your veterinarian can help you figure out which one that is. We can help, too.
Choosing our Canadian online pet pharmacy allows you to access reliably-affordable pet medications. That way, you don’t necessarily have to decide between what works for your pet and what works for your wallet.
Ask your veterinarian to send your pet’s updated prescription to NorthWestPharmacy.com and order your necessary meds (for less) using our safe online payment portal. Alternatively, call 1.866.539.5330 seven days a week to speak with one of our friendly customer service representatives or even place your order over the phone.
Finally, if you’re interested in learning more about how NorthWestPharmacy.com can help you support your pet’s health, check out our customer reviews, or look at the pet medications available through our Canadian online pet pharmacy. We’re here to help you and your pet at any time.