The People's Perspective on Medicine

Generic Drug Equality Questioned

ConsumerLab.com Finds Generic Antidepressant Behaves Differently from Original Drug.  May Explain Complaints by Patients.

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK AND DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA  — ConsumerLab.com reported today that its tests of a generic version of the popular antidepressant drug Wellbutrin showed differences between the generic and original that might explain recent consumer complaints about the generic product.  In February, readers of The People’s Pharmacy® syndicated newspaper column began reporting problems with a generic version of once-a-day Wellbutrin XL 300.  Prior to generic competition, annual U.S. sales of Wellbutrin XL 300 mg were nearly one billion dollars.

The ConsumerLab.com report, available at www.consumerlab.com/results/wellbutrin-bupropion.asp, shows that the generic product released drug at a very different rate than the original Wellbutrin XL.  Tests also showed that two generic bupropion SR (twice-a-day) products released drug somewhat differently – although these were within the fairly wide limits permitted by the FDA.  Time-released generic drugs often use tablet technologies different from the original product, possibly explaining the variations found.

Personal accounts posted at www.peoplespharmacy.com generally indicate that while taking the brand name antidepressant Wellbutrin XL 300 for months or years, people felt well and their psychological symptoms of depression were successfully controlled. After switching to a generic formulation many reported symptoms such as headaches, irritability, nausea and insomnia – known side-effects of bupropion. Others shared stories of becoming easily upset or aggressive, crying, gaining weight or experiencing a return of depressive symptoms. Some reported thoughts of suicide while taking the generic form of Wellbutrin. A large number of accounts note that returning to the original product brought symptoms under control.

Joe and Teresa Graedon, co-authors of The People’s Pharmacy®, immediately reported these cases to officials at the Food and Drug Administration who assured the Graedons that the FDA would look into the issue. The agency has not yet reported the results of its investigation.  The Graedons, aware of ConsumerLab.com’s experience in testing health and nutrition products, suggested that it initiate laboratory testing to see whether there was any measurable difference between the generic formulation and the originator product.

Tod Cooperman, MD, President of ConsumerLab.com, stated that “This information shatters the myth that generics are always identical to the original and it questions the belief that generics are always equivalent. Even if the active ingredient is the same, releasing it at a different rate may alter a drug’s effects.”  He added, “Generic drugs are essential to keeping medical costs down, but consumers and healthcare providers need to be aware of the potential differences among products otherwise thought to be the same.  Generics are not clinically tested for safety and efficacy, so the consumer will be the first to find out if there is a problem.”  ConsumerLab.com intends to publish additional reports on generic drugs on its website.

The testing was funded by ConsumerLab.com without drug company involvement. The full report is available to ConsumerLab.com subscribers at www.consumerlab.com/results/wellbutrin-bupropion.asp.  The report includes test results, information about other generic versions of bupropion on the market, and a list of other popular extended-release generic drugs.  The Graedons and The People’s Pharmacy® receive no financial support from pharmaceutical companies. Reports of generic drug problems by consumers are posted at www.peoplespharmacy.com.

ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Reviews of popular types of vitamins and supplements are also available at www.consumerlab.com.  Soon to be released are new Product Reviews of magnesium, resveratrol (red wine extract), potassium, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and turmeric. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online.  The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.

The People’s Pharmacy® is a leading provider of consumer health information. Joe Graedon, MS, pharmacology, and Teresa Graedon, PhD, medical anthropology, have been writing a syndicated newspaper column (distributed by King Features Syndicate) for 29 years. They co-host The People’s Pharmacy® radio show heard on more than 125 public radio stations. They have written more than 10 consumer-related health books that address pharmaceuticals, herbs and dietary supplements.

For further information, contact Tod Cooperman, MD, at: tod.cooperman@consumerlab.com
Joe or Teresa Graedon can be reached at: peoplespharmacy@gmail.com

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I just want to let others know that I have been taking generic Prozac for 15 years successfully, that is until the last month. I was shipped a different manufacturer of generic fluoxetine, made by Aurobindo out of India and almost immediately I was back in full blown depression and anxiety. Upon doing more research there is growing evidence that some of the Indian and Chinese manufacturers aren’t following FDA guidelines. I am now getting better today while being on Par Pharmacy tablet fluoxetine. Teva is also highly recommended, an Israeli company.
I had not had any type of relapse to this extent since being diagnosed over 20 years ago!

Generic prozac does not work for me. How can I get an affordable brand

The insurance company wouldn’t pay for the name brand Prograf anymore. They said they needed proof that she couldn’t take the generic. My 6 yr old was switched to the generic form. Within months her mild eczema became severe and covered her entire body, face and head. After numerous derm appointments, creams, bleach baths and other treatments I switched her back to the name brand Prograf. Within WEEKS, her skin improved . We are four months back on Prograf and her skin is almost 100% better. It was a horrible experience for us and one that should have never happened.

Prograf vs. generic. Insurance company refused to pay for brand so have been on generic for two months. Experiencing extreme fatigue, low energy, and difficulty sleeping. Transplant clinic tested me for rejection of heart transplant. All is well, thank god, but I want to go back on brand name. In process of appealing to insurance company.

Generic seems to prevent rejection as it should, but my daughter had an extreme skin reaction. She had eczema already but it got much much worse while using the generic form of Prograf. I’ve always been fine with generics working, but there is something different in this one that caused a horrible reaction.

Prozac vs. Generic fluoxetine. Mylan tabs make me anxious and upsets stomach. Sandoz caps good on stomach……woke up crying.
Want to go back to brand name.

My pharmacy recently switched me to a different generic brand of wellbutrin and I start to experience headaches, nausea, irritability and the ability to focus on anything specific. I swiched back and within a few days these symptoms disappeared. I just wanted to post this for anyone who has gone through the same experience. Hope this info can be helpful.

@Maggie – not sure about Diovan but my wife is on Klonopin and cannot use the generic for similar reasons (she has tried but it IS NOT THE SAME). We pay big bucks each month for the name brand and insurance covers only about 10% because a generic is available. It is a farce and a shame!

Has anyone else seen a difference between MANUFACTURERs of generics? I was on Diovan HCTZ, and was switched to the generic Valsartan HCTZ and my pharmacy provided the one supplied by Sandoz. This month, they switched to the one manufactured by Mylan. It does not feel so effective. Can different generic producers make similar but different products?

I am an RN and have always been thought thought that people who reported different results from generics to be exaggerating. I have been on Lexapro for 7 years and was delighted when the cheaper generic version was available as I pay out of pocket. Two weeks in on the generic and I was crashing emotionally. I switched back to the Lexapro and evened out emotionally. I buy the 20 mg tablets and cut them in half. Don’t know if this affects something in the generic version, but what I experienced was akin to stopping the drug abruptly.

How would one know whether the generic brands of eyedrops for glaucoma (Dorzolamide and Lantanoprost) are effective? If my generic eye drops aren’t effective, I would slowly and imperceptibly start losing my vision? Any suggestions?
Thank you

I have never taken Wellbutrin but was put on Bupropion extended release, at first it was great then WOW… I like the person above was so verbally abusive and just plain mean and I couldn’t understand why, this was not how I had ever acted. I did also in fact gain weight, fast like 10 pounds of what seems purely stomach fat. I wore a size 3 when I started and now I’m in 5 and 7s-WTH? I was on it from 02/2012 to just 3 weeks ago and I am a lot nicer person now. But I bet it takes me a lot longer to lose this stomach fat.

I took the Azithromycin also and noticed a big difference. Didn’t work like the z pack

I took Lamotrigine also and started having anxiety attacks in the morning. I never had them before and didn’t understand it at the time but now I know they were anxiety . I woke up feeling like something awful was happening and fearful and would cry every morning. Started feeling scared when out places, was more depressed than ever in my life.

I have had problems with Lamotrigine also. I never took the Lamictal but was put on Lamotrigine with terrible results that changed my life! I have depression, not manic but was given this drug. After one month I started going to a regular family Dr who continued to give it to me but never asked any questions about how I was doing. I did not know what was happening to me but I became suicidal, crying everyday. I thought it was for depression so the more depressed I got the more I increased the dose! I started to not care about anything. Everything started changing, time seemed to slow down, I cried everyday, couldn’t do the things I use to do like cooking, cleaning.
The worst part was when I started losing my memory and couldn’t remember how to drive from one place to other. It’s like my brain slowed down. I went off of it two years ago and I am still not the same as I was before taking it! I can’t get a Dr to realize that this medicine did something to my brain. It was really scarily how my thoughts changed and my personality. Like I had no control over my thoughts while on it. I took it for 15 months. I wish I knew how to undo what ever it did. I want to be like I was again. I still have memory problems two years later. I was a person who was always up and going and cleaning and never sat down [like ADHD] now all of that is gone. My mind is so messed up now. Has anyone had these changes then got better later?

clonidine
Inconsistent control of target b.p. symptoms, especially systolic. We previously detailed our observations & investigations, but, with no feedback, not sure it was noticed.
If memory serves well, we recall settling on a supplier used by target. We had to change to rite aid, where we noticed their “equivalent” did not fully control the b.p. & they special-ordered the target version. After numerous refills, there would be batches that seemed to fail, or be inconsistent from dose to dose.
We google searched the supplier, a new jersey-israel connection, if we remember well? what we saw was not reassuring, let alone encouraging. The supply chain left doubts about parts of shipments’ exposure to humidity/heat, etc. & we noticed minor texture/color variations in the same refilled. Yet, there are so many variables in the physiology to complicate the isolation of pharmacological parameters that making a case is daunting. Still, something more than a “hoax” was going on to frustrate affecting an effective remedy.

I am very concerned about generic drug manufacturers that are providing substandard medication. In May, I transferred generic soma (carispoprodol 350mgs) from CVS to Rite Aid. Rite Aid gave me a generic made by Aurobindo Pharma. The medication was a complete therapeutic failure, similar to taking sugar pills.
Also, I had recently transferred my omeprazole DR (generic prilosec) from CVS to Rite Aid. With CVS’s generic, I was able to reduce my dosage to one a day rather than the two per day as prescribed. When I started using Rite Aid’s generic of prilosec, my heartburn made it necessary to go back up to two per day. I am seriously questioning the integrity of Rite Aid’s generic pharmaceutical choices.
I also received a bottle of my generic simvastatin from Rite Aid which included two pills that looked similar but had completely different markings. The color was off, so I’m glad I noticed it before taking it. Does anyone else have the same issues and concerns with Rite Aid’s generic drugs?
I love my Rite Aid pharmacy, but I love my health more. I’ll be transferring all of my generics back to CVS.

Please can someone let me know if what pill code is GC 101 my pharmacy said it is acetaminophen, but another pharmacy told me that it is Bupropion for depression I would very much like to know because there has been headache, twitching, seizure done EEG, X tray and everything doctor cannot find out what is wrong.

I too was doing extremely well on brand name Dexedrine. the only manufacturer is is Barr for the IR tabs. Teva has taken over. I do not feel any effect when taking them. I know there have been shortages during the last few months. I am curious to know if the latest batches of meds have been adulterated, watered down, to stretch out the active ingredient.
We are all very frustrated, and there are no other manufacturers to go to. Sort of a monopoly where the patient has no options.
Best of luck. Hopefully there will be some light at the end of the tunnel.

I was on name brand Wellbutrin XL for years. I had no depression, no anxiety, lots of energy. I lost 50 lbs in a year with proper diet and exercise. The Wellbutrin completely took my sweet tooth away. Then the dreaded generic version came out. Because my insurance co. will no longer pay for the name brand, I was forced to use the generic brand. I hate it!! My depression has returned, my anxiety has returned. I know exactly when it is going to hit… in the mid afternoon, I become a crying mess and I have no desire to do anything!
It is by far the worse feeling I have every felt. If any one is considering taking the generic form of Wellbutrin, I would say if you do not feel 100% better with in a few weeks, do not waste your time with continuing on it. Wellbutrin is a great medicine… the generic in my opinion is a joke!

What could be causing me to burp up liquid which awakens me from a deep sleep?

Hundreds of users complaining of issues with Wellbutrin generics, but not listing the generics lab name (this is VERY important for some of us). I have been battling depression for over 6 years, now. Standard SSRIs do nothing for me, so my doctor told me to try Bupropion (for it’s increase in energy as well as help with calming food cravings). I started Bupropion (By Actavis) 2 weeks ago. I’m currently taking Two 150mgs tablets of the XL version. I will report back in 4 weeks with how I am doing.
When my doctor first placed me on this I asked for name brand right off the bat, however she said insurance won’t pay for it. I’m going to try this route and if I don’t continue to feel it’s best for me, I will pay out of pocket.
I find that right now the medication takes around 2-3 hours to take effect after ingesting. It feels like it dumps into my system at that time leaving me with a stoned and dazed feeling. After that feeling goes (around 20 minutes) I have a brief period of mental clarity and feeling more like a normal person. That, too, goes after about 30-40 minutes. The rest of the day is a crap shoot.
I agree with what some have said on here that the medication (generic versions) dump into your system right off the bat. I also agree that those like myself and others that feel it dumps too quickly should try the generic brand of standard wellbutrin (NOT SR or XL) That will take away the timing issue all together.

Had onset of dizziness that gradually decreased toward evening. Blood work, ent, neurology-brain mri found no anomalies. A reveiw of timeline disclosed a switch from brand name Uraxatral to generic. Switching to generic about the same time as onset of dizziness appeared to be the problem. Went off generic and back to brand name Uraxatral and symptoms disappeared. Obviously the generic is not the same as name brand.

My doctor prescribed Yasmin (a birth control pill) for me a few years ago to treat a hormone imbalance. The Yasmin treats my symptoms perfectly. However when the generic version Ocella was created, my pharmacy substituted it for the Yasmin, and all my prior symptoms returned (irritability, hair falling out, problems with my period, etc). My doctor began instructing the pharmacy not to substitute the generic Ocella. As of this year, my insurance company is starting to charge a lot more for non generic medications and my out of pocket cost has almost doubled. I think this is totally not fair, since the generic meds are often way inferior to the brand name meds. I think the FDA needs to investigate this issue and require generic drugs to be identical to brand name ones!

I have similar feelings about my insurance premiums, and I feel for you, RAS!

I am not sure this website can do anything regarding an insurance company’s refusal to pay SOMETHING on Brand named Zoloft but thought I’d share my story anyway, at least to relieve great frustration! After many trial medications Zoloft worked the best for maintaining my diagnosis of depression/anxiety/PTSD. I have been on this for probably 20 years with very little side effects. It started out with at least 80% being paid for which was do able.
Then along came the generic Sertraline HCL Mfg Northstar. I thought “great!” less expense. This generic caused me an upset stomach and some vomiting so I promptly went back to Zoloft. As the years went by, the cost to me went up but was still do able. In 2011, my husband was laid off so I am covering both of us on my insurance. Come to find out, they have Zoloft on a 3rd tier drug list and I was told even with a doctors written order they will not cover this drug.
My company recently changed their drug company and I was turned down again for coverage. So stupidly I thought I’d give that same generic a try again to save ME money. This time, it caused me great acid reflux symptoms and nausea, I had a small panic attack (which I haven’t had in years!) besides feeling drowsy. I am definitely off of that and back on Zoloft to the tune of $162.00 out of pocket (the price fluctuates) for a 30 day supply. I will be paying cash for it but it bothers me that I pay over 400.00 in premiums per month and have a high deductible that I can’t meet in a year and the insurance company won’t even pay a percentage of the cost for that drug!

Thank you so much, RJC. This addressed exactly what was going on with me, and I appreciate your level-headed approach. In January 2012, Walgreens was no longer covered in network by my insurer — Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. So when I switched to a different pharmacy, they filled my generic BupropionHCI 150 XL with a pre-filled bottle from Anchen.
The little white tablets look *almost* the same as before, but there’s a subtle difference. And it caused a huge difference in me. I began feeling listless, sleeping 4-6 extra hours during the day, plus longer at night. The exact same scenario happened last July (2010) when I had to get my prescription filled in New York because I was out of town for work. I’m pretty sure that one was from Anchen, as well, because it came in a pre-filled, white bottle. (But I can’t be 100% sure and I don’t still have that bottle.)
I guess my point is, if you’re taking a generic form of Wellbutrin (which I’m quite willing to do), it may require some legwork checking with different pharmacies to see what manufacturers they carry, depending on how you react to different generics. This is just unfortunate, because that testing time results in a lot of lost productivity and normalcy. For many of us who are depressed, it doesn’t become immediately apparent to us that we’re slipping unless pointed out by a friend or family member.

I read your info in the Atl. Journal & Const. (AJC) about yellow mustard and cramps. I have a good one for you.
Most people who take niacin experience blushing. A simple cure to eliminate this blushing is to eat one or two tablespoons of applesauce. I use this every day and it works. A nurse in Charleston, SC told me about this.

I’ve been on 15mg oxycodone for a few years on different generics. 3 days ago I got one that I had never gotten before. I realized it was not as effective as any of the others. I called the pharmacy and was told there was nothing they could do to help me.
They said there is a shortage and they have to use whatever they can get, I’m now going through withdrawal be cause the dose must be to low. This is a disgrace in the country we live in I’ve been wondering if anyone else has had this issue with this drug. Please comment if you can to let me know the pill has a 187 and is green.

I took the generic for seroquel. it is normally called quetiapine but the boxes were labeled qutipin and it is made in India. Normally seroquel has a sedative effect and I take them an hour before bed. These overstimulated my mind and I got very little sleep. I purchased them through a canadian pharmacy as the generic is not sold in the U.S. Sadly, U.S. seroquel is cost prohibitive with my insurance plan which covers no preventative care, especially for preexisting conditions.
It is hard to be self employed and get treatment for mental illness. I wish I had been born in Europe or Canada.

Avoid the yellow pills if you need more than 150mgs a day. Express Scripts forced me over from another white and similar generic I had been using for years, to the oval yellow pills. Not only did I feel odd, it gave me massive headaches and changed my anti-coagulation scores significantly. I felt like I was close to getting a stroke. The local pharmacist said they won’t sell it at all anymore, because especially people at the 300mg level had such bad experiences. Very risky that the FDA still allows it to be sold.

I was given the generic for the Z-Pac for infection. I took it as directed and continued to get worse. When I returned to the doctor she had to give me Levaquin (sp), brand name, I was 90% better in two days. When examining the generic Z-Pac container I found it was made in Zegred, Croatia.
Since then I have noticed that most of our medicines are made outside the country where there is no meaningful inspection or regulation. And those politicians who were against the health reform insist we cannot get medicine from Canada because it will not be as safe as the USA medicine. Ba Humbug. The drug companies buy from other countries and tell us the medicines are safe, charge exorbitant prices and expect us to keep quiet.

What works for others may not work for you. So my advice it take it and see how you feel. You will know with in a day or two. If there is a generic that works for you call different pharmacies until you find one that carries it. I found that Osco Drugs will work with you and order the manufacturer you need. Where as Walgreen’s will not. They buy in bulk and whatever their buyer selects is what you get. Talk to the pharmacist and see if they can order the one that works for you.

I was taking budprion by teva and had major side effects,head aches irritability, weight gain among other symptoms and that pill was round and white. My pharmacy gave me another generic and this one says bupropion hcl sr and its a round blue pill w/ the letter E and the number 410(Eon labs). Does anyone have any experience w/ this pill? Did it work for you? What were your symptoms? Thank u

Freedom Of Information act or FOIA means you have to put your request in writing. There is a form specifically for this. This means they have to tell you. Are you sure that is what they said?

Was forced to switch to the generic form of Effexor XR, noticed within 1 week the medication made me feel horrible!! Unfortunately because this generic is now offered my insurance expects me to pay $87.00 per month for my script!! I am so lucky my pharmacist is a wonderful person, (Rite Aid Pharmacy) and told me about a script card that is offered by Wyeth pharm. to help with the cost as long as you meet the criteria.

If people cannot afford this medicine in the first place — why don’t you make this report free to those who really need it? I just spent $575 on a ONE MONTH supply today because I cannot take the generic. I took the generic and it did not work as well; I had a mini meltdown.
I have tried doing this with another medication that I take and the same result happened — that brand name drug is almost $300 for a ONE MONTH supply. People cannot afford this, I depend upon my parents as I am still a student that was kicked off government insurance because I am “too old”.
My income is technically $0! I tried applying back to the insurance that my family is still on, including my brother, but they would not take me because of pre-existing conditions, which affects more than half of the population of the US. Therefore I am stuck with the only insurance that will take me, the state — which is for all the rejects.
I cannot even chose my own health insurance and until 2014, no one else will accept me onto their policy! By then my family, who is already in debt, will have spent another $26,000 on medication ALONE (I take about 5 medications) just to keep me sane and from killing myself! Shame on these companies! They are robbing the poor just to get rich; it’s like a modern day version of Robin Hood with King Pharmaceutical Companies.

I get very upset when my own primary physician doesn’t believe me about the generic arimidex! The cancer oncologist took me off of it, but the primary physician made a smart remark. Generic is not the same, and I had to stop the drug.
Insurance won’t pay for original! Come on everyone, we have to fight back! The FDA even said they had complaints, but couldn’t tell me what they were, because of the Freedom Of Information act! All they do is lie to us, and it makes me mad!

I have had the same experience as many others with the Wellbutrin XL & SR. Brand works wonders, generic does not work at all. I have had a similar experience with Topamax. I’ve been on it for years for migraine prevention and as a mood stabilizer.
When the generic came out, I was excited as it was 1/6 of the price. Within days of switching, I had a migraine…. a week later, another… 3 days later, yet another. On top of it all, I felt like crying (which could have been because I was in so much pain). Had some of the brand so, on the advice of my doctor, started taking those again… no migraines. Have had to fight with the insurance every year to get them “pre-authorized”, but it’s well worth it to be basically “migraine-free”.
On another note, my husband has been taking Mylan allopurinol 300mg for years for gout. While he still has an occasional attack (because he does not watch his diet carefully enough and can’t resist Italian Sausage, which he knows triggers an attack… silly man!), for the most part, it is well controlled. He recently switched his prescription to another pharmacy with “$4 generics”.
He noticed the pill was a different color, but doesn’t buy into the “all generics are not created equal” philosophy… he doesn’t even believe that there is a difference between brand and generic… thinks it’s “all in my head”. At least, he did until NOW… his most recent prescription was filled with Qualitest allopurinol and since he started taking it, he has had daily diarrhea about 8 hours after taking it (you could pretty much set your watch by it), regardless of what he does/doesn’t eat/drink when taking it.
The WORST part of all of this is that I WORK in a pharmacy and have to look people in the eye and LIE to them and tell them “your pills might LOOK different, but it’s the same medication and will work the same way” whenever we change generic manufacturers or a medication becomes available in generic :(

I was on Arimidex for 4 years, after radiation treatments for breast cancer, which wasn’t in lymph nodes. Arimidex has some side effects, but, I put up with them, for 4 years. When Arimidex lost the patent, and it became generic, then, I started having problems with the generic.
Stomach upset, headache, and my memory would come and go. Went off of it, and reported it to FDA. Was put on Femara, and it wiped me out with fatigue. Mind went blank while driving, and that did it. Only happened for a split second, but, I didn’t know where I was. I am now off of the Aromatase Inhibitors. They need to study these side effects more.
Madeline

Used Ambien brand for years all fine. Company switched to generic, did not work, doctor wrote DAW, with each script, Caremark refuses it, calls him, he resends it DAW, over and over each prescription.
Have told them there is only one generic company that worked, and Dr. Reddy’s never does, they would guarantee or respond to anything other than the generic they use at the moment. If you see where generics by certain companies are actually manufactured, like Dr. Reddy’s, which has also been a problem with generics of diabetic meds for me, it is hard not to ask questions about quality control.
When the patient can describe clearly what works and what doesn’t, the doctor who is the script source responds appropriately, and the company repeatedly tries to force a generic, and changes it with every script, and spends time asking the doctor to change it over and over, even when it is a DAW, what are patients or consumers at the mercy of?
It is not medical, it is economic. Anyone trained in bio-medical field who understands that they are active ingredients, and pathways of delivery, changes in manufacturing processes and orders and matrixs the drugs are in, do not and cannot guarantee that they work with same dosage, timing, or effects.
What recourse is there in this new area of problems with generics and who mediates such complaints and might advocate for patient rights for what actually works for the patient medically?

Effexor XR is the med I have been taking. I am just realizing the stuff I have been experiencing for the last SEVERAL weeks/months may be as a result of my switch to generic.
I was taking Effexor XR and have increased up to a dose of 300 mg and for the most part it seems to take care of most of my symptoms. Occasionally I still have problems with counting and repeating words or phrases, but I am typically functional and doing well with most daily activities. I get my prescriptions filled at the pharmacy in the hospital where I work and get 3 months worth at a time. The last time I went to fill my meds, they asked if I would like the generic as it is now available. I said sure, since I have not had a problem with generics in the past.
I didn’t think anything of it until I noticed last week that several times over the course of this round of meds, I have felt like I was going into withdrawal in the mornings even though I had taken my meds. I was getting the “shocks” that I get when I forget to take my meds for a day or two even though I take my medicine every day at the same time.
I have also noticed that my throat is scratchy like when I was having an allergic reaction to a medicine in the past. I originally thought it was the water I drink as I am getting the feeling when I drink water and coffee, but over the weekend noticed that I get that feeling no matter what I drink. Now after going to Web MD and looking up my symptoms, I saw that it could be a reaction to medications.
So I googled Effexor XR and saw that “problems” popped up in the search bar auto complete so I decided to click on it. After reading for like the last hour, I am convinced the generic version of Effexor XR by TEVA is not the same thing as the original med. I will no longer be taking the generic and will try to never take a generic by TEVA. I can’t believe there is not a better system to make sure generics are what they are supposed to be. Here is to hoping I will feel better when I get to switch back and hoping this scratchy throat doesn’t get worse before I can get my meds.

My daughter has been taking YAZ for several years for severe, disabling cramps. The pharmacy switched her to a generic and the cramps reappeared. She suffered for several months, not realizing what was going on. When I told her about a generic problem that I had had, she switched back to YAZ and all is fine.

Had similar experiences with statins in treating out of control cholesterol. Results were disappointing. Results with Lipitor were dramatic. Dr says it’s like looking at a different person.

I have had similar reactions to generic Welbutrin XL however my insurance company will not pay for the brand name. Is there any way to get the brand name so I will start feeling well again?

I have been taking Actavis brand buproprion xl for several years with no problem. My pharmacy switch me to Mylan brand 2 months ago. I could not figure out what was wrong with me. I was exhausted all the time. My doctor ran all kinds of blood tests only to find that everything was normal. It finally hit me about the change in manufacturers.
I have all the symptoms of depression except for crying. There is definitely a HUGE difference in effectiveness of Mylan brand to the other. My doctor has changed me to Effexor today because the brand named Wellbutrin will cost me $225 even with my insurance! Crazy!

I am taking the Mylan bupropion XL generic brand of Wellbutrin. It is not the same. I was on actavist generic brand and it worked for me. But with the mylan one I am falling apart. Very weepy. On the weekends will stay in my pj’s all day. Lots of anxiety and anger. I will just flip real easily. This is not good. Calling my doctor tomorrow. I tried it for a month and felt like I was getting worse and worse. Now I am on the edge and I will pay out of pocket for the Welluburtin XL

I recently began taking Fluoxetine, which is generic prozac. My first 90 day supply was made by Mallinckrodt – it was seriously a life saver. Absolutely no complaints. A week and a half ago I had to refill the prescription and went back to the Kaiser Pharmacy and was given the Teva version of this.
Within a day or 2 I noticed that it was not the same drug as before. Immediately became depressed, anxious, headaches etc. I have been in touch with my Kaiser Doctor and he suggested that I find another pharmacy that carries the previous brand so he can call the prescription in there. After reading the symptoms from the Wellbutrin study – it looks like the same thing is happening to me.

Please perform the same tests on Barr pharmaceutical’s Adderall substitute. I find the effectiveness of my daily dosage varies from month to month and even sometimes from day to day. I cannot afford the brand name Adderall, and my doctor says there is no difference between the brand name and the generic.
I cannot function in school or in the workplace when I never know from day to day whether my medication is going to work or not. I have at different times been on dosages from as low as 20mg per day to as high as 60mg per day, and twice I have contacted my doctor and the pharmacy to complain that my medication was not working, only to be brushed off.
Has anyone tried filing a FOIA on the FDA to obtain the number of complaints from doctors and patients regarding the difference between brand name drugs and generics?

Found your site researching info as I am trying to see if I can appeal the copay I must pay for Wellbutrin XL 300mg with Medco. I would love to take the generic; but I, like many others, had terrible side effects. Medco will dispense the brand, but it costs me $341.88 every 3 months and I have been laid off from my job. Help! Someone must hear us that the generic is not the same as brand with Wellbutrin XL 300mg. About a year ago I did report the adverse reactions to the FDA.
We must all do this – but they must act on the information!!! These costs are depressing me more. Maybe I should just go off of it.

I agree… Not all generic forms of medication are equivalent to other generics. For example, currently I am prescribed Clonazepam 1 mg x3 daily for severe panic disorder and to help control my rapid heart rate (all together, and prescribed a beta-blocker). My personal pharmacy usually carries Teva Brand (a green pill = Clonazepam 1 mg). However, last month when I got my prescription filled, they used Qualitest Pharmaceuticals (a blue pill = Clonazepam 1 mg).
While using the Qualitest Pharmaceuticals Brand Clonezapam 1 mg x3 daily, I was completely free of any panic disorder. For the first time in 11 years, I did not have a panic attack the entire month I was taking this brand medication and my heart rate regulated. Instead of resting at 130-140 and jumping to 160-170 bpm.
Now, I am back to the Teva Brand Clonezapam… And within about 3 days I can already tell a difference in my anxiety level (and heart rate goes with it). It it extremely high and I have already had a couple of panic attacks. At this exact moment, it is 3 a.m. and I can not sleep, probably because my heart rate is 137.
On my last Dr.’s visit, I told the Dr. that I had a really good month… No attacks, heart rate was in good range (along with a beta-blocker). I thought things were looking up for me for once. I thought I was getting my life back under control after 11 years. I was using a medication that was working for my disorder. However, I was fooled! Going back to the Teva Brand Medication, I am still in the same shape; under control somewhat, but not like last month while using Qualitest.
Since the pharmacy I use is kinda like a “Mom & Pop’s” Drug Store, I ask if they could get the Qualitest Brand Medication back. Their reply to me was, “We have people sitting all-day long searching Pharmaceutical Companies to compare prices, and we always go with what is cheaper. Last month Qualitest was cheaper. Actually, it is always cheaper, but we use Teva anyway!”
I thought to myself, “What? Isn’t that an oxymoron?”
I did a little research to follow-up. Yes, I come from a small town with 12 pharmacies… But there is a Wal-Mart Pharmacy, Wal-Greens, Rite-Aid, etc… Wal-Mart and Wal-Greens carry Mylan Brand and all the others………. TEVA!
Thankfully, I have an appointment with a Heart Specialist next month. Although, I’ve already completed an EKG, EEG and wore a 24-hr Heart Monitor. Results: Rapid Heart Rate due to Anxiety (go figure).
I might as well take a placebo than a TEVA BRAND MEDICATION!!!

many times you get what you pay for….also the Toprol-XL generics were pulled last year…no good!

Several years ago the pharmacist refilled my Wellbutrin prescription with the generic from Teva. Within days I started falling apart — crying uncontrollably and feeling like I was heading back into major depression. I went back to my pharmacists and asked why he replaced the name-brand Wellbutrin with the generic without making me aware of this switch. He said if the doctor doesn’t make a note on the prescription to prescribe the name brand than the generic is used.
This is wrong! I tried to return the Teva produced pills, and of course the pharmacist wouldn’t nor would he replace them with the real Wellbutrin. I was able to get a few pills to carry me over until I could get another prescription from my doctor, but my insurance wouldn’t pay since the Teva medication had already been dispensed. Trust me … the generic is not the same.

I have the same experience with the generic Celexa… I get pills that look different all the time. They are generic. All do not work the same as the brand name.

Arimidex and Anastozole (generic):
I had been taking Arimidex for about 3.5 years. It’s an oral chemotherapy drug for types of breast cancer, often given to patients to extend treatment in those who have already gone through the intravenous chemo protocols. Originally, I was told that the Arimidex had certain side effects and I was aware, thankfully, of only a few that were the most obvious. For me they were bone pain, headaches, fatigue, and peripheral neuropathy (tingling in fingers and toes) which can lead to paralysis. I am lucky that it didn’t happen to me. There were such severe side effects from the intravenous drugs that it really took awhile to become aware of additional side effects of the pills I started taking directly after that course of therapy. Thank God I’m in remission which is why I am still taking this drug. After all I’ve been through for this disease, I feel it would be senseless to stop treatment now.
When the company AstraZeneca lost the patent (it expired) on the med they had developed, the insurance company forced me to now buy the generic. I did research the company that produces it in India. If it was China, I would not have even started taking it.
I tried the Anastozole for 1 week. I had pronounced fatigue and spontaneous bruising on my arms and legs. I could not work. I could barely get out of bed. I am lucky I have the husband I do. He was on the phone with the insurance company’s pharmacist for about 1 & 1/2 hours. This was on a Friday afternoon and my doctor had gone for the weekend. They agreed to underwrite part of the cost of the original drug bringing my out-of-pocket to $140. Prior to the Arimidex going generic it was costing me $350 due to my insurance company now invoking a high annual pharmacy deductible . This is for 30 little pills.
Take away from my experience: Generics are NOT the same and according to the individual there can be serious interactions when taking a generic, as any drug that is new to your system. The active ingredients may be the same but the labs are not required to reveal what the inactive ingredients and fillers are to the FDA. Insurance companies must respond in your favor if your doctor lets the insurance company know that the patient has adverse reactions to the generic.

I went from taking regular effexor xl to the teva generic. Right away I was feeling badly. I got headaches, felt exhausted, have been very emotional and irritable. Not to mention I have been eating more than I have in two years!!!! I also have been biting my nails again like crazy and my attention has regressed. I called my doctor and she has tried to get me back on the brand, but my insurance, Amerihealth Mercy, refused her when she tried to get prior authorization for it.
I have also been having “death thoughts”… You know, the kind where you are objectively thinking about death more often than normal, and your past, but not to the point of plotting how to off yourself… This is VERY SERIOUS to me. I have a two year old and a four month old, a husband, and I am in college. If I start going backwards, losing all the progress I made in the last two years, I am scared to find out how desperate I could become. Up till about a year ago I was almost totally home bound. I can not go back to that.

I find it interesting that Teva is a drug manufacturer mentioned in many of the comments. I was thrilled a week ago to find that Effexor was finally available in generic. It saved me $55 over the brand name, great news for my tight budget! Two days later, a minor event at work caused me to burst into tears. Next day, the same thing happened.
Suddenly I felt worthless, and for two days struggled to get out of bed, then spent the days sitting on the sofa, feeling worthless. Then, it hit me. In the seven days since I started on the new generic, I was slipping back into my old depressive patterns.
So I checked with my pharmacy to switch back to the brand name and found out that my insurance company had raised the price of the name brand by $40. That’s $110 per month for a prescription that was costing me $70. Bottom line, the generic version isn’t going to work for me, so I’m punished for using it with a $50 penalty. Anyone else having problems with Teva’s new generic Effexor?

Just started on the new generic form of Effexor RX from Teva. I am not finding it to be as effective though will wait for a while to pass judgment. I am interested to know how others believe it is working for them. Thank you.

RAS — thought you might want to hear my experience with Watson — I have found it to be the equal of name brand and use an independent drugstore which can get me Watson when I get refills. So good luck. I’ll be curious to read of your experience with Watson.

I was taking Wellbutrin XL 300 for years and was doing very well. Then without notice MEDCO switched me to the TEVA generic. I took this for three months and during this time I got continually worse, my mood (much sadder) and temper (episodes of anger) were out of control. I told my doctor I needed to return to the Wellbutrin XL300; he asked why and I told him that I felt as though I was taking a placebo. I often said if I had the money I would take the Budeprion XL 300 to an independent lab for evaluation.
After a go around with MEDCO, I finally was off the generic and back on the brand at additional expense to me. Just recently this happened again, but this time I was switched to another generic which had an appearance similar to Wellbutrin XL 300. I didn’t notice much difference in the first two months, but am just now feeling a bit more sad.
I recently submitted a 90 day order and today received notice that my prescription has been shipped. I just checked to see which generic they selected and I see that it is Watson. I wanted to learn more about it and my surfing landed me on this website. ONLY now did I learn that so many complaints had been made about TEVA Budeprion XL and I will be sure to bring this to the attention of MEDCO and my physician. I priced both generics on the MEDCO website and I see that right now TEVA is priced slightly higher than Watson. I fear that if the TEVA price comes down, it will once again be the MEDCO choice.

Bupropion HCL XL, is not worth the money you pay. I was taking Wellbutrin and then all of a sudden I get this generic. I went and complained to my doctor and he wrote out a new prescription and put brand only. This I mailed off to Medco which fills my prescription. Well I get a generic back in the mail. Who Ok’d?, supposedly my doctor. This time a different pharmacist company. Those seem to be ok. When I ordered a refill, what do I get, the same pharmacist company that didn’t work before “ANCHEN”.
Didn’t notice at first which pharmacist company was on the refill. I became agitated, short tempered, angry with everyone and that is not me. Not sleeping and drinking a lot. I feel sorry for anyone out there that doesn’t recognize change. I wish the FDA would test all generic products to make sure that they are identical to the original. I am willing to pay for the name brand. I know that works. Good luck to everyone taking generics.

Are there any articles (I did not find any) on the differences between name brand clonazepam (Klonopin) and generic substitutes? My wife has tried the generic and she can tell within one day that it is not working effectively. Our insurance will not fully (or efficiently) cover name brand (we have to pay for the difference in the allowable charge between the generic [e.g., $30] and brand name drug [e.g., $350] even though the doctor prescribes it.
Our only possible recourse is if she has had medically documented adverse reactions to 2 different generic version of clonazepam. Is there ANY medical, solid, evidence-based research on the differences of generics, and/or specifically on Klonopin? We are appealing to Anthem but with little hope. The fact that they require people to experiment on themselves with generic medicines to “prove” what seems to be known about the inequality between generics and name brand is ludicrous.
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY: IT WOULD CERTAINLY BE LUDICROUS IF ALL GENERIC DRUGS WERE SUBSTANDARD. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. SOME SEEM TO WORK VERY WELL. WE ONLY WISH THEY ALL DID. WE REALLY DON’T KNOW OF ANY WAY AROUND THE INSURANCE COMPANY’S REQUIREMENT THAT SHE TRY IT.

I am going through a nightmare with Kroger’s generics, mainly Ambien. I take Ambien 10 and had been using HEB Pharmacy and switched to Kroger for the gas discounts at their stores. Well on HEB’s generic I took half a pill and slept like a baby. On Kroger’s one whole pill and not a good night’s rest. So I finally called the pharmacist and she said, oh we all use different generics and they are all different. That they could have a “DIFFERENT INGREDIENT” in their generic over what HEB did and sometimes it might not work.
My mom is elderly and has complained about her Xanax generic not the same.. now I believe her. So if it is not working, try another pharmacy, see what brand the existing pharmacy using for their generics, another might work. As bad as the FDA is about approving medical procedures that could be helping us why aren’t they more consistent with generic drugs?

For people who need the Brand Name medicine…. often a drug company will offer to subsidize your medication… In other words, if the cost is expensive, there are programs that many of them have to send you your meds for free. But this medication will be sent to your Doctor instead of a pharmacy. This really helped me out since my meds have to be the Brand Name!

I was prescribed Bupropion 150mg SR tablets which I had gotten from Rite Aid. I took them twice a day. After the first week I felt wonderful, like my old self. In my 4th week of taking them I started breaking out in hives. My Dr. did not feel this was related to Bupropion, hives would have started much sooner after starting the drug.
(I had subsequently changed dryer sheet brands and think that may have done it) I went off for about 3 wks. and got another months supply. I had this prescription filled at Walmart. I felt not as well. I seemed edgy again, eating a lot, not concentrating as well. Both were manufactured by Actavissou. I brought my Walmart pills to Rite Aid and asked the pharmacist if they were the same. She felt the Walmart and Rite Aid pills were the same.
I don’t understand why I felt so much better on the Rite Aid prescription. Any answers to that?

I found that two different generics for Wellbutrin worked completely differently. One worked better than the name brand, while the other did not work at all.

Has anyone experienced problems with LEVETRIRACETAM, The generic substitute for Keppra? I was diagnosed with “Partial Complex Seizure Disorder” seven years ago and at that time was put on Keppra. I have been on the generic now for approximately a year. I don’t know if it’s my imagination or not, but I feel that it’s not quite as effective.

Nexium doesn’t have a generic. It is the active isomer of Prilosec, so it’s basically two omeprazole instead of one. Could be the reason for your failure?

I have recently taken these generic Lortabs following surgery and have had the same symptoms you describe, as well as others. I also had really bizarre side effects such as a tightening in my throat and strange sensation there are well. I would rather have been given nothing than these pills. The pain-lessening effect was much lower than other Lortabs I have had to take before and it really makes me wonder what is in these things.

So basically your saying we are Lab Rats. I also found that the so called generic for Wellbutrin did not work. I could get the meds but had to pay (talk about an insurance racket) the difference between the Brand and generic PLUS my highest co-pay to get the meds that worked. This practice would have cost me $175.00 per month. Solution: I asked my Dr for a written prescription and got them from Canada, price $195.00 for a 3 month supply and that included shipping.
So those of you who want the Brand can shop around on the internet. I know Bush said Canada drugs were not safe (like they are going to poison their own people). WHATS THE DIFFERENCE? LAB RATS!
I will send the findings to my Insurance Co and my Doctor. Maybe handing the findings to the manufacturers would help. THEY have the POWER

When I became very sick about 12 years ago, I also became very depressed. I lost my job, my home, a car, etc. But I didn’t lose my kids, so it could have been worse. Anyway, after being sick for a few months, my doc suggested anti-depressants to help me get through all this.
Starting with Prozac (which began my life of migraine headaches) moving on to Welbutrin, Paxil, Effexor and finally to Celexa – which did the job. About 2 years ago, my pharmacist filled my Celexa script with a generic med. I take a lot of generics, so wasn’t opposed to that. I took it expecting the same results as the name brand gave me.
About 2 weeks into using the generic, I noticed that I was thinking suicidal thoughts again. I’m in a lot of pain most of the time, which used to make me think about ending that pain permanently. But those same kids I didn’t lose earlier squelched any serious thoughts of that. However, here I was thinking about it again. I had no idea where these thoughts were coming from.
I finally figured out that my pills had been changed and immediately called the pharmacy. Of course I got the run-around about generic being identical to name brand regarding the active ingredients. I called my doc after that, and he immediately gave me a script for name brand and all was well. All this was to say that many times the generics ARE just as good as the name brands. But sometimes, for some people, they are not.
Listen to your body and talk to your doctor if you notice that your generic meds don’t seem to be working the same as your name brand ones. I guess the opposite can be true as well – maybe generics work better for some people than the name brand..

I’m not certain I’ve ever had a brand-name prescription drug. I’ve always been handed a generic. However, I have had my brand switched to another generic, and they certainly are not always equal to one another.

See if you can determine what was the generic that you did well on; CVS pharmacists should be able to tell you what they used to use. Then go to a mom and pop pharmacy — more than one if necessary — and see if they can get it for you. I had been taking Watson generic and doing fine and then Rite-Aid switched to Teva. I went into a small independent in my town and they said they could get me Watson. The big chains have a central buying system so the individual pharmacist has no control; not so in the small drugstore.

For the last 3 years I have been on a generic form of Welbutrin then Welbutrin SR and I did as well as on the name brand for the first several years until this last year. Then I started having suicidal thoughts, severe anxiety and unstable moods. I had been changed to the TEVA brand and the pharmacy said they, individually, had no control over the brands CVS uses.
I spoke with my doctor who wrote for no generic Wellbutrin and I paid $120 vs $30 of Southern Health’s uncovered cost for a month’s supply and the symptoms completely left. After 2 months of this, I gave in because of the cost. I suffer with suicidal thoughts but try to maintain a positive attitude for my co-wokers. My cat sympathizes with me, so she is a help when I just lie down and cry. I am considering just stopping the medication but am afraid the symptoms will escalate.

I had awful reflux issues after taking an antibiotic for 5 weeks. My doctor prescribed me the generic version of Nexium – nothing – it did not relieve my problem. After a few months of 24 hr agony he prescribed “the real thing”, Nexium. He said ” I don’t know why but It works better than the generic”. When I went to fill the prescription I was floored when they told me it would be $350.00! United Health Care would not pay for anything – only the generic. Thank goodness I still had BCBS also – at least they would pay for half the cost.
The results were unbelievable. The Nexium worked! the generic didn’t! It took a year all together but I don’t need to take anything anymore. I feel for all those who have written concerning their nightmare stories about their generics. This is a subject that needs further research, there are too many stories of generic failures.

I have CRPS, chronic nerve pain and have been taking generic TEVA brand neurontin/gabapentin for 6 years with no problems. Walgreens stopped carrying TEVA and switched to GREENSTONE brand. I was getting muscle twitching, heart palpitations, anxiety and when I talked to the pharmacist, he insisted that the generics were the same formula.
After a few more days of symptoms and another call to pharmacy, they said it was possible the formula was slightly different and that when you are on a steady dose for chronic issues that your body might be sensitive to the slight variations. They special ordered TEVA brand for many months until last month when I noticed it was Greenstone again.
When I called to tell them they made a mistake, they said that TEVA is no longer making Gabapentin. Kind of in a panic, I took the Greenstone. I had some heart palpitations for a few days but it seems to have gone away. What choice do I have? I didn’t know whether any other brand would be any different. It is very validating to hear that this is not all in my head.

I have been on Wellbutrin 150 mg in both the XL and SR form as I titrate the dose depending on the time of year. I did well on the brand, I did well on the generic made by Watson. But when my insurance required me to take the Teva form of the generic, I ran into trouble.
Teva’s formulation may release the same amount over 24 hrs. as the testers say, but the release is unpredictable instead of even.
At first I had no idea what was wrong as I am a pharmacist and have dispensed and recommended generics for years. But nothing prepared me for the havoc Teva’s products caused me as well as my patients.
Teva has cut some corners in the manufacturing process or done something to ensure that their cost makes it the choice of insurers, who wish to pay the very least possible for a drug benefit. I do not think the drug is reliable. Watson and other generic manufacturers make a reliable and effective generic form of Wellbutrin. Teva should never be used.

Have you had any luck finding another generic that works?

I strongly suspect that switching from Wellbutrin to generic (bupropion) over a year ago has caused most of my symptoms. I’ve had very fast weight gain, mood swings (intensely sad, intensely angry, indifference, crying jags), memory loss, poor quality sleep, fatigue, low sex drive, and major depression. Doctors have been blaming all my symptoms on menopause, even though my labs showed I was post-menopausal seven years ago.
It wasn’t until I saw a psychiatrist that someone felt my problems were primarily depression-related, not menopausal. She definitely believes I have a chemical imbalance. The doctor increased the dosage, and changed it back to Wellbutrin. After paying for my first RX, I was going to ask her for generic, until I did some research here! Doctor told me to expect to notice improvement in 1-2 weeks.

Health professionals have long known that generics are not equal, especially medications for seizures, hyperactivity, cardiac problems, hyperlipidemia, and any psychiatric disorder. This was true in the 90’s but is especially so now when we don’t know where our meds are being manufactured or the conditions in that company, many of which are overseas. Anymore you have to do research and it can be difficult. If you do find a generic that works for you let your healthcare provider know you will not accept another generic.

me too I took wellbutrin and felt better good even and now I take the generic and I am not depressed but I feel like I could kill someone I noticed how intense it was after a week or so, called the pharmacy to switch back and they told me it was the law to give me generic unless the script said “no substitutes ” I told them the script was for wellbutrin not bupropion or whatever and they hung up I have been taking this stuff for 4 weeks waiting for my next appointment because at least I can get work done but I keep losing my temper and smashing peple up I am running out of friends and clients

I was also give the REAL Prozac when I first began treatment and was very pleased with the results. Because the meds were more than I could afford, Eli Lilly had a program that helped me afford the drug. That program stopped when plan D was issued by Medicare and I had to switch to the generic Prozac.
After 2 weeks I was starting to feel depression and anxiety like before. I have since tried several different generics but have yet found one that worked as well as the REAL Prozac. I’m a firm believer in the brand names.

Recently the PAR Pharmacuetical Company developed a generic patch to replace the Boehringer Ingelheim Catapress TTS patch for blood pressure control. Insurance companies will no longer cover the name brand because the generic is available. The generic patch is 3+ times larger, made of stiff plastic, does not stick, and the medication is gone within 3-5 days (this is a 7-day patch). It also DOES NOT WORK. After removing the name brand patch and replacing it with the generic, my blood pressure went from 115/72 to 160/95 within 24 hours. My doctor’s have now increased 2 of my other drugs to compensate for this, but my blood pressure is still not stable. I have contacted both the drug company and the FDA to express my displeasure with this new drug. Why the FDA approved it, I’m not quite sure because one of their requirements is that the drug (in this case, the patch) be the same size as the name brand. This drug needs to be removed from the market so that the users of the patch can receive the name brand patch and have it covered under their insurance. Oh yes, to buy the name brand is $279 per month–not exactly feasible for 99% of the users.

I spent over 45 minutes on the phone this morning with Caremark (don’t know WHY they use the word CARE in their name!) telling them this new generic they sent me was giving me severe headaches. Their pharmacist agreed that generics of medications can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. I asked that they send another 90 day supply manufactured by the company that was the maker of the generic I had been getting for the past 3 1/2 years.
They told me they could do that but I’d have to pay another $200. Of course I went to do the research online and I was not surprised that once again our healthCARE (??) system abuses us, the insureds.
This Buprop 12 SR TAB, manufactured by Watson Labs which is a very poor excuse for Welbutrin, makes me feel dizzy, weepy, my heart is racing, I have nausea and one hell of a headache that Advil cannot even touch! The healthCARE plan that made me feel so bad with their substitution (CHEAP) drugs is not going to help me unless I pay them for the meds that won’t work PLUS the meds they know and I know have worked for 3 1/2 years.
Why won’t the FDA do ANYTHING TO MAKE THIS RIGHT FOR THE AMERICAN PATIENT? WHY won’t the pharmacies, manufacturers, FDA, insurance companies do what is RIGHT???

I completely disagree with your comments about generics being the same. Just because you have not experienced it does not make it true. I am a scientist who has some experience with research in drug delivery and small changes to filler, compaction of the pill, coating, can all affect release in ways that are unpredictable. In addition, just like any drug, people can respond very differently to the same drug. That is why there are so many antidepressants on the market that work by different mechanisms.
I was on Wellbutrin SR for almost 10 years. As far as I know I was on the generic version the entire time or almost the whole time. Recently I began having severe problems with depression again in ways that could only mean the drug was not working. At that time I actually didn’t pay attention to whether I had generic or not. But I thought something had to be different. Turns out the NDC number on the “new” pills versus the “old” that were in my record at the pharmacy were different. That means the drug was NOT the same. They have to have a new number if they change the formulation. The new one does not work the same for me. I paid out of pocket for the “old” ones and am feeling better after a couple of days back on the old.

I have been taking Wellbutrin SR for almost 10 years. First 150mg 2x daily then 200mg 2x daily after my second child was born. I notice if I miss a few over a week’s time…I recently have had depression return full force. I was a mess by the time I realized that really something had to be wrong. Thought it could be stress from work, kids, etc. Finally it dawned on me to see if I had a generic version.
Well, I did. But, after looking in my records it turns out I pretty much always did (Watson). I knew something was going on so I persisted asking questions at the pharmacy. Turns out that the NDC number which tracks the company, the drug, and the number per unit (like the bottle) for every drug, was different. So the drug, though Watson Wellburtin SR 200mg, was different. They changed the formulation and the new one IS NOT EFFECTIVE FOR ME.
The pills look very different – no coating and pock marks on them like material is missing. My insurance company is refusing to pay for the brand name…so now I am not sure what to do. The pharmacist is hording all of the old Watson ones she had on the shelf for me, but that is not a long term solution…
FYI the NDC number for the one that worked and the one that does not work are below, in case anyone else is experiencing the same.
NDC (good) 0591-3385-60
NDC (bad, new) 0591-3542-60

I used the generic form of Wellbutrin XL for 90 days (May – July 2008) and found it pretty useless. It was not all that inexpensive, either. I will either pay a premium and buy the “real thing” or do without. Using the generic form is about as helpful as going without.

I had a horrible time on the generic. My depression worsened to the point I felt I wasn’t even taking medication at all. My doctor prescribed the non-generic for me, but of course my insurance requires me to pay the difference since I am refusing the generic.

I have never been required to take prescription drugs before. My doc recommended Wellbutrin XL for weight loss. I was given the generic and by the second day, I had a racing heart and insomnia. After a week, I weaned myself off. Although the drug gave me energy and reduced cravings, I felt horrible on it and couldn’t sleep. NOT WORTH IT!

I was switched from Lamictal for cyclothymic disorder to the generic Lamotrigine mfr. Teva USA. I thought I was going crazy–I felt like I had a thousand bugs crawling under my skin, and as though I would scream uncontrollably. In addition, my anxiety symptoms not only returned, but increased 10 fold. The kicker? Insurance only pays for generic. So I am paying $170 for the real thing, as opposed to $10 for the generic.

After taking Zoloft for years, I have found the generic to be inferior. Increasing the dosage helps tremendously, but I get headaches — possibly from fillers as I am sensitive to a lot of additives. I cut dosage back today and thankfully am headache-free for a change, but what to do about the blues…? (I’m also certain generic form of Imitrex is inferior as I have to take a larger dose to get rid of migraines.)

I began on Wellbutrin in February 2009.
It is great! Wow, finally, we found the fix!
Then, the pharmacy changed to generic, I didn’t realize the problem at the time.
At the end of March 2009 I had my hair appointment, nothing unusual.
Sometime towards the end of May or beginning of June, 2009 I noticed my hair was thinning – I could see my scalp. I do not have female pattern hair loss. Female hair loss does not run in my family (on either side).
At the beginning of July 2009 I had my next hair appointment. My hair dresser noticed a significant difference in my hair and suggested I see a doctor. I wear bangs – I have seen NO hair growth/length since my hair appointment in July 2009. The hair on my legs and underarms has almost stopped growing as well.
The only change in my life (including exercise, diet, stress) is the change from Wellbutrin to the generic version. The prescription I have in my hand is Budeprion XL, 150 mg, by Teva.
You see, several years ago I had cancer. I had surgery, chemotherapy, the whole bag of goods. My hair fell out. So, to face this again is a BIG DEAL. On the original prescription the doctor noted ‘no substitutions’, which is unusual, but she is a great doctor so I didn’t worry. Now I understand why she wrote ‘no substitutions’.

I have been taking Toprolol XL for about eleven years I take 200mg per day. I was changed to generic brand and soon started having trouble. The generic stops working long before it should and I have to take the second dose early to get my heart to settle down. The difference is very marked and the generic does not do the job by no means. I would be very interested to know if others are also having this problem. Thanks

Dear Joe and Terry,
I had a recently frightening personal experience with this drug. I believe the formulation of the Teva generic is dangerous to patients. Please discuss the recent FDA warning about propoxyphen with your listeners.
I am an RN and take this drug occasionally for chronic pain. I know this drug has its critics, but one reason I take it is because I can take just one tablet and continue to work around the house without pain and without drowsiness. Although I have taken this drug for many years, I only take about 4 pills in a month.
The pharmacy filled my latest prescription with the generic from Teva (a white pill, not the usual pink ones). I took one of these pills and sat down and fell into a deep sleep — so deep I was snoring and would stop breathing and wake myself up — I do not normally have sleep apnea. I roused once, intending to get up to run an errand, and fell promptly back to sleep. Eventually, after about 6 hours, I woke up and returned to “normal”.
I have taken both the name brand and the generic from Qualitest. I have never experienced drowsiness with Darvocet or its generic before. I have seen patients who take much larger quantities of this drug than I do, and I am afraid that if my experience with just one pill were multiplied by more than one pill or multiple doses, this could be very dangerous.
I complained to my pharmacist at Rite-Aid here in Raleigh and he felt like something was going on with me — not the drug — that I was unusually tired or sleepy already. I had just woken up for the day! He felt that the “warning” from the FDA was for patients that take more than the prescribed dose and intentionally overdose. I believe that the increase in overdoses may be due to the increased use of the Teva generic and its dangerous side effects.
Thanks for listening. If you have heard other stories and can e-mail me personally, that would be great, but I do understand you get lots of mail.
J.T., RN

Same story as many others — I’ve been taking Wellbutrin XL 300mg for a number of years with little problem, and the Watson version of the generic since it came out, which also seemed to work fine. I switched to the Teva Budeprion about a month ago (changed pharmacies) and since then have been moody, depressed, experiencing crying jags, etc. although nothing else in my life has changed and my moods have been pretty stable for several years. I called today to move my prescription back to the original pharmacy that uses the Watson brand — hopefully this will solve the problem.

Okay so I’ve been on the generic Zoloft for as long as generic has been available in this Rx. I know this b/c I started taking this drug when it was still brand only available. There are different generic (brands) available for this drug now. Ever since I started taking the Camber brand, for almost 4 mos. now, I can definitely feel physically & mentally a difference. I am well aware of the fact that these generic drugs of ANY kind are supposed to be “equivalent” as I am a Nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician, (CPhT).
When I can wake up at 4am & start weeping I know there is a problem. Since I have already opened yet again another bottle of this Camber generic “equivalent” of Zoloft I’m really not sure how to go about trying to explain to my MD/or pharmacy that I need the other generic & I need my insurance co. to allow me to pay my normal co-pay. I know that any pharmacy in the U.S. is not permitted to take back opened or even unopened bottles of ANY Rx after it has left the pharmacy.

I had the same problem a while back with Wellbutrin XL 300 mg generics. Got switched to the big smelly horse pill version of the generic by TEVA and within a month was experiencing suicidal ideation.
My doctor switched me to 2 150 mg brand name pills a day. Everything went back to normal. The 150 mg generics came out and I was nervous, but the Watson generic my university’s pharmacy was dispensing worked fine.
Last month, I had to go to CVS because school is out. Bad news when I shook the bag and the sound was not right… They gave me smelly horse pill versions by Global Pharm.
I felt like I was going to have a heart attack for four days straight after starting the Global generics. (I usually take my Adderall an hour after the Wellbutrin). I even had chest pain the 3rd and 4th day.
I figured out that if I only take my Adderall in the afternoon (i.e. NOT when the crap generic is pouring out way too much of the drug in the first few hours), then my heart rate is pretty much fine. Of course this means I get half the productivity I was getting when I took the Adderall in the morning and mid afternoon. VERY frustrating.
PLEASE encourage all of these people complaining to report their problems to the FDA using the FDA’s Medwatch Form: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/medwatch-online.htm
I read several reports of last year’s FDA decision that the TEVA generic Wellbutrin was fine that dismissed the small number (like 84) complaints that had been submitted, when thousands of people had been switched to the drug. I have read many more than 84 complaints about this in various forums, but no one is mentioning complaining to the FDA.

I started out taking the name brand Wellbutrin XL 300, in 2006 I took the generic brand– not sure of the maker and it was fine. 3 months ago when I refilled my prescription it looked different than the previous generic. I called the pharmacy right away thinking they screwed up and gave me a different drug. They advised they switched to a different generic.
For the past 2 months I have began to feel extremely anxious and started getting really bad anxiety attacks again and I have been in a horrible mood like a mad dog in a rage at the least little thing. I thought I was loosing my mind, I just spoke with my doctor today and told her that I felt one of my medications was causing this rage thing, it was then that she advised that there were problems with the generic wellbutrin 300xl and that several patients had complained of the same symptoms.
She just wrote a new prescription for the Name Brand as Medically Necessary. I will find out if the insurance company is going to give me a problem. I don’t know that they will because I have a higher co-pay for name brands so hopefully they will not give me a problem. I feel like a maniac, I get so angry I am afraid I could hurt someone, this happened to me years ago on Paxil.

I have been taking Alprazolam now for 1 year. (.5 mg)
I started taking it to try to help deal with Vertigo.
It did help me through that, but now when I don’t take it or when it wears off I have this weird floaty feeling in my head.
I had been thinking that I still had vertigo, but now I think it’s the Alprazolam.
My aunt had told me she took this once and it made her feel spacey.
I so desperately want to ween off this drug, and only take it when I have a panic attack, not to use it everyday.

I wonder how much pharmaceutical companies have paid for these stories. This is merely BS. Prescription drug makers screw up too…I’ve been on generic Wellbutrin and it hasn’t changed things. There’s something called the placebo effect…that’s probably what’s responsible for these generic ‘problems.’ Also, most generic meds have multiple manufacturers. This is the same as saying generic excedrin would be worse than ‘the real thing,’ which is equally untrue. There’s nothing wrong with generics, other than saving people money and preventing patents from lasting into infinity. I’ve been on lexapro for nearly 10 years now, and have been waiting for it to go generic. Propecia would be about 90 percent cheaper as a generic too.

I find a real difference between Ambien, which I’ve taken for years, and the generic (from two different manufacturers). Not only do I not fall asleep as rapidly with the generic, nor stay asleep (my sleep is much more shallow, and I toss and turn and wake up multiple times during the night), but the generic leaves me feeling fatigued for most of the day, as if I had taken a long-acting rather than a short-acting drug. I’m in the process of getting a prescription for the regular Ambien, so I can carefully compare the differences.

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