Why does my medication look different?

Woman Reading Prescription Bottle

From time to time, you may notice 1 or more of your medications has a new look. Common changes may include a new shape, size or color.

This is most likely because we switched you to a new generic medication that works exactly like the brand-name medication you were prescribed. The only change is that your medication looks a little different.

When this happens, it’s normal to have questions like is this a mistake or what should I do? But rest assured that we’ll always send you an email before your upcoming order if we switch from a brand-name to a generic medication.

To make sure you’re comfortable taking your medications, we’ll discuss why you may be switched and how you can learn more about your new generic medication.  

Why does my medication have a new look? 

We may give you a new generic medication to save you money or because of supply changes beyond our control. The changes to your medication are in appearance only because it has the same active ingredients as your prescribed brand-name medication.¹

You may wonder why your medicine looks different if your new generic medication has the same active ingredients. This is because U.S. trademark law doesn’t allow generic medications to look like other medications already on the market.² 

Have questions? Give us a call 

We know having medications that look different than what you’re used to can be confusing, but always remember that your well-being is our No. 1 priority. Once your medication arrives, you should continue taking it as you normally would to maintain your health. By doing so, you can avoid potential problems that come from suddenly stopping your medication, especially if you have a chronic condition like high blood pressure or heart disease. 

If you have questions about the look of your medicine, you’re welcome to call and speak to one of our pharmacists at 800-379-0092 (TTY: 711), Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Eastern time. For urgent matters, our pharmacists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

To get the latest information on your medications with us, sign in to your CenterWell Pharmacy® account dashboard


  1. “Generic drugs: questions and answers,” Food and Drug Administration (FDA), last accessed June 29, 2021, https://www.fda.gov/drugs/frequently-asked-questions-popular-topics/generic-drugs-questions-answers
  2. “Generic drugs: questions and answers.” 

Related posts