Q. I have a concern about generic Wellbutrin (bupropion) manufactured by a company in India called Wockhardt. My mother has been on Wellbutrin for over a decade. She did well on the initial generic when her insurance company stopped paying for the brand name Wellbutrin.
A few weeks ago I realized that she appeared anxious and depressed. She wanted to eat all the time, just as she did before she started on the antidepressant.
I checked her prescription and found that the most recent generic refill was from Wockhardt instead of Mylan. When I searched Wockhardt online I found a record of trouble with the FDA.
These pills smell terrible. How can I tell if there is something wrong with them?
A. We talked with the quality control chemist on the original team that developed Wellbutrin. He told us that when this drug deteriorates, it has a distinct unpleasant odor.
Many people reported a bad smell with their generic Budeprion XL 300 tablets (bupropion). The FDA eventually found this formulation was not equivalent to the brand name Wellbutrin XL 300.
You are correct that the Indian drug company Wockhardt has recently run afoul of the FDA. An inspection in March uncovered many violations of good manufacturing practice at its facility in Waluj, India. That is where it makes bupropion. Because of quality concerns, an import ban has been imposed on products from that plant.