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Generic Drug Controversy Won't Quit!

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The FDA maintains that all generic drugs are "identical" to their brand name counterparts. Of course, the word identical does not mean the same thing to everyone. Most of us assume that identical means exactly the same. For example, identical twins have the same exact DNA. If you drop your iPhone down the toilet and want to replace it with an "identical" iPhone, you can be confident that your new iPhone is exactly the same as the old one.

The FDA, however, has a different definition for identical, especially when it refers to generic drugs: "A generic drug is identical--or bioequivalent--to a brand name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use."

What the FDA does not tell you in this sentence is that generic drugs can have different "inert" ingredients or fillers. In other words, all the other stuff except the active ingredient could be completely different. What's more, the formulation can be be quite different. Take Wellbutrin XL 300, for example. This brand name antidepressant gradually releases the active ingredient bupropion over the course of a day. It uses a "membrane" technology for this slow release.

One generic equivalent, Budeprion XL 300, uses a "matrix" technology for its slow release. The same amount of bupropion (300 mg) is released, but the timing is quite different. Budeprion XL dissolves and releases its ingredient more quickly. The FDA confirms this in a report it has released on its Web site.

We have received hundreds of complaints about Budeprion XL 300 not behaving like the brand name Wellbutrin XL 300. In an unprecedented response to these concerns, the FDA and the manufacturer and distributor of Budeprion are planning a study. Perhaps we will learn if the two formulations are indeed "identical" or not. It will take time, however, to collect and analyze the data.

Budeprion XL 300 is not the only generic drug raising questions. Over the last several years we have received hundreds and hundreds of complaints about a variety of generic drugs. They range from the generic form of the anti-seizure drug Keppra (levetiracetam) to the heart drug Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate), the heartburn medicine Prilosec (omeprazole) and the pain reliever OxyContin (oxycodone).

If you would like to report a problem with a generic drug, either side effects or lack of effectiveness, please add your comment below. Put the brand or generic drug name at the top of your comment. We will forward your story to the FDA.

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I was prescribed Wellbutrin SR 100 mg but my insurance co. does not pay for it. So, I got Bupropion SR 100. Accepting Burpropion and not paying full price for the real Wellbutrin was the worst mistake of my life. I very quickly became very depressed, within a period of less than two weeks. I was worse off than before starting the generic, so depressed that I was very close to the point of suicide.

Had a really bad reaction to generic pravachol-seems I was allergic to the inert ingredients and they raised my liver enzymes through the roof. Felt awful within days of taking it. Luckily my rheumatologist told me to have the enzymes tested and after 3 months off it I was able to get a generic exception from my insurance company and take the branded medication with no more problems. It was a scary experience.

I switched to the generic form of Wellburtin XL 300 and realized after about 3 months that I didn't feel the same. It was as though I went off it altogether. I switched back to the brand name and I have been back on track ever since. If the generic can perform, I would prefer it as the Wellbutrin is very expensive.

My oldest brother was placed on Coumadin, after surgery to replace the Mitral, and Aortic Valves in his heart in 1996.

Since a suffering a stroke in 2005, he was prescribed Dilatin, to prevent seizures due to scaring on the brain, and, has been been filling his prescriptions at the Princess Margaret (Public) Hospital, here in Nassau, and, has been having problems with the Warfarin he's given: sometimes the INR is too high, at others, too low.

Finally, the Neurosurgeon advised us to go the drug store, and, to insist on being given Coumadin, and not the generic, as, he'd seen too many experiencing the wide swings in INR levels, as my brother.

I recently had my generic klonopin which is clonazepam refilled to find that my generic is a new generic and it does not work like the original generic I was taking. Contacted my pharmacist and was told I could no longer get the old generic from their pharmacy, to try another. I have been unable to find the original generic clonazepam yet, but still looking.

I do wish the FDA would study Synthroid vs. levothyroxine in more detail. The former works for me; the latter does not, but the brand name is not covered by my insurance company because there is a "generic equivalent" available.

I've been taking the generic Wellbutrin - bupropion from Watson Labs - for several years and it has worked well for me. My pharmacy suddenly switched me this summer to budeprion and I had a horrible experience with it. My depression returned with a vengeance. It was worse than if I'd simply stopped taking my meds. It seemed like the budeprion was actually making me worse. I had the pharmacy special order the original brand and things are now back to normal, though it took several months to get there. Anyone who says generics are the same is unaware or uneducated on the subject.

I successfully take Klonopin for restless legs syndrome, however, when I fail to remind my doctor to specify "brand name only" and receive the generic Clonazepam, my symptoms return immediately. It's like taking no medication at all.

I have received the generic in error several times over the past 5-10 years and it has never worked for me. I would like to be able to take the generic for financial reasons, however, I'm stuck paying top dollar for a name brand that I cannot live without!

I am taking Toprol XL. 3 years ago I was switched to metoprolol succinate, the generic "equivalent".

I had quite a bit of trouble with the generic, racing heart rate, ill feeling and symptoms that I just could not adequately describe to my doctor.

After several months of feeling ill, I insisted that I be put back on Toprol XL and off the generic. Almost immediately I felt "normal" for the first time in months.

After a month on Toprol XL I had run out and still had the metoprolol succinate from before so began taking it until I could renew the prescription (we live in a very rural area so we couldn't get it right away). Within 2-3 days I was again experiencing all the previous trouble I'd experienced with the generic before.

Within days I had Toprol XL refill and went right back to feeling normal again.

Each time I go to renew the prescription I have to tell the pharmacist "NO Generic!" because they try and fill it instead of the brand name.

I have to pay for everything out of pocket because Toprol XL is much more expensive than metoprolol succinate and my insurance company will not pay anything on it (Toprol XL).

I started with Wellbutrin SR 150 MG almost 13 years ago and when I was switched to the Watson generic it worked fine too. Then my pharmacy changed to Budeprion which did not work. I deteriorated slowly so it took several weeks to figure out what was going on! My pharmacy then special ordered Watson for me until this past year when they said they couldn't get it.

I went to another pharmacy and was given the Sandoz generic which I was relieved to find worked for me too but this last month they gave me the generic from Actavis which did not work. Within two weeks I was to the point of suffering anxiety, compulsive behaviors and so depressed that it took great effort to accomplish anything! All of these pharmacies are big chain ones so I finally went to an independent pharmacist who carries Watson and am starting to feel capable again.

I am really tired of being a guinea pig. I have always been very sensitive to drugs and suspect that many of us are! The craziest thing is when you read the warnings about this drug... you are warned not to stop on your own and watch out for suicidal thoughts and yet the drug stores think nothing about changing you to another generic!

The only reason we have generic medications is because the pharmaceutical companies refuse to lower their profit margins and "need" the additional money for marketing and lobbying and executive bonuses. There really is no need for generics other than the greed for $$$$ exhibited by the big pharmaceuticals companies. Oft times the same labs producing the generics are the same labs producing the branded. If we focus on returning the FDA and the rest of the government to working for us, this entire issue would be moot.

BuPROPion Hydrochloride 300XL and 150 XL:

I have been on the brand version of Wellbutrin 300 and 150 XL (total 450) for many years and was recently switched to the generic (Watson Labs) which I found completely ineffective after two weeks. I remained on the generic for a total of six weeks, becoming extremely depressed. Since my insurance will not cover the brand, I am paying out of pocket at a 20% of retail rate. Nonetheless,it is very expensive.
I noticed the difference of being back on the brand within a day.
I filed a complaint with FDA MedWatch, and contacted the NIMH. I encourage anyone who has had a negative side effect to report it.

I was prescribed the generic for Wellbutrin XL 300 mg (bupropion) for my rapid cycling hot flashes, which affected me day and night. For some time, I received Teva Budeprion XL 300 mg (Budeprion is Teva's name for bupropion) from CVS, which all but completely eliminated my hot flashes. CVS then corporately stopped carrying Teva's generic for this dosage and switched to Watson's version. I tried Watson's Bupropion, which resulted in the return of my hot flashes 24-7. I now must shop around for a drug store (chain or private) that participates in my drug plan and carries the Teva generic.


This is a fascinating case report because the off-label use of bupropion for hot flashes (not depression) demonstrates that for this person there is a distinct difference between the two generic products. Unlike many of the reports on this Web site, the Teva brand bupropion worked best for hot flashes. Perhaps its special release formulation is more effective for this condition (hot flashes) than the Watson formulation. Regardless, it does seem to suggest that there is a real difference between the two generics at least for this individual.

Wellbutrin vs. Bupropion
I believe my depression relapse over the past 12 months was caused by switching from brand to generic Wellbutrin. I have been on the brand for two weeks now, and feel much better. They are charging way too much for the brand, $180 for one month! Something is wrong with this picture.

I agree with Mary. I need a much higher dose of levothyroxine than Synthroid to maintain my blood levels. Additionally, I do not feel well when taking levothyroxine and have a number of side effects.

My endocrinologist (teaches medical school in this area) says that there is a distinct difference in outcome between the two and will not switch a stabilized patient from one to the other.

A number of doctors in this area have noted that when the ownership of a plant manufacturing Synthroid changed hands, the formulation apparently changed sufficiently so as to cause patients that had been stable for decades to have to go back through the stabilization process.

Celexa: I was switched from Celexa to a generic "equivalent" when Celexa went off patent. All was well for quite a while, and then my symptoms came back. I asked the pharmacist if they'd switched from one generic supplier to another, and he said they had - and was surprised to hear that there was a clear difference in effectiveness.

Since then, I've insisted on getting my prescription filled with Celexa and paying for it myself (I'm on Medicare's Plan D). Recently, I was in the hospital for a week, where they gave me a generic instead of Celexa, and it worked as well as the brand-name drug. All of this strongly suggests that there is indeed a difference in the manufacturing of the same pharmaceutical.

Years ago, I worked at Squibb (now Bristol-Myers Squibb), which was then a major manufacturer of aspirin. I learned, from the quality control people, that making aspirin properly is not trivial: for example, if the tablets are compacted too much during their manufacture, they dissolve too far down in the gut to be effective; and if the tablets aren't compacted enough during manufacture, they dissolve in the stomach (or even higher up) and not only don't relieve pain as well but also have a corrosive effect on the site where they dissolve.

The story of aspirin gives you some idea of the problems involved in the proper manufacture of reliable pharmaceutical products.

Hi-I just read the article in the nytimes about generics...I have been taking zoloft for at least 10 years.. I don't remember when I switched to generic, sertraline I think... anyway last year I was feeling flat and my doctor suggested I add to my sertraline.

For about 6 months my hands were shaking and I had tremors. I backed off to my original dose and it went away. I told my Dr. and he said he should have told me that that was an indicator of to I realize.. I still shake and have some anxiety, more than I remember, but still the case for at least the past 3 years.

I wonder if it is related to taking the generic equivalent. I also take omeprazol and wonder if that may be part of the shaking. For background I am 61, a lifelong asthmatic woman who has been on all the asthma drugs including tedral and terbutaline and now finally feeling great on advair...wondering how I can pursue this question of generics and my anxiety and hand shaking... How will you answer me? Thanks, Dana S.

I found out the hard way. Had dental surgery, and Doctor gave me a prescription for a painkiller that I'd been prescribed before. I went to the CVS Drugstore and gave the pharmacist my prescription. When I got the medicine home, noticed that the pills looked different, but just thought that the manufacturer had changed the design (not too bright). Hours later, and in serious pain, I called the Doctor, and she called the pharmacist, after I'd described what the pills looked like. Turned out the pharmacist had switched what she had written to a generic version... and had charged me the same price.

My Doctor demanded that the drugstore deliver me the prescription she had written to my home, as at that point, I was unable to drive. The next time I came to that drugstore, that pharmacist was gone. I hope he wasn't just switched to another one of their drugstores.

Wellbutrin XL 300

My insurance company switched me to the generic. After 2 - 3 weeks my depression returned and I knew I had to do something. I had my Dr. file a request with my insurance company for the name brand. They accepted the Dr. recommendation and put me back on Wellbutrin and I have been OK since. I have to renew this letter each year.

After research I am pretty sure the problem with the generic is not the Wellbutrin but the metering system that meters the drug into your system over time. The generic system is quite eratic causing more harm than good.

I have had the same challengese with the generic Wellbutrin 300 XL. I have switched between the brand and generic twice in the past two years, and notice the same effect.

The time release mechanism is different. It is released too quickly, which causes a huge increase in anxiety. This requires me to to to bed to nap for an hour. I then wake up sluggish, and depressed, only to return to somewhat normal, several hours later, toward bedtime.

It is an awful, impossible way to manage depression, and only serves to exacerbate the condition.

Lamictal recently became available in a generic version. When I went generic, I got heart palpitations so bad that I went to the hospital. I'm now taking brand again and no longer have palpitations. The professionals don't seem to think is real, though. Has anyone else experienced palpitations from generic Lamictal?

Generic Prilosec caused me to have extreme dry eyes, dry mouth and constipation. The prescription brand did not. I had to jump through hoops to get the real thing.
Who is between me and my doctor...Big Pharma

I have had problems with a number of generics that I was forced to take by the insurance company: they refused an exception for Prilosec; they accepted one for Synthroid; they refused one for Neurontin, but I had to insist on a particular manufacturer for its generic, gabapentin; they changed the Ultram to the generic, tramadol, which doesn't work as well at all; neither does the generic for Vicodin; the generic for Tegretol, carbamazepine, doesn't work as well.

The generic medications diltiazem for blood pressure and simvastatin for cholesterol don't work like the brand names. In addition the pharmacist keeps changing the suppliers who change manufacturers. I am constantly being told they're all the same, but I know better. I am the one taking them and I can see the difference in the pills when I get them.

Terrible problem with generic for Topomax. Suicidal, sick to my stomach, awful.

Problem with generic for Provocol. It did not work, had to get a waiver from the insurance co.

Problem with generic for BP med, had to switch med, BP went up on generic.

Problem with generic antibiotic, did nothing, had to take another antibiotic and triggered attack of diverticulitis.

I've never had a generic drug that worked for me, ever....

I wasn't on the generic wellbutrin 300MG Xl long enough to notice emotional differences, but long enough to have an allergic reaction, plus my insurance charges the same for either. With genetics you never know which you are going to get and if you are like me and allergic to dyes you should have a choice. Generics do not always equal brand. I take both and some don't work for me but I have to pay the price.

I too have found it necessary to avoid the generic form of Wellbutrin XL though not for any of the reasons previously mentioned. I'm completely unable to stomach the generic version. I am subject to GERD and the generic version creates an acidity in my stomach that is incredibly painful. Several months ago I accidentally accepted a new generic prescription having forgotten about this side effect. Two days later I was on the phone with my doc asking for a new DAW prescription.

I experienced a similar problem after my Mitral valve repair in 2006. My blood counts were erratic when I was taking Warfarin. I also developed a skin rash, although we were not certain the rash was from the Warfarin. Once my cardiologist switched me to Coumadin, all these problems subsided.

Made the switch from time release effexor to the generic. The drug effect was so different that it almost feels like a different drug. The generic makes you kind of woozy - something the original does not do at all. As for the anti-depressant qualities, too early to tell.


About a year ago I began using this drug and obtained it as a generic from my local pharmacy. It seemed to work as advertised and was a significant help with symptoms. This generic was manufactured by Mylan.

Six weeks ago I was told to begin using a mail order service for my prescription. I mixed the two generics and used them one-and-one for about three weeks. Although my symptoms seemed to return the change was not marked.

About three weeks ago I began using the new generic manufactured by Cadila (Zydus) and my symptoms returned almost completely. The prescriber told me that he had many similar reports with this drug and mail order generics in particular. He advised slowly increasing the dosage to about 1.5 times the original which seems to have alleviated most of the symptoms.

Generics may use the same drug but the compounding, binders, even something as simple as whether its a pill or capsule makes a big difference. A good example is American vs Canadian Zoloft. A few years back I was taking Zoloft and decided to get my prescription refilled in Canada to save money [wasn't much of a savings but that's another story]. American Zoloft is a tablet, Canadian Zoloft [same strength, branded NOT generic] came in a capsule. The difference between the two was very easy to notice - it just didn't work the same. I used the complete 90 day Canadian prescription and then went back to the original. I had a similar experience using generic Cialis vs branded American Cialis.

The experience raised a couple of questions. If we had started on the generic and not the branded drug could our symptoms have been effectively managed, perhaps with modification in dosage or way of taking [perhaps 1/2 dose 2x a day, rather a single pill]? How many of these negative reactions were the result of "seeds of doubt" placed in our minds by Big Pharma? Our personal well being is such an emotionally charged issue that I suspect anxiety could easily skew our expectations.

If I've learned anything from the recent efforts at Health Care "Reform" is that Big Pharma and the rest of the Health Care industry is very good at manipulating opinion by plying on our fears [600 million dollars in lobbying for this bill alone and counting]. It's measure of my cynicism that I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that at least some of the "Comments" came from lobbying and PR firms tasked with killing the effort to permit re-importation in advance of the conference committee on the Senate Bill.

Express Scripts Pharmacy replaced the brand name Prograf prescribed my physician with the generic version named Tacrolimus. I am not disputing that my prescription plan allows to substitute a brand name drug with generic one. But there are more issues related to above replacement, that the pharmacist simply ignored.

This drug is used for the prevention of organ rejection. It is a “critical dose” drug and is characterized as a narrow therapeutic index (“NTI”) drug, meaning that it is the type of drug for which “small changes in concentration in the body can lead to significant differences in pharmacodynamic and clinical response, which may lead to acute rejection, toxicities, or even death of the patient.”

The FDA has acknowledged the limitations of its existing bioequivalence guidelines for NTI drugs. FDA requires that bioequivalence studies be performed in transplant populations (rather than solely in healthy populations).
Tacrolimus was not tested in transplant populations.

The bottom line is that switching to Tacrolimus can not sufficiently predict the effects of the generic when administered to individual patients and can be significantly different compared with established drug regimen.

My prescription for Prograf was written last year in December 24, 2008.
At that time generic Tacrolimus was not available and naturally the “DAW” box on the prescription was not marked (the generic version became available only about 3 months ago). I failed to understand how the pharmacist can referred to physician mistake for not checking “Disperse As Written” box on prescription many months ago at the time when only brand name Prograf was available. Neither my physician, nor I have crystal ball.

Apparently a rational connection of the above facts was not taken into consideration at the time pharmacist switched my immunosuppressant drugs. In such a critical issue pharmacist did not contact me or my physician before the shipment of Tacrolimus was sent out.

The pharmacist did not even inform me that I was no longer going to receive Prograf. The fact that I was on automatic refill is no excuse for not informing me or my physician.

So, I received three months supply which can not be used and a charge of $275.80. My transplant physician wants me to continue to use the brand name Prograf as before. That means additional charges of $305.03.

Be aware, that your health care can be jeopardize by EDA , insurance and/or pharmacy action.

Asking consumers who've had problems with ANYTHING to write to you pretty well guarantees that the only ones you'll hear from are those with horror stories.

You won't be hearing from the millions of patients who are tolerating their generic drugs well, and very happy about generics because they are keeping their hard-earned dollars instead of donating them to Big Pharma's brand name drugs.

Big Pharma must be greedily rubbing their collective hands with glee because you're trashing all those big bad generic drugs!

A while back- peoples pharmacy had a program on the health benefits of herbs and spices. Green tea with ginger and thyme added was discussed--- I think this was to strengthen immune system? I am beginning to drink a lot of green tea, and was wondering if anyone had any ideas of what to add to the tea to help ward off colds, flu, and or to boost immune system? ANY COMMENTS ON THIS?

I switched to generic prozac after the brand name price rose from 60 dollars to 180 dollars in 10 years. I found the generic to be inferior. The generic did seem to stop my obsessive thinking but fell far short of the brand name prozac which provided me with lots of energy and a constant happy feeling.

Everybody said that generics are the same as brand name but I strongly disagreed and researched the subject. I found that some doctors will not prescribe generic prozac because it does not work as well.

If brand name is the same as generic, why does one cost 200 dollars and the other costs four dollars? Think about it.

PS, I applied to the lily foundation for the free prescription but they "lost" my application.

I had been taking Prozac for about 20 years when the generic became available of course the insurance company immediately changed my prescription to the generic, within two weeks I started to suffer from severe depression and suicidal ideation.

So I went back on the brand. I was willing to try but every time I change back to the generic I would suffer the same symptoms, I finally started ordering brand Prozac out of country. It was the only way that I could afford it because the insurance company refused to provide me with the brand name at a reasonable price. Even after my three appeals with doctors documentation.

I am very fortunate to have had a great reaction to the generic version of Wellbutrin - Buproprian. I was definitely surprised and of course, concerned, by the reports of negative reactions to the generic versions. Though the "general consensus" is that generic is the same as brand pharmaceuticals, I would have appreciated if my psychiatrist had kept up on these issues and informed me of them. (and yes, it is my responsibility to be an informed patient and do my own research) .

In response to the comment by Carolyn Thomas, I am a very satisfied patient with my generic version. Having generic brands available is a wonderful thing for those, such as myself who is a student, who cannot afford to pay for brand name drugs. But just because the majority of people who take the generic version are happy with it, does not automatically mean that everyone should be satisfied or that they shouldn't make others aware of their, as you put it, "horror stories," or "trash[ing] all those big bad generic drugs."

I assure you that I, and I would assume many people who are taking these as anti-depressants, are much happier about generics because they value being able to treat their depression much more than avoiding "donating [their hard-earned dollars] to Big Pharma's brand name drugs." If I was like many of the people who have commented here, and had a bad reaction to the generic versions, I would absolutely do anything I could to switch to the name brand, even if my dollars were going to "Big Pharma."

This post refers to the change of the INACTIVE INGREDIENTS in the drug Nardil and the subsequent change in it's effectivenss. The change occured when manufactures were changed from Lambert to Pfizer. This so called minor change left many depressed individuals without a working medication - many for whom their lives depended on it. My mate became suicidal and the newer SSRI's etc. did not work. He had been taking Nardil for at least 15 years.

We now have the active ingredident compounded with a syrup base: its better than the "new" pill but still of inferior quality. We must drive 3 hours to Los Angeles every ten days to refill this medicine, pay $112.00 for each bottle, and we can not longer get insurance coverage. We suffer both physical and financial tolls from this regimen.

When the manufacturing company Pfizer changed the inactive ingredients it seems that it should have become a "generic" for two reasons: 1. it was not the same medicine, and 2. it now mimics those generics that just do not work like the brand - unable to treat a particular condition with effectiveness.

One can go to the website "The Anxiety Community" and read the postings of many effected persons who found this site for support.

My physician will not prescribe the generic synthroid for me. She tells me that the absorption rate among the various generics is not consistent with the absorption rate of the brand name. Synthroid is not terribly expensive compared to the generic.

I am currently being prescribed the heart drug Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate), the heartburn medicine Prilosec (omeprazole). My understanding is that there is no generic replacement for Toprol and that the generic version of prilosec is marketed as omeprazole.

Can you direct me to a site (or articles) which include criticisms of either or both of these drugs?

After suffering a series of seizures after a stroke my neurologist has become absolutely insistent that I be taken off the generic form of Dilantin since then I have been seizure free It took heroic efforts on her part to have the pharmacy follow through as well as the hospital

My 34 year old son has been on Zoloft for 10 years. Recently my health plan suppled him with the generic Sertraline HCL and he has been very moody, mostly angry, sometimes raging, sometimes calm. He is HF Autistic and also has a seizure disorder which is treated with Dilantin. In 2000, we had a bad experience with generic Dilantin and have been able to get brand without the huge copays but don't know if we should attribute generic Sertraline HCL with the current behavior.

Is anyone having trouble with the generic for Fosamax, Alendronate Sodium tablets? I've been on Fosamax (once weekly) for years with no problem, but having started on the generic, I'm experiencing vertigo for several days after taking it. The vertigo then tapers off, but starts again when I take the drug a week later. Anyone else? I'm seeing my doctor to request the brand name, but as you know, there is a huge price difference.

I've been on protonix for silent acid reflux which is a big trigger for my asthma. Drug companies have also automatically switched me to generic. Within a couple of weeks I am coughing and wheezing, very asthmatic. When I return to protonix, the problem resolves. I tolerate other generics quite well and am more than willing to use generics when they work for me. Should not have to put up with these automatic switches without approval of physician and patient.

your comment is irrelevant.
when the patient has a problem with his drug, the millions of happy patients opinion does not matter.


I am a big supporter of the use of generic drugs but this year I ran into two problems: one was with my wellbutrin. I have been taking the generic buproprion for years now and a few months ago they filled it with budeprion and I noticed I was very depressed and the only thing that had changed in my life was the substitution with the new generic and it was something I brought up with my doctor.

The other drug I noticed problems with was Lamictal--I changed to the generic and started having memory problems and a decided to go back to the commercial and the problems have since ceased. I'm aware a generic drug must prove that is has the same bio-availability as the commercial but I do believe with certain drugs there is a difference for some reason.

I agree with all the comments about generic drugs. As a pharmacy student in 1980, we were required to do tests on a generic drug that had come out whole in a patient's stool. The brand name had worked fine until the state switched to a generic drug. The tablets did not dissolve when exposed to different conditions and pHs similar to what the drug would encounter in the stomach. Only a very few tiny pock marks on the surface of the tablet occured. The generic company was shut down.

I was on the brand name Lioresal for spastic hemi-paresis. They quit making the brand name so I am taking the generic. It only works about 80% as well as the generic. I had to increase my dosage to receive the same therapeutic benefit. I could feel my muscles pulling more. I was then switched to a different generic brand. I complained to the mail order generic company about the difference. I later compared the dissolution rates of the ineffective generic drug and a more effective generic. I simply put the tablets in water. The ineffective generic took several minutes to dissolve. The effective drug dissolved within 15 seconds.

There may be the same milligrams of the active drug in each tablet, but the active ingredient may not be able reach a therapeutic level in a patients blood stream. What I have personally learned is drink a very large glass of water when taking medication so they can disslove more completely.

In reference to the last statement in column, a pharmacist is capable of evaluating substitutions. The pharmacist is sometimes one of the first professionals to listen to a patients concern about the effectiveness of a generic and choose to no longer stock the less effective brand, or advise the patient that the generic version of a drug does not seem to work as well as the brand name. The pharmacist can also advise the patient to ask the physician about changing to a different brand name drug in same therapeutic class. A report can be filled out about the ineffective generic drug and sent to the FDA for investigation.

Notable differences between generic versions of Wellbutrin XL

I have been taking the generic Wellbutrin from Watson for over a year without any issue, but when my pharmacy switched me to the generic from Global I experienced horrible side effects - headaches, back pain, muscle cramps, tinnitis. My pharmacy special orders the Watson for me, but when they occasionally give me the Global the side effects return, so the problem is definitely with that particular generic.


I was prescribed the generic protonix for my heartburn/acid reflux. The first time I filled my prescription the pharmacy mistakenly gave me Protonix (not the generic). I know this because Protonix was printed on the pill. When that month ran out I went back to my pharmacy and they filled the prescription with a generic version. My heartburn returned with a vengeance.

I bumped up my dosage to twice a day (what I was on with a previous PPI) and that did not even stop it. Unfortunately my insurance will not pay for a name brand when a generic is available so I had to switch medicines. I now take Prevacid 24 hr which is not as good as Protonix but better than the bad generic. What's a person to do?

I am searching around to see if anyone else is experiencing what I'm experiencing: a recent turn for the worse while continuing name brand Wellbutrin XL 300 mg.

I, too, experienced a dramatic change for the worse when attempting to switch from name brand Wellbutrin XL 300 mg to generic. I, too, chose to pay more to feel better.

I have done really well for two years on the name brand drug. But recently, within the last month or so, something has changed. I'm still taking the name brand drug but I've taken a turn for the worse. It's so significant that I paid cash to get a new prescription filled from a different pharmacy. I reported the change to Biovail Corporation. They told me nothing is different. I wish I felt better after switching pharmacies but, unfortunately, things still seem to be getting worse.

I'm scared.

It was such a relief to be able to switch back to the name brand drug. Now what to do?

I think it's also significant to note that the unpleasant but livable side effects I've experienced with Wellbutrin XL 300 mg - constipation and hand tremor - have also gone away. What's happening?

I have contacted my psychiatrist and I will be seeing him Tuesday. Of course we're going to look at this like regular old "poop out". But I just have this haunting suspicion others might be experiencing this, too? Interesting that it's happening to me at the same time the drug companies are stamping their foot and saying IDENTICAL.

Brand name Lamictal vs. Generic (Teva & Mylan)

I was given brand Lamictal for bi polar when in the hospital. I was titrated up to 200mg and was doing great (no violent mood swings, paranoia, bouts of uncontrollable rage, severe depression etc..) When I bought the first refill it was for a generic made by Teva, this wasn't so bad but my bi polar symptoms were coming back and I always felt that I was on the brink of relapse.

The next refill I bought was made by Mylan (pharmacy switched brands). I went off the deep end big time, went into a severely depressed state, slept 10-15 hours a day, unable to leave the house for almost a month due to extreme paranoia, I had bouts of severe rage and was suicidal. I also lost almost 20 lbs because I had no desire to eat anymore.

I was brought to the doctor by a family member, explained my situation and how the generic wasn't working. He wrote a scrip for brand only. When I went to the pharmacy to get it filled I was told that I would probably have to pay the full amount. At this point I really didn't care and thankfully the insurance covered the brand name. After one day back on the brand name, all of my previous negative symptoms caused by the failure of the generic were gone.

I will never take a generic psych med again. Saving money is not worth the torture.

My main question is, if generic psychiatric drugs are identical to the brand name, why don't the psych hospitals (at least where I have been) use them instead of the brand names? I imagine they would save a ton of money. Sounds like they know something that the general public isn't supposed to know about.

Many years ago I was told by my doctor that generic drugs do not have to be equivalent to brand-name drugs. Generics are allowed to be plus-or-minus 20% in strength, compared to the brand-name. So, any given dose could be 20% less - or 20% more - than your doctor wants you to have. This means that one dose could be 20% less, and your next dose could be 20% more, than normal. This is a huge and possibly significant swing of 40%. Why is this 20% difference never mentioned in discussions of generic vs brand-name drugs? I am a retired Critical-Care Nurse.

I have been on topamax for many years now for a seizure disorder with no problems and no seizures. About 3 1/2 months ago I was switched to a generic against my neurologists advice. We spoke to the pharmacists at caremark and they assured us that the drug was exactly the same and that I would be fine. Well after taking the first generic for three months and experiencing some slight side effects when the next prescription was due for a refill they sent me yet another generic.

Within days I starting having problems. I was having difficulty at work. I am a baker and I wasn't remembering the recipes. I was becoming more disoriented and confused as the days went by and it ended when I crashed my car into a tree for no reason at all. I was taken to the hospital, where they kept me two days very confused about what was wrong with me. By then I didn't even know my own name. They thought my brain was hemorrhaging and because I couldn't communicate because of my confusion they gave me every test possible and didn't let me move an inch for the entire night and half of the next day.

As the results came in and nothing was found they thought I had a seizure, but I wasn't improving. When the neurologist came the second day and asked my mom what she thought, she mentioned the switch to a generic drug. I was immediately put back on topamax and have been improving quickly. The neurologist mentioned that when you take generic topamax you should increase the dosage because the generic isn't always accurate. The problem is my insurance, healthy new york won't cover the cost and I have to now pay $300 a month for what used to cost me $40 for three months, before the generic became available.

I think this should be against the law and I intend to do all I can to change it. My neurologist called the insurance to say it was medically necessary to have the non generic but they still said that they couldn't cover it. If anyone else has had a problem with a generic topamax please let me know and any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you for revisiting The People's Pharmacy's stance on generics.

I have heard too many disaster stories from people taking medication for ADHD and co-existing conditions. There was no doubt in my mind that generics can create more problems then they solve.

Consumer Reports took a most irresponsible stand recently on generics vs. brands. I wrote about that and thanked you for your review of the issue in this blog post:

Gina Pera, author
Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?

Same reactions - only worse: my reactions also included paranoia, and aggressiveness. Yes, I felt worse on the generic than if I hadn't taken it at all. Have to go the rounds every year with the insurance company to get brand-name Wellbutrin SR 150.

Same reaction - only I also get heart palpitations from the generic. I have heard on the radio that Dr. Oz -- of Oprah fame -- also recommends brand-name Synthroid.

I took the generic for Zithromax, an antibiotic. It gave me some severe side effects that frankly leave me scared to ever take a medication again! For instance, I had severe muscle weakness, and severe panic attacks. My vision was off, and I felt restless, but with no energy. I actually went to the hospital thinking something was very medically wrong.

At first they thought I was acting like I was diabetic. After blood work however they couldn't find anything wrong. I could not concentrate on anything. I would cry, and turned into someone that wasn't me. After about 3 days into the medication I almost passed out driving! It hit instantly and then was left dizzy.

It has been about a month now and I am doing better, but still recovering. I have had the brand name Zpak before with no problems. However, this generic drug is the devil!

It is because the generic Wellbutrin 150 SR sold by Watson Pharmaceuticals is made by GlaxoSmithKline for Watson, then sold as the generic, so it is the exact same product as Wellbutrin. I discovered that earlier this year and it was a life saver. I'm wondering now, though, if that's still the case, because with the last 2-3 refills I have received I've noticed the pill looks different - the printing on them is different - and I am not feeling like I did when when I was on the "real stuff." That's why I'm on websites like this - trying to find out if they've changed their manufacturer.

I was taking Wellbutrin XL 300. My pharmacy changed the drug and started to dispense BudeprionXL 300. Within a month, all of the symptoms which were well managed by the Brand Drug, ie, Wellbutrin started to return. My physician then ordered that it be dispensed as Wellbutrin XL 300. After approximately 2 weeks of being on the Brand Drug, I was again fine. For me, Budeprion XL did nothing. From my perspective and based on my experience, this generic "equivalent" is NOT equivalent.

Why doesn't the FDA just come clean and admit that generics aren't IDENTICAL? "Similar," "comparable" or "acceptable" are probably true, but IDENTICAL is a lie.

I seem to be the opposite of what I have been reading. I was originally prescribed Wellbutrin SR just about a year ago, but it was immediately filled with Budeprion SR (Teva), so I never started with Wellbutrin. I have been doing very well with Budeprion since that time. Around 12/18, I was refilled with Buproprion from Sanoz, and went on a complete downhill turn within a few days.

While pharmacists and my doctor all were saying they are the same, I am telling you they are not. I had a huge panic attack (which I have never had before), and spent the past four days in a anxiety filled state - total loss of appetite, and dropped around 10 pounds in about four days. Dr has me off of the Buproprion right now, and helping take the edge off with Xanax. Yesterday and today have been night and day. Going to start back with Budeprion after the holiday weekend.

It seems to me Budeprion itself may not be the issue, but which drug you started your treatment with.


I too, have major problems with generic Topomax and NYS insurance. Wound up with serious diverticulitis and return of symptoms, my appeal to the insurance company for brand name was turned down also. You can do a written appeal of refusal of generic drug, as both of us did, but they routinely turn down the appeal. I have the written refusal and am considering a lawyer. In your case, since you had an accident and hospitalization, I think litigation might be in order. We have to make these people wake up. It is simply wrong that we are being forced to take drugs based on some short term bottom line, not our health.

When they first made me take generic I was suicidal, then got sick with diverticulitis which affects absorption of all drugs. I finally got back on the generic for my nerve pain which is an "off label" use and that means they will never acknowledge I need it. For my last refill they informed me they changed manufacturers for the generic. I am at wits end as I will not switch again.

Really sad to sacrifice our health to the short term bottom line of some large company and I, for one resent it.


"Wooziness" can be a withdrawal symptom when going off Effexor. This may mean the generic is not giving you the same blood levels as the brand name. It it gets worse, you get dizzy, or start having electric shock sensations in your head, then it could be low blood levels and you should go back to the name brand.

I have been trying for 10 years to find medications that treat my depression and I have been on all the ones mentioned in these comments and many that are not. Now, here's my question. My doctors and I have concluded that these medications don't work for me. But in all cases what I've been given have been generic versions. So is it just possible that some of the lack of response is from taking generics?

After feeling numb and zombie like, having no energy, and gaining weight after being on Cymbalta for a year, I was prescribed Wellbutrin XL and was given a generic. The first problem I encountered was that my doctor's office (nurse practitioner) told me to stop the cymbalta cold turkey, and start on the new pill.

I had horrible withdrawal, horrible depression, nausea, headache, I was worse than my worst suicidal episodes my whole life! Physical symptoms did improve after a week, and I waited for the relief to get better for the depression.

My orders were to take once per day, and found that it wore off after 8 hours and I had horrible mood swings. Depression was still worse than I had ever had, and I was having rage and anger over small things I knew would not upset me otherwise. After having the strong urge to throw things while at work, and road rage while driving, I had to call my doctor and report that something was seriously wrong and I felt like a lunatic!

I was switched to taking Wellbutrin SR, which was filled at my local CVS with the Budeprion by Teva. The first week I felt like a new person. I was so happy it was amazing! I was ready to weep with joy and could have shouted from the rooftop about how great this drug was! After that week, maybe 2, I suddenly had a return of symptoms again. My doctor requested that I split the pills in half, and take one and a half pills each morning, and one pill each afternoon. I had been doing wonderfully on it. I had become normal, no extreme highs, NO lows, and my energy was great. I was dieting, exercising, and the weight gain from the cymbalta was coming off. I felt a return of my sex drive, and I felt happy finally.

The only bad thing is that it does make it very hard for me to fall asleep. However, I don't seem to be grumpy for lack of sleep (chuckle). I had been paying out of pocket for these medications while trying to figure out which medication, dosage, and release formula would be best for me before filling it with my mail order plan. I just got my first order of 90 days supply last week, and it is a different pill, from Epic.

They argued the prescription saying to cut in half, saying it is not scored, don't cut it. So my doctor said fine, change it to read 2 pills each morning, then called me to say to still cut it and take one and a half. Now I am having terrible headaches, muscle pain, mood swings, and anxiety. I am miserable. I am FINE with taking generic Welbutrin made by Teva! It was working for me!

I guess tomorrow I will be on the phone with the mail order company and my doctor to see what I can do. Reading this article makes me wonder if I would do even better on the name brand. I wonder also if THIS is the reason I have been having trouble my whole life finding an antidepressant that works for me! Maybe it's because I've always been given a generic so I don't know what a good one should feel like? It was hard to know if it worked because I don't know what happy people feel like! Budeprion SR finally let me see what it is like, and now I am without it again. This is not fair to do this to a person!

OMG!!!! I am so glad I am not alone in this, I thought I was going crazy. I was on the Wellbutrin 300XL for forever and then once the insurance started charging ridiculously for Wellbutrin and I couldn't afford it, I had to go to the generic Budeprion. Terrible!!!!! Two days ago I had the worst panic attack I have ever had in my life! I was thinking about what my funeral would be like, what my kids would do without me and I was afraid to fall asleep and the attacks have been happening everyday since.

This is not normal for me at all I know there is something wrong with the generic. I have a dr. appt. My joints are bothering more than ever. I'm dizzy and lightheaded all the time and I have been very emotional and anti-social my heart feels like it is going to explode along with my head.

I can only tell you from my experience - moving from Budeprion SR (TEVA) to another generic was hell. I am now taking the name brand Wellbutrin at the additional cost to eliminate any further issue with mixed generics.


I have battled depression for 25 years. Finally, a combination of Lexapro and Wellbutrin gave me back my life. With this combination, I could wake up in the morning almost effortlessly. I could get things accomplished. I could make even simple decisions easily.

Then, I got switched to the generic "equivalent" of Wellbutrin. The first thing I noticed was the anger came back, the impatience, the indecision, the sleeping all the time. I got my doctor to put me back on Wellbutrin. It worked! Now, the pharmacy/insurance company has switched me back to generic AGAIN! And it's all coming back, AGAIN!

This is so unfair. I want my life back. I need Wellbutrin.

Not sure if "over-the-counter equivalent" is the same as "generic equivalent" but it shares many of the same problems. Mine is the OTCE of Meclezene (spelled 3 different ways from different venues). All profess to be 25 mgms; 2 are chewable to relieve symptoms of motion sickness.

My problem is not caused by a casual cruise or car ride. I suffer the extreme vertigo and nausea that accompanies what is essentially misplaced "rocks" in the inner ear. After 25 years I finally have a name but I can't pronounce it. Meclyzine 25, the football shaped yellow pill, not the tiny pink ones is the only thing that works to relieve the symptoms.

But of course my insurance will only pay for the $3 equivalent rather than the $28 behind the counter real deal. It is currently under review with the insurance company but I am not holding my breath.


I originally started on Lamictal when it was only available as a brand name drug. When the generic became available, I was switched to a generic Teva brand, Lamotrigine, and didn't seem to have any problems.

However this last summer, the mail order pharmacy changed generic providers to Caudila (Zydus). I immediately began experiencing terrible side effects. It took me a few weeks to put 2+2 together, (which is very difficult to do when you feel like you're losing your mind) and realize that the generic pill was by a different pharmaceutical company.

I spoke with a pharmacist at the mail order company who told me that she had other similar complaints from patients and would file a complaint. I filed a claim with the FDA, and just within the last month heard from a drug company rep (Cadila) who wanted information about my experiences.

I was also able to send in remaining pills for testing. I'm hoping I will hear their results. I feel fortunate that I was able to figure out what was happening. I wonder how many people have test after test, or live with terrible problems because of this kind of situation. It's a crime, that needs to be stopped. How many millions of health care dollars are being spent on this kind of serious problem?

A quick FYI: I am a QA and regulatory specialist in the pharma field.

I had anxiety and depression as well as some trouble with obsessive thoughts for 2 years after the birth of my first child, an out of state move, a switch from FT employment to stay at home Mom, and becoming a newlywed all happening within 9 months of each other. I have a history of one previous episode of depression 3 years prior that appeared to be related to an adjustment to environment as well. So, I am not able to adapt to major life stressors (such as death, change/loss of job, birth, new/ending marriage and moving) as well as others might be able. Depression can happen even when change is all positive, as in my case.

I started taking Wellbutrin XL 150mg. for 4 months and did okay but had some side affects that were bothersome including dizziness, headaches that worsened as the day went by, some increase in anxiety in social situations, and moderate increase in irritability during period (the latter resolved over 3 months).

Then, I switched to the Teva generic for 2 months. The dizziness and headaches resolved almost immediately. I had no irritability during periods. The social anxiety improved. Overall, I was feeling more like myself and finally felt like I was getting better and better. Then, my pharmacy (Walgreens) switched to the Watson generic. I was taking it for several days when I started to notice an increase in anxiety, and a new symptom. I noticed I was becoming impatient and angry when tested. I had my sense to know it was not me and felt terrible about it.

I went to see my doctor and he said he was confident that it was likely due to the impurities in the Watson generic. Over the course of the week I also started to have an increase in depressed thoughts probably as a result of the guilt I had from the increase in anxiety and irritability. After a lot of strings being pulled the pharmacy kindly exchanged my Watson generic to the Teva.

So, my problem is not so much the rate of release between the GSK brand name and Watson generic vs. the Teva generic but more the impurities (a/k/a inactive ingredients - which do not have to be identical to the brand name in generics). The Watson generic and GSK brand name seem to have a impurities that cause me to have more anxiety and irritability than the Teva.

In summary, the similarity I see that knits all of our concerns together appears to be that perhaps the FDA needs to ensure a tighter impurity requirement as well making the generic manufacturers match the brand name rate of release in XL medications. In addition, perhaps do studies on improving these factors in both the brand name and the generic since sometimes the generics do perform better.

Another FYI: I had tried Wellbutrin SR prior to taking XL and over a week I had extreme anxiety and a large increase in the obsessive thoughts. It was very scary. This was attributed to the fact that the SR releases much faster than XL and caused the typical symptoms of excessive dopamine being released in the brain.

Brand Name Wellbutrin VS Generic:

I am not against generic versions of medications, but I am against generic versions not doing enough to replicate the medication so that patients who take the brand name are not forced to more trauma then necessary.

I started on the generic version of Wellbutrin. I did not have any prior experience with it, so the side effects I had I tried to wait out to see if they would taper off. Things only got worse, and the final side effect was that of itchy feet turning it to hive and severe itchy body.

I did try to wait it out, and take the allergy meds - things only got worse and I felt terrible. That included agitation that I was not having before. I started on the low dose too and did not try to up it.

Itchy feet? symptom of liver saying "too much"? I know that the generic version of Wellbutrin releases more at a faster rate. I know that this drug whether or not generic metabolizes heavily in your liver. So even though I am NOT a medical doctor or otherwise, my sensible laymen mind has to ask "Is this also hurting my liver when it releases too faster then it was originally designed to?" Everyone IS different, but too many people are having problems with this generic version for it to be "in our heads".

Just because we take a medication to help us, does NOT mean we do not understand what is happening to us. We should definitely have the FDA test our own medication of the generic form and see if what they find is similar. In ANY case - their existing opinion is not good enough for what I know and that is enough for me. I am pretty reasonable in mind regardless of needing something to help me.

There are doctors who take antidepressants and still work. Should we not see them as being credible individuals because they need some medication to help them? So, when patients see that there is a problem with something - perhaps the people in charge should take it more seriously.

ER -- your story is a common one and highlights the problems inherent with mail order pharmacy. You are not charged the same copay as you are at a retail pharmacy for a reason... your prescription receives very little personal interaction with a licensed pharmacist. It is filled by a technician and a machine and passes by a pharmacist for verification which simply involves making sure that the right pill is in the bottle.

Had you opted to use a retail pharmacy, your prescription would have passed in front of a pharmacist who had been chatting with you about your medication for months. I can't overemphasize the importance of establishing with a regular retail pharmacy and getting to know the people who will be handling your medication. I could tell dozens of stories of how these relationships have benefited patients. At the very least, in your case, a retail pharmacy would have returned the medication.

One minor quibble: your doctor most certainly would have known that the generic for Prograf was eminent. It's been on the horizon for several years.

For the record, I am a pharmacist and I have never and will never switch a patient on a narrow therapeutic index drug or a drug that I think may cause significant adverse effects, like an anti-seizure medication or an antidepressant. Once a patient is stabilized on one or the other, it makes no sense to "rock the boat".

ER -- you seem to have an agenda here. The pharmacist represents an important link in the healthcare system. While I don't always agree with autosubstitution, it is NOT the fault of the pharmacist. The fact remains that generics represent a viable alternative for many patients.

Let's look to the real villains in the generic versus brand war -- drug companies. Pricing for brand name medication remains high even after companies have reasonably recouped development costs.

I read stories like these so that I can better understand what my patients are experiencing. I always say that I can tell you what's in a book, but only you can tell me how the medication makes you feel.

KT -- your pharmacy didn't make a mistake. The first company to file a ANDA to produce the generic of a medication receives 6 months exclusivity on that generic. In many cases, the first manufacturer of a generic medication is the brand manufacturer. In the case of Protonix, the brand manufacturer didn't even bother to the change the IMPRINT on the pill. So, for six months, the manufacturer sent bottles marked "Protonix" down the line and bottles marked "Pantoprazole" down the line.....and FILLED THOSE BOTTLES WITH THE SAME PILLS!!!!!!!

I used to use this to illustrate to patients how ridiculous brand vs generic controversy can be.

I have microscopic colitis, which results in extremely frequent diarrhea. The generic Wellbutin (buproprion HCL XL) actually does not dissolve at all... I don't want to pay for the Wellbutrin, however I certainly am not getting any benefit from the generic if it goes through me whole!

Don't mean this to sound disgusting or anything.... but I guess I have found there truly IS a difference even between generics. I have been taking Wellbutrin XL 300 for a few months. I had taken it previously for depression and it works well for me. I filled my last prescription through CVS Caremark and received Watson Labs version of the product. I haven't been feeling so well and have just figured maybe I was having some breakthrough depression.

Well... yesterday I went to the bathroom and noticed what looked like a pill floating on top of the water. I fished it out and rinsed it and sure enough... it was the pill. It had a coating which was elastic like and underneath the pill was still totally intact. That leads me to believe that nothing is getting into my system. I had switched insurance in January and had another generic from Anchem Labs so I took it this morning. Well... same thing happened and it floated to the top after going and I fished it out again... same elastic like exterior but only water and nothing on the inside. Wellbutrin uses a membrane to release the drug and make it time released. All membranes are obviously not the same.

Re. Generic Form of Verapamil manufactured by TEVA

I had been taking the brand form of Verapamil for more than 20 years to help reduce my blood pressure, when my mail-order pharmacy changed the medication I received to the generic form made by Teva.

Since Verapamil is a blood pressure medication that has been around for some time, I didn't think there would be a problem. However, from the first day I started taking the generic form, I started feeling un-well. I felt slightly nauseous and a bit more tired than usual. As I continued to take the generic for another week, I became dizzy, out-of-breath, and noticed that my heart was beating fast and irregularly. By the time I was taking the generic form ten days these symptoms only became worse, and I began to have fainting spells as well.

I finally went to my doctor, and he diagnosed me with atrial fibrillation. My heartbeat was going from 60 bpm one second to 150 bpm the next.

To combat the atrial fibrillation I am now taking three new medications.

I told a couple of doctors that I thought there might be a link between taking the generic form of Verapamil and the onset of the atrial fibrillation. Most thought it hardly possible that the drug caused my problem. I'm not so sure.

If anyone else has had a problem with the generic form of Verapamil, I'd appreciate reading your story. Thank you.

I saw an article in Prevention magazine regarding generic drugs vs brand names. I searched their site for a list of drugs that have a narrow therapeutic index. I have not been able to find this list. Is it somewhere on your site? I cannot find any other place to determine which generic drug may not be as effective as the brand. I would specifically like to know about pain control opiods, as I take them.

Thank you

I work for Blue Cross and Blue Shield... LOL Imagine that! They started mandating generic drugs this year. Where the Wellbutrin XL cost me $35 a month prior to this year, is now $198 month. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1995 over the years experimenting with this drug and that drug, finally was put on Wellbutrin in 2002, then Cymbalta in 2007.

I had never felt better, more like myself... and alive. And now I am fighting with my Employer/insurance company to let me pay a $50 copay as its a tier 3 drug. I've been on the generic for 4 weeks now and... OMG Crying, angry, can't sleep, acid reflux coming back, aches and pains coming back, can't concentrate, constipated... It's a damn shame! You know I really think the manufacturer's of this "junk" would think twice.. if they had loved ones going through what we are!

I've been on Wellbutrin XL in various doses for about 5 years. Most recently I was on 3x150mg a day. When Teva's generic 150mg version came out, my pharmacy subbed it and I was fine! Then I suddenly got switched to a different generic (Aventis, I believe) and it didn't work at all. When I started having serious depression issues, my husband pointed out how different the pills looked and he was right. It's obvious when you look at them that the Aventis pill doesn't have the same coating the Teva one does. But the Aventis pill is about 1/5th the cost of the Teva one so my insurance company won't even pay for the Teva generic, only the cheaper one.

The REALLY interesting part about all this? When I found out the Teva 300mg XLs were cheaper, I asked my doc to prescribe me that instead, thinking at least I'd be able to have the Teva pill that actually works, even if the dose was smaller. The 300mg Teva XLs I received? The yellow horse pills everyone else is talking about.

Why would Teva's 150mgs and the 300mgs be so different? And here's my big question. If you read this, you'll see that the FDA compared the 150mg XL Teva pills with the 150mg Wellbutrin XL and said they're equivalent, but they didn't compare the 300mg version. Did they compare the 150mg Teva pill I get? Because that pill is *completely* different from the 300mg Teva pill I get. Does anyone know anything about this?

As a follow-up to my previous post, here is Teva's product information page for their generic version of Wellbutrin XL:

Just looking at the pills you can see the incredible difference. How can the FDA just blithely assume they will work the same? I am so confused about this!

This related the Shire's Adderall XR:

I have been taking name brand Adderall XR for over 3 years. Finally being diagnosed with ADHD at age 31 was huge relief! And being able to control most of my symptomatic behaviors by taking Adderall XR has been a very positive experience for me.

Last week, when I filled my prescription for DAW (dispense as written) name brand Adderall XR, the pharmacist showed me that all the pills in the name brand bottle were all imprinted with M. Amphet. Salts - just like the generic. She even opened a new bottle of the name brand capsules to show me that Walgreens wasn't trying to screw me over.

I called Shire and they said that the FDA approved Shire imprinting the name brand capsules with either ADERALL XR or M. Amphet. Salts and that as long as my prescription came from a name brand bottle that said "Shire" that I was taking the same name brand drug I've been taking all along.

I HIGHLY doubt what I've been taking for the past few days is regular name brand Aderall XR. I have been experiencing headaches, tight/clenched upper back muscles, tingling/numbness in my face and pressure behind my eyes. My ADHD symptoms are not well-controlled and I also feel like I'm on something - I never felt like I was on something when I took name brand Adderall XR before!

I called Shire again and again they told me that as long as my prescription came from a bottle that said "Shire" that I was taking the same name brand drug.

Today I called the FDA and the representative said that Shire DOES NOT have permission to imprint the name brand Adderall XR with M. Amphet. Salts. The FDA rep said that name brand Adderall XR must be imprinted with the text ADDERALL XR.

I also told the rep that I had been experiencing side-effects after taking the generic imprint name brand and that those side effects were similar to those I experienced when taking the actual generic.

The rep said that the best thing to do is file a report online:

The rep also said that sometimes it only takes one report of mislabeling or side effects to warrant an investigation, but if multiple people file similar reports it will make a bigger impact.

valacyclovir /VALTREX

I have been taking Valtrex (500 mg daily) as maintenance therapy for genital herpes. I almost never have outbreaks. Even one time when I went on vacation, forgot my pills, and missed about three consecutive doses.

Recently, my insurance company’s mail order pharmacy recently substituted generic valacyclovir in lieu of Valtrex. I was thrilled to see the 75% plus savings. However, in the past month and a half, I have had more outbreaks than I have had all together since I started taking Valtrex over 12 years ago.

This is happening even after I doubled my dose of the generic. There may be other factors at play that I don't understand– but I am not taking any chances and have asked my doctor to prescribe “medically necessary”.

I would like to hear others' experiences. I want to believe in the generics. I have had heated discussions with a friend who is a pharmaceutical rep about the importance of generics, and discounted her argument that the formulas can be completely different.

I've had severe migraines since I was a teenager and over the years I have tried all suggested medical help. Some helped, some didn't. Then came Imetrex, and for the first time I was able to relieve the pain and side effects of my migraines (I have right side and frontal lobe migraines). I successively used Imetrex for years with minimal side effects. When the generic came out last year, I immediately switched to save money--and because my insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross, more or less insisted I do so).

I used the generic for several months, and at first, I didn't connect the generic Imetrex to the increase of intensity and number of migraines that I had. My migraines increased in such severity that I was having to take two the three times as much generic Imetrex as the name brand, which meant I ran out of the drug before my insurance company would let me order more.

I was having more migraines and they were more severe. Finally it dawned on me that it might be the generic. After jumping through hoops for approximately 4 months, my insurance company finally agreed to pay for the name brand and I went back to the name brand Imetrex. The first migraine I had after that I used my regular dosage of Imetrex and the pain and side effects were brought under control with no additional dosages.

Within a week or two, the pattern and severity of my migraines reverted to what is "normal" for me. I have had no additional problems since I've returned to the name brand. I KNOW it was the generic that was changing the chemical pattern of my brain and making my migraines worse. It had to be since the name brand brought them back under control.

As I was reading through the above letters, I caught the reference to mail order. I've been taking glucovance for about 12 years. We had to go mail order for long term drugs. I've had trouble controlling my blood sugars. The doctor will not change my medication, but insists I will be put on insulin when I see him next. Looking back, my problems started after I went to mail order. Has anybody else had trouble with this drug?

I'm a big fan of generics, and of their cost-saving benefits. After battling major depression and terrifying panic attacks two years ago, I was hospitalized and prescribed Zoloft, and engaged in intense therapy. At some point, my prescription was switched to a generic, and within a week the panic attacks returned. This may well have been "in my head," but I had worked too hard to get well and didn't want to compromise my well being. I asked my doc to prescribe the name brand, and while he was skeptical, he agreed. I continued to work hard, and in a year and a half, I felt truly well.

Flash forward to two months ago- back at work, doing well, but can no longer afford the nearly $300 annual deductible for Zoloft. I agreed to try the generic (a different generic from what I had tried previously), and told myself it would work, and that I would save a substantial amount of money! What's not to love?

Unfortunately, my well being has truly plummeted in the last two months - in addition to the frustration of rashes, insomnia, extreme dizziness, and diarrhea (ugh!), I feel truly bad about the world again and cry at work, lash out at those I love, and unnecessarily broke up with a man I cared about. Truly, I would love to rely on generics and on the promise that they are bio-equivalent. While I'm not a scientist, something doesn't jive - and for those of us who have worked very hard to battle back from a 5150/hospitalization/full body shuddering panic attacks - saving $$$$ on a generic that does not support our goal is not worth it.

My mother has been prescribed Paxil to treat bipolar disorder. She can't afford the brand name so she's been using various forms of the generic for years. It's amazing (and shockingly unpleasant) how broad the efficacy is from one maker to the next. Sometimes we don't even know the maker has been switched until my mother starts acting out, and that means at least a week's worth of recovery time AFTER we find another maker that works. We keep a list of all the pharmacies in our area when the "generic carousel" starts up again.

Have tried generic for Wellbutrin XL on two different occasions now. The generic is clearly not the same as the name brand. I went from happy and successful to struggling to cope through the week. When people around you notice the difference, you know there is a problem. Bad thoughts, increased irritability. I have tried it twice now and it did the same both times. Please, please help us! We need our Wellbutrin. I think it should be approved as long as you tried the generic and it didn't work for you. If I can't have the name brand, you might as well get ready to put me on social security because I can not function!!!

I just came across the information on the recall of Metoprolol Succinate on the site. I've been taking Toprol XL for about 9 years and it always worked until I was given the generic form last year. I immediately began to notice that I was having erratic and rapid heart rates. I also noticed that my hair was falling out. I requested that my physician re-write the RX for the non-generic, and my circumstances have returned to "normal."

I used to use Lamictal, but when I switched to generic lamotrigine (made by Teva), I would have constant body jerks. And when I would wake up in the morning, sometimes I would have seizures. I never had an issue with the original brand Lamictal. As soon as I switched back, the symptoms disappeared. My doctor said that he saw the same thing occur with a lot of his patients. When I told him the symptoms I was having, his immediate response was, "Let me guess, you're on the generic form." It's sad that these pharmaceutical companies cut corners at the expense of our health and totally get away with it.

Just a suggestion for the people who are forced by their insurance companies to take the generic for Wellbutrin XL. I too, found that the generic buproprion XL by Teva has side effects that forced me to discontinue the medication while the brand Wellbutrin XL had worked very well for me. When I was forced by new insurance to pay $140 for 30 tablets I decided to try a different company's generic and found that the generic bupropion XL by Actavis worked as well for me as the brand.

My suggestion is to call your local pharmacy and ask which generic they carry and try to find the one by Actavis. I found it at one of the large chain pharmacies. Good luck, hope this works for you as well as it has for me.

I have taken Welbutrin XL 300 mg for 11 years. On two occasions I was switched to generic welbutrin and both times my mood declined significantly. The second time it was changed to the generic my mood declined rapidly and in the time it took to get approval for Welbutrin XL 300 mg. I went from high functioning to having suicidal thoughts. Once I got back on the Welbutrin XL, 300mg did not improve my mood. The Welbutrin XL had to be increased to 450 mg a day. After over two months my mood returned to normal. What I find distressing is the despite the fact that this has been documented happening to many people I still have to pay much more for the brand name.

I have been taking name brand oxycontin for several years for chronic post surgical pain and there has not been a generic available to me until about two weeks ago. The oxycontin has worked OK for me and keeps me at a 4 out of 10 on the VAS scale although I don't think it lasts the full 12 hours as advertised but good enough. Concerning the generic, I was excited to save the money but leery of the effectiveness of the medicine. My insurance plan limits the dollar amount of name brand medicines one can take in a calendar year.

Name brand Oxycontin costs me about $347 a month for 60 pills once my insurance runs out while generics are covered year round. I quizzed the pharmacist and she assured me the generic (Oxycodone) and Oxycontin have identical active ingredients and the FDA does rigorous tests to ensure oxycodone and oxycontin are identical. She also told me that she did not have enough of the name brand oxycontin to fill my prescription and she could not fill a partial Rx like they did in the past.

So... I gave in, saved the difference in co-pays, got the generic and promptly forgot about the change. EPIC MISTAKE!!! After going through 10 days of full withdrawal (up for 72 hours straight, hallucinations, tremors, convulsions, etc.) beginning the day I began taking the generic I realized that the generic could be the cause. I am still experiencing withdrawal symptoms and pain relief is nonexistent but not my biggest problem right now. I continue to take the generic this month because the Rite Aid pharmacy refuses to take back the unused portion but my doctor insisted on writing my new Rxs for the name brand oxycontin once I told him my story. He reluctantly admitted my complaint was commonplace among his patients.

I also hear but can't confirm that the drug stores get financial incentives to push the generics. I don't know if this is true or not but beginning with my new Rx I'm going back on name brand Oxycontin. I won't even get into the sleeping pill Sonata vs. Zaphelon (generic Sonata)problems I have experienced. In summary, Oxycodone and Zaphelon might as well be peanut M&Ms as far as effectiveness but trying to deter the generic drug companies and Blue Cross Blue Shield from making a fast buck on our health is going to take a much larger public outcry and more than just a few deaths/suicides.

I had problems with the generic for Nexium.

1.I had problems with the generic for Nexium.

2. If you have your doctor prescribing the original drug -not a generic-, the insurance CAN NOT change this. If they refuse, you must tell them you will take 'the problem' to a lawyer. You'll see how soon they change their mind and allow it.

Problem Generic: Zoloft
Manufacturer: Teva Pharmacueticals

I've been on Zoloft for at least 10 years. About 3 or 4 years ago my pharmacist said I could save a few bucks by getting the generic. I thought nothing of it. Over the course of about 3 weeks, I started to feel awful - moody, emotions way too close to the surface, road ragey, crying jags. I couldn't figure it out, and then the thought popped in to my head: "This is how I feel when I've gone off my meds" - LIGHTBULB.

I went on line and saw tons of similar complaints.
I'm absolutely shocked that this stuff is allowed to be sold. And I'm furious over the higher copay my insurance company demands for the brand name considering that the generic is ineffective.

I found out I was allergic to sulfa thanks to a well educated pharmacist. I was given rx, tried another, all reacted because of a "filler" used. I'm sure he saved my life.

Now if we can get FDA to listen about buproprion, I've had terrible reaction to generic, brand Wellbutrin I've taken for years no problem, but I'll try the generic by different manufacturers and can't do it - bad flu-like, deathly reaction to buproprion/budiproprion or whatever they are calling the generic.

FDA/government needs to start listening cause synthroid/levothroid I also had problems with. Obviously generic forms of drugs are cheaper because they are using cheaper ingredients/fillers and making some good deals with manufacturers and insurance companies at our health expense.

You can have your doctor write D.A.W. on the prescription. This means dispense as written. That should help prevent some of the problems at the pharmacy. It also helps with some (unfortunately not all) insurance coverage.

I have had an absolutely horrible experience taking the generic form of Wellbutrin XL 300mg. I had taken the name brand for years until I recently switched to the generic. Within days I became an absolute emotional wreck and had to deal with uncontrollable bouts of crying, depression, severe agitation, thoughts of driving my car into a tree (not a joke), hopelessness, and anxiety. At first, I couldn't understand what was wrong with me. Then my mother (a psychotherapist) told me that some people do not do well on generic bupropion.

I had amazing success with the name-brand Wellbutrin; it literally changed my life and made me able to function in society. The generic manufacturers don't realize the life-threatening danger they are putting people like me in.

I am disgusted that the FDA has allowed this generic to stay on the market after so many people have complained about its ineffectiveness. Wake up, people!

I have suffered from depression for over 20 years I have tried numerous medications none have really worked for me, recently I was put on wellbutrin xl started at 150 and now 300mg, and I felt as if got myself back, the dark veil was lifted, until I was given the generic form, and within 3 weeks I was so depressed, suicidal, so I went back to the generic form which my co-pay was $310!!!!! I feel much better again but do not know how I am going to be able to afford this monthly.

My husband has been taking Flomax for a few years, when just last month, a generic form came to the market. Due to the inert ingredients, he ended in the hospital with gastritis. My insurance company will not pay for Flomax, only the generic TAMSULOSIN. We cannot afford the high price of FLOMAX. I asked them to make a one time exception to over ride the cost for a one month supply to Flomax just to wean him off the alpha blocker as needed due to severe side effects, but was denied.

I could not believe the inert ingredients are so different. Drug companies should be aware of up coming law suits they are causing!!!
Thanks for listening!

I have been fighting to find the right medication for eight out of nine years.When I finally found a medicine that would work (WELBURIN 300)I was overjoyed,but now after taking the only drug to do me any good my pharmacist told me I wold have to start taking a generic form of the drug since my state needed to cut medicaid funding. I have taken the generic in lots of anti-psychotic, antispasmodic, antidepressants, trying to find something that worked. I tried at least one of the generic forms of WELLBUTRIN 300, to no avail. I do take several drugs and have no problem with generics EXCEPT WITH MY HEAD. I know there is a difference. If they force you to take a drug you should be able to decide with your doctor what form of the drug is right for you.

Different manufacturers of generic Wellbutrin SR 150.

I started taking the generic form of Wellbutrin Sr 1 month ago. This was Bupropion Hydrochloride manufactured by Actavis. During the course of the month I have been experiencing a number of physical problems. These have included dizziness, blurred an doubled vision, extreme headaches, hot flashes, a general light-headed foggy feeling and, most concerning, confusion and disorientation.

On one occasion I was sent to the ER with double vision, an intense migraine, nausea and vomiting (I had never had this before). Another incident involved extreme dizziness, double vision, disorientation, and confusion. This was particularly scary as it happened while I was driving!

After several trips to the doctor it was finally concluded that all this was due to the Bupropion I was taking. It should be noted that I had previously taken the generic of Wellbutrin several months earlier with no complications and excellent therapeutic results. Apparently the complications I was experiencing was due to the generic manufactured by Actavis. I have been off the drug for 1 week and have not had any more problems and have felt much clearer headed.

I too was just recently switch from effexor xr to the generic form!!! I know I started to feel different on this after 2 weeks!! My depression has come back I need to speak to my meds doc asap this week!!

Venlafaxine HCL ER - Generic for Effexor XR
I have been taking Effexor XR 375 MG for over ten years. I take 2 150 MG and one 75 MG daily. Recently my insurance company only covers Effexor XR's generic brand called Venlafaxine HCL ER. At first I was excited to save a little money every month, but soon that excitement wore off when I started to feel the negative symptoms of the generic drug. After two weeks of taking the generic drug I started to have high anxiety, disruptive sleep patterns and lack of effectiveness.

I'm going to give the generic drug a couple more weeks and see if I can adjust to it or if the symptoms persist. If not, I will pay the difference the insurance will not pay for the name brand Effexor XR. I think doctors and pharmacists need to inform clients that generic drugs are not identical to brand name and switching may cause negative outcomes. I had to find out on my own, where I would not have switched had I known the risks ahead of time.


12 years ago I started on standard Prozac. It left me a bit manic so I was given Lamictal to even things out. This left me with a bit of insomnia so I was put on Klonopin.

Things went well for many years. After a bit I was experiencing anxiety and as put on Ativan.

They the Prozac was changed from normal to generic. I didn't notice a difference and was pleased at the price savings. I was put on generic Klonopin and generic Ativan. Again I didn't notice a difference.

Next I was switched from Lamictal to generic Lamotrigine.

Another year passed and I started to feel depressed again, sleeping most of the day, and had no motivation to do anything.

I thought that perhaps my body had gotten used to the Prozac so I was switched to Lexapro which helped.

I discovered a thyroid problem and was put on Synthroid, I hoped that it would solve the problem. My doctor refused to put me on the generic Synthroid.

I sent to see my P-doc and told him what was happening. He asked straight out, 'are you on generic Lamictal?"... I said yes... and he immediately switched me back to regular Lamictal. He said he had had lots of complaints from other bi-polar patients that the generic Lamictal wasn't working as well...

I started back on the original Lamictal and within 4 days I felt like my old self again. I could have kissed his feet.! I have no problem taking generic pills as long as they work! But this particular medication just doesn't.

Now I have lost my insurance and can no longer afford the original Lamictal. Now I am stuck with the Lamotrigine that comes from a mail order company, 100 pills per script. The next time I see the P-doc,

I'm going to see about getting the Lamotrigine dosage increased to see if I can get it to the therapeutic level of the original Lamictal. If that doesn't work, I don't know what I'll do then... I'm so tired of sleeping 12 to 16 hours a day...

Activis Brand Generic Wellbutrin XL Bad Side Effects

I switched pharmacies recently to get 90 day refills at a preferred pharmacy before my medical coverage expired. I normally take TEVA brand generics with no bad side effects. The new pharmacy does not carry that brand and gave me 90 days of Activis brand Wellbutrin XL 300.

I have never felt so awful in my life! After taking the Activis generic I got jittery, super hungry within 2 hours of eating and increased appetite all day. Gained a pound a week, and the worst part was the severe vertigo within hours of taking the AM pill.

Add to that an awful headache. Not to mention I felt like I was on speed, very hyper. I decided to go back on the Teva generic from my previous pharmacy. Even though I have to pay for the Teva since I no longer have medical coverage, it is worth the $55.00 to feel normal again.

I did not take the Activis for one day as an experiment to see if that was causing the increased appetite, jitters, severe vertigo and headache, or was there something physically wrong with me? My vertigo was so severe, and particularly bad after eating, that I had to lie down so I wouldn't fall over. One day of not taking the Activis and no vertigo spells, jitters,or extreme hunger or headache gave me my answer.

I will never take that horrible generic again and will stay with Teva. Has anyone else had severe problems with the Activis brand?


I am so grateful to find your post and the other posts on this site in reference to brand name vs. generic Wellbutrin. I am a nurse veteran under treatment by the VA and disabled by PTSD and depression. After turning into a "blimp" on SSRI's my psychiatrist and I decided to try Wellbutrin. I have been on the blue 100 mg Wellbutrin XL for a couple of months and was beginning to feel stable and without the urge to overeat. Then my last refill came in the form of white tablets. I am used to the VA tinkering with our meds to give us the cheapest med possible but I did not dream it would turn into such an issue. I am on generic BuPropion now 100 mg SA and in the month since I have started these I have gone downhill fast.

I have dizzy spells, sweating, hot flashes and severe mood decline that are becoming worse and worse. As I type this I have a call in to my psychiatrist to call me back about this. She is booked up until December, but I will be visiting Urgent Care if something doesn't change.

I hope this helps someone else.

Reading your comment almost a year after it was posted, I still feel I must add to it. I, too take Toprol and there is no generic. I have been prescribed prilosec and/or other similar medications and received omeprazole, which did not work for me. My doctor finally prescribed Nexium which works well. I refuse to take generics even though it costs my husband a lot of money. We try to compensate for the expense by ordering most of our medications from a well-researched Canadian pharmacy.

The FDA allows a generic to have a 20% plus or minus deviation from the active ingredient of any specific brand-name drug. It is unlikely that the profit driven drug manufacturer would deviate by adding 20% of an active ingredient; however, a 20% deviation either way can have critical consequences.

I have had significant problems with several generic medications some of which are Wellbutrin SR, various antibiotics, thyroid medications (now take ONLY Armour thyroid, and Prilosec.

Insurance companies should not be allowed to control our health care and pharmaceutical companies should not be allowed their current obscene profits. Today's treatment of vulnerable, sick people by insurance and pharmaceutical companies is abuse comparable to hitting a baby.

We citizens must organize and find a way to exercise more control over our medical care.

I agree that asking this question will yield a negatively biased response. However, I believe the replies DO reveal a pattern with certain compounds and/or formulations that would otherwise take many years to be documented and investigated. People who have been on maintenance therapy for years know when their body responds differently (as opposed to acute therapies such as antibiotics ).

I worked in Big Pharma for many years (agree w/ all accusations) and know how rare it is that docs actually take the time to report a drug reaction or complaint to the FDA or manufacturer. It is forums like this that offer a reality check of sorts for patients.

QUESTION: can anyone explain WHY the one generic of Wellbutrin is budeprion and not the actual chemical name BUPROPION? Also, any comments on clinical diffs bwtwwwn BUPROPION HCl and BUPROPION HBr (Aplenzin)?



Ok, it seems to me that the people who complain the most about the ineffectiveness of the generic Wellbutrin (Bupropion), are only those who had problems with it. But I never see any comments on people who have had good results. From what I understand, the generic manufactured by Teva has had very bad results, and this is a general agreement for most people.

I, on the other hand have taken the generic form, and only the generic form. The manufacturer I used when I first started on Bupropion was Actavis. This generic did wonders for me. In fact, I have claimed to several people already how it has been a miracle drug.

I had been diagnosed with Atypical Depression. Before the Bupropion, I had become a zombie and an emotional wreck, sleeping sometimes for 16 hrs at a time. I just didn't want to wake up, leave my house, or talk to anyone. I felt like a failure and had lost all hope. I tried Prozac first, and that failed miserably, as it just made me feel even more sleepy than ever. Then, my therapist suggested an antidepressent with stimulant-like properties to help me stay awake. I tried Bupropion. The first two weeks were hell, as the side effects were pretty disturbing: insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, dizziness, auditory hallucinations, paranoia, nausea....but after those two weeks, all these side effects disappeared and I started feeling back to normal. The change in me was dramatic.

So, all I'm saying, is that I agree that some generics just aren't as effective, but you can't put a bad vibe on every single generic, when some of them ARE effective.

Ultram to Tramadol generic

I have tried the generic tramadol by two different manufacturers but they definitely don't work like the brand name.

The comment on Tramadol, absolutley the truth! And even different brands don't work as well. I wont take any other prescription for Tramadol except for Mylan. Has the big M on it. The rest don't have the same seratonin kick that Mylan does and once you've been taking a med for 8-9 years, you can tell the difference.

I got my prescription back and found a pharmacy that carried the one I take all the time.

I totally agree. This exact thing occurred with my daughter when she went from Brand to Generic. It is worth the extra $$ to be mentally healthy. When pharmacists say they work the same, I wonder how would they even know

I have been taking wellbutrin sr 150mg for a couple of years and loved it. than my pharmacy changed me to a generic watson brand no problem is still worked for me, not as well but I was ok with it. Then I got a refill and the pills are different color and the printing is different. I am having anger issues, my ocd is back and my life is in the toilet again. I hope the drug companies take notice and help us out. They don't understand how this affects people and their lives.

MKC in CA...I AM NOT AN MD or DO, but have worked w psychiatry and my own depression. Long story short, IMHO, the drugs labeled for depression and used most commonly today mainly address serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine only to slight degree. Antidepressants in past were based on monoamine hypothesis which addresses all three. The MAO inhibitors of past have serious food and drug interactions, so not used much.

There is new version of selegeline available now in a patch called EMSAM. supposedly better side effect profile and safer. It is a selective MAOI. I personally did not respond to any SSRIs or SNRIs and I tried about ten over 15 + yrs. My psychiatrist finally put me on Vyvanse, an ADHD drug which boosts dopamine. worked like a charm.

I believe that dopamine depression is overlooked, esp since SSRIs became popular in last 20 yrs. There are also a few 'atypical antipsychotics' that are FDA approved for treatment resistant depression. They work primarily w dopamine (there are many diff dopamines, so this is simplified!) Abilify was first, I believe. Can be very activating. If you are not seeing a psychiatrist, it might be best to do that as these meds are not good to be played around with. It's a delicate balancing act and everyone responds differently. EX: Any bipolar history or in family could be triggered by wrong choice.

I hope my experience and 'theory' may be of help.

Good luck and don't give up! There are a lot of options that many docs are not experienced with and so don't try.
Where are you in CA?

Interesting account of your experience. Do you think your doc listened to you and responded as he did b/c of your profession? Just curious!

I have been on Wellbutrin SR/ Buproprion SR for the last 12 years. Brand name worked best but after insurance would no longer cover it, I was switched to generic with reasonable success until my last prescription. It was the first time I had the Teva generic; before that I had always had Watson or Actavis.

The Teva was awful; there was a terrible spike in the release about 2 hours after I took the first dose causing dizziness and nausea followed by a crash (still nauseated) at the 5 hour mark which then resulted in me needing to sleep for 2 hours. I thought I was crazy--generics should be the same, right? Cursory research on the internet told me I was not alone.

Merck Medco, my mail order pharmacy and THE WORST medication provider I have yet endured, will not take back the $255 worth of medications that I cannot take (if I don't pay for them it is considered a breach of my insurance contract and gives them grounds to deny future claims), will not pay anything at all toward brand name or order in a generic brand I can take. I have to drive an hour each way to a pharmacy that will order the Watson generic and I have to pay for it all out of my own pocket!

I am so glad I have insurance; whatever would I do without it?

I recently started taking the generic form of Wellbutrin made by Watson. It is the generic form for Wellbutrin SR 150 mg. It has been a month and I do not believe it is working for me. I previously took another generic form that worked just fine made by Mylan.

you were probably switched to a generic that does not work. I changed pharmacies to get a different generic. I knew it since I took the first dose but have thought I was having a breakdown or something. No all generics are not the same and I believe this is very sad.

I thought it was just me!!!...Generic Wellbutrin acts differently than the brand drug. There should be warnings about the use of these generics. Now that I know its not just me I am going to contact my doctor to return to Wellbutrin brand. It's just not worth saving the money if the drug is not as effective.

2"' am on opiod therapy and have been experimenting with other medications due to my cervical spinal stenosis (diagnosed 2/2011), ruptured S1 disk (diagnosed 10/2011) and fibromyalgia (diagnosed 10/2010). With the numerous meds that my primary care physician then my spine and pain doctors prescribed, the costs of prescriptions was exorbitant without receiving generics.

I am on a combination of fentynal and oxycodone. However, over the course of the past year or so, I thought I was losing my mind. It took a while to figure out that the generics being provided were from different companies. I swore the strengths were different. So, I asked my pain doctor to mark that name brand is medically necessary, so began to pay much more... pushing my monthly out of pocket costs to about $300/month.

I began researching the topic and found your site and some opinions on good manufacturers for the fentynal and oxycodone, so now I am calling my pharmacist who orders from the manufacturers that I select. So far, so good. But it truly irritates me to hear from drug companies, doctors or even the FDA that generics are as potent as name brand... unless they suffer from chronic pain or the myriad of conditions that force us to take meds.

When you speak of highly controlled substances for pain, to get a script filled with ineffective generics causes the patient to suffer with uncontrolled pain then hope that the generics that the pharmacy has that month is better than the current generics. I am glad your site gives recognition to the dilemma, but frustrated that so few speak up to recognize the problem.

Wellbutrin XL vs Budeprion XL
Synthroid vs Levothyroxine

I just recently was given generic synthroid after being on Levoxyl and I ABSOLUTELY noticed a difference!! After taking the generic for about 2 weeks I noticed the days that I took it were the days I felt horrible. (I only take 1/2 a 25 mcg tablet every other day) I could tell my heart was beating faster... my pulse would go from 60 to 84 shortly after dosage and for many hours afterwards, and I felt jittery and anxious. I had terrible headaches and felt nauseous and was dead tired all the time. I went online to see if these were normal side effects and that prompted me to look at my RX bottle - I didn’t even know I had been given a generic!!!

I also read that if I was experiencing any of those symptoms to "seek medical attention". I called my pharmacy first (since it was Saturday) to see if I could get the name brand without jumping through hoops. They said I could switch without a new RX. Well... when I went to pick it up I found out TRICARE would not cover the name brand!! even if my Dr said "name brand only". I was about to cry and then the pharmacist said "you don't want to pay the $24?" I became joyful and happily paid the $24 and left. as you all know... some brand names are hundreds more $$ than generic!!!!!

I am scared to death I won't be so lucky when I need to refill my Wellbutrin XL. I found this website because I wanted to see if there were still complaints about Wellbutrin XL vs Budeprion XL. Years ago I was given Budeprion XL (teva) instead of the name brand I had been on for 2 years and I started noticing I felt very tired, moody and quick-to-cry ALL the time and it seemed my irritability (emotionally going from 0 to 10 in one second) was back. My husband even started questioning if I was even taking it... I went online to see if anyone else was experiencing the same side effects and I discovered there were many, many people who felt their depression symptoms had returned while they were on the generic.

Ever since I have had my DR write "name brand only" on my prescriptions. The pharmacist said that did not matter with the synthroid... For years I have been paying about $25 per month... now I may have to pay $297 per month or go back to generic....

I just wanted you to know I am one more person that has had problems with these two GENERIC medications!!!

My son has been taking wellbutrin from Teva for a couple of months. We reached the highest level of stability we'd had in more than 3 years with this brand. When the pharmacy switched him to Sandoz, he started spiraling out of control. The doctor assured me it should not make a difference, but it is the only thing that has changed in his life.

We called the pharmacist yesterday and she told us we're not the only ones who have had this complaint since her store received the Sandoz brand generic. She tried to order the Teva and said she will call today if they get it in. Within days we noticed the difference and he is now almost as unstable as he was over a year ago when we had to make some major changes for him. I will search pharmacies for the Teva if we can't get it from our usual place.

I will try to update once we switch back to the Teva with how he has reacted.

Pantoprazole 40 mg

I had been getting generic Pantoprazole 40 mg from Walgreens for several months and it was helping in the control of GERD symptoms. As it seemed I was doing well on the drug, my doctor wrote a prescription that I could submit to the mail order pharmacy that is part of my health care plan. Within 3 weeks of taking the generic provided by the mail order pharmacy I was right back where I started before taking medication.

All my problems returned - stinging in the stomach, choking sensation, burning, bad taste in my mouth. I soon realized that these problems returned after I began taking the generic provided by the mail order pharmacy. The mail order generic was from Mylan while the generic I obtained from Walgreens was from Teva.

I went back to Walgreens and paid out of my own pocket for the Teva generic of Pantoprazole and am starting to feel better. This is not the first time I have had a problem with a generic. There's not only a difference between name brand drugs and generics but even between generics from different sources.

The generic drug, made by Amneal Pharmaceuticals, called, IP204, is generic form of Percoset. It caused burning migraines, nausea, and pain relief did not last beyond 2 hours.

There are 2 types of generic methdone, 10 mg tablets, used in treatment with pain management. The one I received was numbered, 57/71M, no problems with this medication, in fact, it has longer effectiveness in relieving pain than some other pain medications. The other type of methadone is 54/142, is a round tablet. I experienced migraines and nausea with round ones.

I saw my doctor, two weeks into my therapy, after receiving the round methadone tablets, explained that this particular generic was making me ill, the remaining medication was disposed of, in front on me, and I was prescribed same medication, with a note, not to substitute,'patient cannot tolerate 54/142, do not give'! After this bad experience, I must ask which tablet I will be given, prior to having prescription filled.

It is difficult to become established at one pharmacy, when a pharmacy opts to order a generic that can cause adverse reactions, for this reason, I am aware now, of the need to inquire about which generic medication is on hand, before filling prescription. I had two bad experiences, two months in a row, am much more aware of the differences with generic medications, Thank You!

did you lose weight on the actavis generic of wellbutrin? I have been on the Sandoz and watson generics. I lost weight on the Sandoz generic.

I used Wellbutrin XL 300 for about 2 years. When generic came on the market my pharmacy 'automatically' changed me to it. Within about 2 weeks I started to slide backwards. I had no idea why. When I went to my DR., I brought the script. Of course the DR knew it was the generic immediately. She switched me back to the brand name drug and I was fine within about 2 weeks. A huge problem with Budeprion XL 300, is not only does it not work, but it takes weeks to get back to a normal steady state.

Hi in the last 5,6 months my psychiatrists have told me there tablets have changed to a different name called clopine which is a generic of clozipine (clozaril) in the process in changing back to the original clozipine. I just wanted everyone to know that not only did the generic make me really sick but everyone else believed that they are the same drug.

Especially when it comes to mental medication we meaning us patients should receive the best medications and shouldn't be cut short because it is cheaper. If u are wondering why your anti-psychotic isn't working or u have felt that something has changed well most probably you're right. This is the story of the situation I was dealing with. I hope it doesn't happen to others but I expect many others will go through the same problem.

The generic version of Lamictal has caused problems for me, I was switched to the generic form, without my knowledge, and plunged into a four-month long depression.
I understand it doesn't work for some other people too.

The medication works when it was, under medical supervision, increased from 200 to 400. This was tried instead of immediately switching back to the brand name due to finances. The high dose does concern me since I am taking two other anti-depressants - Cymbalta and the generic form of wellbutrin. Cymbalta does not come as a generic. I also take Topamax for migraines and the mood stabilizer effect in that also helps. Again the generic form does not work as well but can't afford $8 a tablet.

I had to switch to much less beneficial health plan nine months ago when COBRA ran out. I always used brand names under the old plan.

I need to find lower cost drugs due to finances and since my new insurance will not cover brand names - even if generics do not exist. In order for them to pay for the meds you must switch to generics even if they don't work as well. In other words I need to switch from Cymbalta to generic Efflexor - which doesn't work for me, I had tried just about every anti-depressant before hitting on Cymbalta.

I've dealt with severe depression all my life, it's not easy as you know but you just do it. The combo of drugs I'm on now and the diagnosis and treatment based on bi-polar 2 has been a miracle. Prozac had helped somewhat for years but not anywhere to the degree this has.

There has to be a better way for people to obtain what they need. Honesty about generic versions in many cases not working as well and lowering one's quality of life needs to be publicized.

My son had a serious allergic reaction to a Bactrim generic medication. The serious reaction to a normally healthy high school athlete landed him an overnight stay in a hospital and multiple doctor visits and tests costing me $3,000 in out-of-pocket costs--- not to mention about 5 years off my life. The prescribing physician was concerned he had developed Stevens-Johnsons syndrome which is a life threatening disorder…. left untreated.

Here is my issue—after contacting the legal representative of the generic drug manufacturer, Watson Labs--- here is part of his response.

“Also, because you raised the issue of consulting an attorney, I feel obliged to inform you that, in our opinion, the recent Supreme Court decision of PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, 131 S. Ct. 2567 (2011) (“Mensing”), reh’g denied, 2011 WL 3557247 (U.S. Aug. 15, 2011) is controlling and bars the type of lawsuit you are threatening in connection with a generic pharmaceutical medicine. The Supreme Court held in Mensing that the federal regulation of generic medicines preempts state law tort claims such as those you may seek to bring in connection with your recent email to me regarding your son. However, you are certainly free to consult an attorney if you feel that is in your interest. “

Every single person in America that is taking a generic form of a prescribed medication is now unable to seek any recourse as the result of an injury.

I hope you would see this as a free pass for every generic pharmaceutical company and could put a substantial amount of lives in danger and families financially ruined with no recourse. If Toyota got a pass on product liability, no matter how good a car they build, I wouldn’t buy one.

Shouldn’t the public be aware of this? I hope you would take some time to look at this.

I was prescribed synthroid by my regular doctor and received the generic brand. However, when I went to the VA to renew my prescription there, although the synthroid looked liked the generic, it didn't act like the generic prescribed by my VA doctor. It took me about 2 months to figure it out with the help of my doctor because I "just wasn't feeling the same". Now, I only take generic meds. The VA distributes many medications with the same name as generic medications, but I think that there should be an investigation into the legitimacy of the drugs they prescribe.

My son was on generic zyprexa for 3 months for schizophrenia, he regressed. Improved again since back on the brand name but I have to pay for it myself at $16,000/year because my insurance denied coverage because the "generic" is available. So much for paying an extra premium for the policy with "brand name drug coverage."

Ask your doctor to specify name brand - he/she has to write it explicitly. At least in Colorado, the Rx must be filled. It may cost more, but not 16k year.

Mrm, 16,000 dollars a year is well within possibility when you're paying for brand name Zyprexa out of pocket. A single 20 mg pill once a day is 1250/month at Costco. I don't know how KCM could get it cheaper without better coverage. That's why this whole thing is so messed up. Who can afford that??

FWIW, I've had different experiences of different generics of Wellbutrin. My sister and I do not find Watson Buproprion 300xl effective at all, but Mylan works for me and another manufacturer works for her. Since there are so many different manufacturers it might be worthwhile trying to find one that will work rather than just going with the brand-name.

More on metoprolol: my pharmacy has generally dispensed the generic from Par Pharmaceuticals, but last month they apparently ran out and substituted one from Warner. Within a few days, I began noticing occasional flare-ups of my arrhythmia. At first I didn't make the connection... just thought my arrhythmia was taking a turn for the worse. But as soon as I got a new prescription (Par again), everything settled down. I reported this to the pharmacist, who stated that "they weren't carrying Warner any more". I hope that's the end of it, but I'll be sure to check the pills with every renewal.

My mother has had to use Prilosec for years. It works well for her, but recently we've had some financial issues and I bought her the generic omeprazole instead, as I've never had problems with generics before. I looked at the ingredients before buying, and noticed all the inactive ingredients were different (even the active ingredient appears to be slightly different), but figured it wouldn't hurt to try it. That was the wrong attitude to take.

My mother has been vomiting every night since she's started taking this, thanks to her stomach acid not being controlled. I will be returning the generic omeprazole tomorrow and spending the extra money on Prilosec. My faith in generic brands has been shaken!

I recently filled a prescription for the new generic Zyprexa (olanzapine) made by Apotex (owned by TEVA), and it does not work at all.

I took name brand Zyprexa for years, and this new generic is simply not up to snuff. I took 20 mg and did not sleep a wink. We called the pharmacy and doctor, to no avail. They are acting like I am crazy to even question the medicine.

My medicare plan only covers generic olanzapine, and the name brand is $1300 per month, which is prohibitively expensive for me. Lilly cares, a service which provides free medicine to those who cannot afford it, won't help if you have Medicare, leaving ordering online my only viable option. In the meantime, I'll probably have to switch back to Haldol.

I took generic topiramate made by Torrent for migraine prevention for 3 months. After the first several weeks side effects - tingling of my hands and face, thirst, mild depersonalization - had gone away and migraines were gone. Pharmacy switched me to Sun Pharmaceuticals' topiramate and within 2 days I felt suicidal. And had breakthrough migraines to boot. I cannot compare brand name Topamax to Torrent's or Sun's topiramate, but I do know that Sun's drug was bad.

If anyone is reading this thread... The Sandoz generic for Wellbutrin/Bupropion SR is no longer what it used to be.

I'd been stably medicated on it for several years, and then at the beginning of 2012 found that my symptoms worsened... thought the drug was just no longer working for me, until I had the bright idea to try the brand name again.

A month after starting on the brand name drug, I'm having the response that I used to have from the Sandoz generic. Way more energy, less mental fuzziness...

How do I know it's not just me? Someone else I know is also on it... and started having the same problems at the beginning of the year!

Meanwhile this took a huge toll on my academic and job performance this year, and I'm dead broke as a consequence. I don't think I'm going to go off the brand name drug again.

I've been on Effexor then Venlafaxine 37.5mg for depression for 8 years now. From the very start it alleviated my symptoms of excessive sleepiness (lack of motivation), irritability and overstimulation in social situations. Due to the success of this medication I have been wary of any suggestion to switch to generics since the beginning, but my pharmacist encouraged me to try the Teva brand around 2009/2010 & it has been a smooth transition for me. In the spring of 2012 I ran out of my meds on vacation & my symptoms of depression (listed above) returned along with withdrawal side effects of dizziness, loss of appetite, and disorientation. The out-of-town pharmacist filled my Rx with the Zydus generic brand of Venlafaxine which eliminated all my withdrawal side effects but didn't reduce any of my symptoms of depression. I was worried that I had reached a point in my life requiring me to up my dose, but then I realized the difference in manufacturers on the bottle. Upon returning home my regular pharmacist refilled my Rx with Teva and all my symptoms disappeared.

As if I needed to retest this situation, earlier this month the Teva brand was on back order so I agreed to try the Zydus brand again (no lapse in any meds this time). After 3 days on Zydus I never experienced withdrawal side effects, but all of my depression symptoms came rushing back. I just returned from my pharmacist who reassured me that the Teva brand will be in stock tomorrow.
I WON'T be 'experimenting' with Zydus Venlafaxine again!

I have been on Bupropion 150mg XL for years with great results. Last refill my RX gave me a different Wellbutrin generic mfg by Mylan. I noticed a difference in pill size /color but like most people assumed all generics were exactly the same as original Wellbutrin. Looking back I noticed within a week of switch a loss of interest in people things and activities. By week 3 I was severely depressed with suicidal thoughts. Could barely get out of bed and face the world each day even though everything in my life is better than ever. Finally realized the only change was the Mylan generic.

Called pharmacy in tears and asked a) why they changed with no mention to me and b) can I get the Bupropion ASAP. I was told because the 300 mg XL was recalled, they were no longer going to carry the 150mg XL of BUPROPION. got a 1month supply but don't know what I'll do when that runs out. :/

my pharmacy gave me a different generic Lamcictal, lamotrigine,- light blue/round/TARO/LMT 200 instead of my usual generic lamotrigine white/round/J 248 which caused immediate adverse effects of sleeplessness, nightmares, anxiety, build up of saliva where I woke up breathless and quickly needed to spit mouthful of drool in wastebasket. What are the pharmaceuticals using these days? It's like toxic street drugs. Please help with the generic fillers I don't need careless drug companies wiping out my delicate balance of stability. thanks for listening.

I posted a comment about generic Lamictal 1 minute ago, and forgot to mark box to be notified by email when follow-up comments are posted. please post to me thanks, Michelle W

Bupropion XL 300
I took the brand years ago and did very well. Stopped and then had to go back on but it. Except now I had to take generic and it did not work the same as it did before. My doctor suggested brand. It made a HUGE difference. It's like taking a clean drug vs a contaminated drug. Side effects are terrible with generic and I still felt the depression. Then my insurance changed and I had to go back to generic. Depression returned and I had no doubt now how bad the generic was because I had just gone back and forth from generic to brand and back to generic.

I have read so much about the controversy over the generic from way back in 2008 and it is now 2013. Why is the generic still being distributed?

I also had a terrible time with generic Climara patch (estrodial patch). I switched back and forth on this so I know there is a huge difference here to.

BEWARE OF COSTCO GENERIC CLONEZEPAM!!! I switched from a genereic clonezepam from Safeway to a generic from Costso, Activis "logo mark" 34. The Costco generic did not work, I took two mg and after two hours was wide awake. 2 mg of the Safeway generic taken at 10 or 10:30 pm kept me asleep till I had to go to the bathroom around 4am and then fell back asleep until 6pm.


All last month I wasn't feeling like myself. I had trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep.

When I was on the brand name of Zyprexa, I didn't have these sleeping problems. That really was my first clue.

Then when I looked back, I realized that my medication wasn't working as usual. Daily I take 30mg Lexapro and 2.5mg of Zyprexa. I zeroed in on the Zyprexa due to the unusal sleeping problems.

I finally call my primary care physician and asked that he order the brand name. I start taking it tonite.

I will let you know if I can tell the difference.

Gale G.

I have the same problem with generic Wellbutrin and I think it's terrible that so many people have to go through this. We go to the doctor because we're suffering and need help, but then we're put on this roller coaster. We're told generic is the same as the brand name but it's NOT. So we continue to suffer and think we're going crazy and we have to go back and forth with our doctors trying to get what we really need. It's not right that they keep doing this. I know that the generic brand doesn't work for me because I've tried it several times (a waste of a lot of time and money!), so I pay for the brand name even though it's a lot more expensive.

Last time I went to the doctor, he wrote DAW on the RX and sent it to Express Scripts and Express Scripts sent me generic anyway. When I called Express Scripts they said they called my doctor for permission to give me generic and he gave them the okay. All without checking with me. I might as well be taking nothing because that's the effect that the generic brand has on me. I feel terrible for people that don't know this and go to the doctor for help. People have been suffering with this for years now yet they aren't doing anything about it. When is it going to stop? It's not right! :(

My doctor got the insurance to approve the brand name Zyprexa for the reminder of the year. I can tell the difference already and it has been only about 10 days.

metoprolol succinate--I only do well on toprol XL and battling my insurance company for approval--haven't gotten it so far even though the DR has called and said I get break through A FIB on the generic (my heart rate gets too high). They say the drug is identical--well my symptoms on it aren't identical. Wake up people. We aren't making these symptoms up.

Also I don't do well on Omeprozole--I just pay more now and get prilosec over the counter. reflux came right back with omerprozole.

I hate being at the mercy of insurance companies who determine if we can get relief or not. I sure can't afford Toprol XL on my own.

Have had anxiety issues since starting to take Zydus generic oyxcodone (10mg), been on pain meds for about 2 years now due to back pain and 2 operations to fix, never had this issue before, believe it could be possibly in the fillers that they use. Has anyone else found this to be true?

That was NOT the end of it. My pharmacy went back to dispensing Warner metoprolol, despite my protests. After a couple of months on Warner, I was experiencing an irregular heartbeat all the time. I did a search of other pharmacies in the area, and found that CVS was dispensing PAR. So I'm getting my metoprolol there, and hope they don't decide to switch, too. I don't want to have to pay the "out of pocket" price for Toprol.

This may be too late but I changed from Fosamax to Boniva because my physician felt that I had been on Fos. longer than I should. Everything was fine and I loved it because it was once monthly. Then along came the insurance company and my employer. In order to reduce cost I went to the generic Ibandronate (monthly) It seems to work. Just something to discuss with your doctor.

Topomax - zydus topiramate

I was taking a generic from another company (I don't know which one.) I was recently switched to the zydus generic. It was like I had been anesthetized. I could not sit down for more than 10 minutes without falling asleep - and not for a few minutes - for an hour or more. My entire body felt numb. I could have probably slept for 18 hours a day if I would have let myself. I quit taking the drug and I was fine.

I agree with you. I have been on oxycodone 10mg for almost two years and it has worked really well. I have been able to get my life back. I got my medicine this month and it was from zydus it is terrible. It does not work and it has made me sick to my stomach and I have this weird salt like taste in my mouth that I can't get rid of.

I called the pharmacy and they talked to me like I was stupid. I am already having a problem finding a pharmacy to fill my meds anyway cause my doctor is out of town and now this. I don't know what to do and think this is so wrong. Since when did we give the government power to tell us where we can go to the doctor at and what brand of medication we get just because it is a narcotic.

I have been on Wellbutrin XL 300 mg for quite a few years now. I never knew there was a correlation between my mood swings & the unease I felt when switched from the Wellbutrin to Watson Bupropion. Its like I am not even taking them. Also I have noticed that the pill does not dissolve. I find the pills, same size & shape in my bowel movements, I notice this because I also have very loose stools. I do not know if this is another result of the Watson generic or not. I doubt my Doctor will believe me about this. Because I am an older female (60 years old) he has started thinking I am either making medical problems up or just spending my money to see him tell me nothing is wrong. What should I do and how can I make him believe me?

I have tried both Paxil CR 12.5 mg and Prozac in their generic forms at different times. Neither one of them worked for me but as soon as I switched back to the name brand I was feeling better. Both times I didn't even know they had switched my pills to generic I thought they were just made from a different manufacturer until I started to not feel as well so I checked into it and found out they were both generics. I wish we could buy the Name Brand for cheaper than it is.

Jill N.

Amlopidipine-Benazapril 5-10 generic for Lotrel made by Watson labs and purchased at Costco pharmacy is totally ineffective. My husbands BP went up to untreated numbers on this drug. I did report this to the FDA already and to the pharmacy.

I have been taking generic omeprazole for years for acid reflux. It has worked well for me. Then I got on a new insurance plan and was forced to buy through Xpress Scripts mail order for all my standing prescriptions. A the 2nd day of the new generic, I started to feel a little acidic. By day 5, I could feel the burning in the back of my throat even while standing.

Now, I actually have mini regurgitation events by the end of the day that are so acidic they burn like mad - and I am back to having the mid-chest and back pains that make me feel like I have an arrow through my mid-section.

I guess I will go buy over the counter brand name pills at a substantially higher cost and take 2 to get to my prescribed strength as I have no other choice with my prescription coverage.

I am extremely disappointed in the FDA for not stepping in to ensure mail order prescriptions are what they say they are. I am obviously getting a placebo worth nothing to me whatsoever. I am angry and not really in a position to afford this.

I am in double jeopardy as I also have to get my gabapentin through this mail order place. I use it to control chronic sciatica from an accident I was in 30 years ago. I can already feel the bottom of my foot start to ache. The only problem is, there is no over the counter solution for this. I am basically just screwed.

Quetiapine, Pharma Science (Pms) brand 100mg tabs
(generic seroquel)
Bipolar disorder

I have used quetiapine in various forms for years, including the name brand medications and several forms of generic brands. I have never had an issue with efficacy before my recent switch to the PMS, or Pharma Science brand, generic tablets.

The results of quetiapine have always been predictable, right down to how much I had eaten that day and how tired I was feeling in general. Usually about an hour after taking the tablet, my nose would suddenly get stuffy, and shortly after I would begin to feel sleepy and know that it was time for bed.

Since starting the Pms brand, the effects have been unpredictable and frightening. I could go for days with it seemingly doing nothing - no stuffy nose, mild sleepiness and generally didn't seem to be working, with mood easily irritated. Then, out of the blue, a tablet would make me feel as though I had been knocked over, very low blood pressure and weak heart, generally feeling horrible and barely make it to bed. I have stopped taking it and I'm returning it to the pharmacy today to exchange it with Novo brand, which has never failed to work consistently.

Bupropion XR 150, Mylan brand
(Generic Wellbutrin XR)

Since going off of the name brand Wellbutrin XR tablets, I noticed immediately that I was feeling sluggish and unmotivated during the day. It was definitely not doing what it was supposed to do. I have not since switched back to the name brand, because my insurance company will not cover it now that it has gone generic. I'm really hoping someone is going to start looking at the efficacy of these generic drugs because I can't effectively treat my illness with constant inconsistency in my medications.

My drug plan just switched to mandatory generic, but I was already taking a generic for percocet, oxycocet. I was told by pharmacy no longer stocking this brand. I had tied taking endocet before and found it ineffective. I was give sandoz brand 325:5 but I asked for only one week. I found myself nauseated and dizzy after each dose. I mixed tablets and asked by husband to give them as a blind test. Each time I took the sandoz I became nauseated and dizzy. ALL GENERICS ARE NOT THE SAME!!

When I looked up on web I was told the dose could vary from 7- 12% as opposed to 10% composition purity in percocet. their answer increase the dosage!! I have a deteriorating disc and this has been my treatment for 10 years with effectiveness and no need to ever increase. And now I am to increase because there is a flaw in the generic drug!!! I will be fighting the insistence for generic drugs and quite honestly my experience makes me want to insist on NO more generic drugs.


I have been taking synthroid for 20 years. My doctor has always had me on the brand name until my script was renewed and they forgot to check the do not substitute box. I didn't think anything of it and started on the levothyroxine and about 5 days in I started get heart palpitations. I called my doctor and told him what was happening and he called in a new script to my mail order pharmacy and a supply to my local pharmacy so I could go back to the synthroid right away.

About two weeks after switching back to the non-generic the palpitations stopped. I didn't think much about it until about 3 years ago when my doctor started me on a statin. The script was filled with the generic version, again about four days in I started getting palpitations, only this time they were severe. My doctor took me off the statin and referred me to a cardiologist for the palpitations. About two weeks off the generic statin the palpitations eased up, however it took about three months for them to stop completely.

I have had every heart test under the sun and everything has come back normal. About two weeks ago I was having bad chest pains and went to the er, they did all of the test, nothing, other than my blood pressure was very elevated. I followed up with the cardiologist and was put on Atenolol. Again, didn't think anything of it until about four days into taking it. The heart palpitations have started up again. My PCP has called in the non-generic version of Atenolol and wants me to follow up with the cardiologist. She is not convinced that it is the generics causing the palpitations but since they seem to go away when I stop them, I think they are the cause.

I've been taking Phentoyin Sodium (generic Dilantin) to control a seizure condition for over a decade with no problems. The last time I filled my prescription at Walgreens l was informed that they had switched generics (pretty obvious since the new pills are orange). Besides the pills tasting like crap, I have had several petit mal seizures. They are minor, but can happen several times a day. Fortunately I'm just about ready for a refill. I will be going into Walgreens tomorrow and demanding that they fill my prescription with name brand Dilantin, but only charge me for the generic. Failure to do so will result in a lawsuit.

I've been taking Phentoyin Sodium (generic Dilantin) to control a seizure condition for over a decade with no problems. The last time I filled my prescription at Walgreens l was informed that they had switched generics (pretty obvious since the new pills are orange).

Besides the pills tasting like crap, I have had several petit mal seizures. They are minor, but can happen several times a day. Fortunately I'm just about ready for a refill. I will be going into Walgreens tomorrow and demanding that they fill my prescription with name brand Dilantin, but only charge me for the generic. Failure to do so will result in a lawsuit.

I was taking Singular 10MG for my allergies and it worked really well, then I was switched to the generic Claritin which ironically I found that I'm allergic too. After that I was switched to Montelukast 10Mg ML 1 and it didn't affect me whatsoever, then I was switched most recently to another Montelukast 10mg 54 157 and it doesn't work that well. Also I was taking Nexium 40mg and it worked great, then they switched me to the generic Omeprazole 40MG and it didn't work that often, then very recently I was switched to Pantoprazole 40mg. Though, I haven't had it very long to see how it affects me yet.

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