Q. My husband has been taking Prozac successfully for years. He was recently switched to generic fluoxetine. In the last several months he has become much the same person he was before Prozac–angry, depressed and easily irritated.
The pharmacist says the generic is the exact same ingredient. Would it help for him to go back to Prozac?
A. It might be worth going back to Prozac for a trial run. Another reader had a similar experience with fluoxetine: “My husband has taken Prozac faithfully for about three years. We get our prescriptions through a mail order pharmacy.
“He sent in a new prescription for Prozac because all his refills had run out. Four to five days after the new bottle arrived I noticed a lot of his old symptoms reappearing. He said he was taking the medicine but the capsules looked different.
“The bottle was labeled fluoxetine. The mail order pharmacy told him that unless the doctor wrote ‘Dispense as Written’ they would send this generic.
“The doctor wrote him another prescription for Prozac with a note not to substitute. Within a few days of starting back on Prozac, we both could tell that the drug was working again. While he was taking the generic, it was as if he wasn’t taking any medication!”
If anyone else has a bad experience with any generic medicine, please share your story with the FDA. The agency maintains that it really does want to hear about your experience. The best way to do this is via their MedWatch reporting system. You may also want to share your story on our PeoplesPharmacy website.