Q. I am a physician who treats many patients in chronic pain. I am convinced that generic oxycodone is only about half as effective as the brand name OxyContin. This is a huge problem for my patients. How can we get someone to investigate?

A. As a physician, you can report therapeutic failure to the FDA MedWatch program and to the generic manufacturer. Patients taking a narcotic drug of this sort are unfortunately regarded with suspicion, so your voice on your patients’ behalf is especially important.

Despite FDA reassurance about the equality of generic drugs, we have now heard from hundreds of patients who have had difficulties. For more information go to www.peoplespharmacy.com and www.ConsumerLab.com.

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  1. Ken

    I have to change my OXY 215A this month to another white generic Oxycodone and after reading up on this pass or fail of generic there are so many different opinions that there has to be something to it. All I know is the next 30mg IR I’m getting is a white pill. The 215A have saved my life thru years of chronic pain and now Im not sleeping because of this issue. I will give you an update when I finally get to try the “NEW Generic” and let you know my outcome. Thanks for listening!

  2. Chip

    I was beginning to think it was all in my head since I have had problems with alcohol in the past, I am over 24 years alcohol free and have had concerns about being on pain management for over seven years now. The latest, about two months ago I began to question what I was getting and decided to go on-line to seek ideas. There is definitely something amiss with the industry, especially when each of our congressmen entered Washington on about $170K salaries and are now multimillionaires thanks to their big pharmaceutical stock options of not having to play by the same rules that the rest of the country plays by.

    I recently requested from my doctor to increase from 10 mg. tabs to 15 mg., that was a joke, well not since I am having difficulty with the rollercoaster of this medicine. I was okay for a while but not I’m going to ask for 20 mg. tabs so I can try to try second guessing what the hell whomever is in charge is doing.

  3. Doris

    Yes, there is a generic OxyContin 40 mg. I don’t know about the 80 mg. I take the 40 mg. But most prescription insurance has pulled it from their formulary. and the generic is about 700.00 for mine w/out script insurance. I currently pay 40. with my insurance. However, Purdue has a patient assistance program that will send them to your door for free. (brand, not generic) If you have a pain management doctor, they already know the process and the forms to call and have sent. I don’t know if a regular doctor would be familiar with the program. But you can google Purdue’s phone number, call them, and they will tell you what you and your doctor need to do. I know, I lose my script insurance at the end of Dec. So my doctor is already working on the forms so I will be set up for Jan. Good luck.

  4. Le An
    Sheridan WY

    I have been using pain medication for 35 years, Oxicotin and Percocet. During this past couple years the doctors have dropped my medication 2/3rds of what I was taking. During the past year it’s been really bad, the doctors have been threatened by the government that they want nobody taking pain pills, I have since lost my income due to not being able to function because of the lack of pills and the high pain. The pain medication is not the same I believe the makers have lowered the dose of opium in the pills as they don’t help! I know this to be true as I can miss a dose and I don’t have withdrawals! Anyone else?

  5. Liz

    I too get my monthly RX Oxycodone generics and every month it’s a crap shoot! Soo many different manufacturers and a HUGE DIFFERENCE among them all!!! I was getting so mad I almost gave up. Some make me more tired, some Nausua and stomach issues, some ore sweating and most don’t really relieve the pain! The effects are soo different and mess with your general personality like crazy! I’m a upbeat person and some of these generics make u more crabby, sleepy, some more happy like my old self, really big differences!

  6. Melinda
    United States

    I switched from the Oxycotin brand label to the Oxycotin generic and its not controlling my pain! Has anyone else had this problem?

  7. RH

    I have chronic cluster headaches and fibromyalgia. My doctor recently put me on Natrexlone (think that’s the right spelling) at 2 mg to start. Normally dose given to overdosed drug users is 50 mg. Can’t believe my headaches have almost quit (I was having them every night!). Dr. has begun giving it to his fibro patients and said the maximum dose for this kind of pain reduction is 5 mg. It has to be compounded. So far his patients are having good results. Also now being used to help alcoholics stay dry. I’ve always done best with the oldest drugs as the newer ones cause serious side effects or don’t work.

  8. skrobbins

    I agree with this physician i have tried endocet and now oxcodone sandoz and they are either not effective or make me ill. GENERICS ARE NOT EQUAL!!

  9. L.M.M.

    Sir, with respect, you are completely wrong!!! I have unfortunately been on narcotics for years!! Some generics are MUCH more effective than others. Actually, my PAIN Dr.’s son, in med school, has just PROVED in a double blind study, that in fact some generics have ZERO pain relieving ingredients!!! (Mostly from CHINA, so DO ask PHARMACIST WHERE THEY WERE MANUFACTURED!!) So if you go from an average amount to zero pain relieving ingredients, of course you will have a dramatic difference in response. And in fact, there is only a slight “Placebo Affect”!!!!
    To “ASSURE” your patients that all pain relieving medications are the same, is to LIE to them. Please do more research before telling people in MISERY that it is in fact IN THEIR HEAD, WHEN IT’S NOT.

    • DSB

      I was so glad to read your post! I couldn’t agree more. I have been on a lot of pain meds
      over the years, and I find one that works(generic) I stick with it. Every time…just about
      Every time a Pharmacist says something like ” oh…try this brand they all work the same” someone just told a huge lie.
      And invariably the couple of times I gave in, I regretted it. Now your stuck.
      For the last few years I have been extremely pleased w/ the Qualitest 15 oxy. Always
      the same great results!

  10. Susan P.

    I have been on Oxycontin for the past 15 years for chronic bone pain following Chemo and surgery for Malignant Histioxytosis. Two weeks ago -March 15, 2014 My insurance company took it off the formulary! They gave us no warning -they just stopped it!
    Fortunately I was able to get a different strength to keep me pain free and out of withdrawal, but this week they removed the other strengths from the formulary! This SHOULD be illegal! So many people’s lives are so adversely affected by this!! My pharmacist said he heard that Oxycontin is going to be available in the generic form again. Has anyone ed heard this? Is there any truth to this?? I truly hope so!!

  11. rp

    Most of what you had to say was correct. Oxycontin contained Oxycodone (basically the pure form of the medication), Acetam. and codeine. It was created to control all types of Chronic Pain including post operative pain. Also, my friend whichever your talking about (oxycodone or oxycontin): both are Opioids. So therefore, what I, m saying is: is that Oxycontin was not created for patients who are opiod resistant. Rather, it was created to combat all types of chronic pain.

  12. JA

    I sincerely pray, madpharm, that you, or anyone you actually care about, never has any type of incurable disease like the patients on this site endure every day of our lives; 24/7; 365 days a year. I honestly don’t think that you could tolerate the pain that I do, or the pain these other people live with; if you ever did, you would have never written such an uninformed statement lacking in simply humane treatment of the unfortunate customers you have who pay your bills.
    madpharm, I took myself off of morphine sulphate and trazadone. When my Dr. wrote me a prescription for Oxycontin, after taking 2 capsules, each 1 was taken 2 days apart to see if I had the same horrible side-effects, I took the whole bottle back to my Dr., minus 2 capsules and explained that I didn’t know who could tolerate that medication but it wasn’t me. I had him count them in front of me and my husband; then, he wrote me my normal pain medicine which is Percocet 10-325. Now, I was given the new generic by a different manufacture and it does nothing to ease my pain and then I find that Watson has stopped making it’s generic and that the company that makes the “brand name” is going to stop making that, as well.
    I am facing the amputation of both my feet and, most likely, my entire right leg. So, madpharm, hence my prayer for you and those you love. You do not know what you’re saying, I assure you. Yes, the majority of generics work just fine; but, any other maker of generic Percocet, Watson, is completely ineffective. I’ve outlived the “experts” opinion by nearly 5 years through shear willpower and God’s will. Now, I’m holding on to God as hard as I can and begging him to help me endure this pain which would cause most people to just give up; lay down; and die.
    Until you’ve lived with that level of pain, or lived with someone who has to, like my husband, perhaps you would serve your customers much better if you had an epiphany and realized how wrong you are about this one issue. I sincerely wish you good luck because if you ever suffer as I do, you’re going to need a lot more than luck to get you through Hell on Earth.

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