The People's Perspective on Medicine

Report Generic Drug Problem

It's hard to report a generic drug problem. The FDA has requires information that pharmacies rarely put on the label. That said, you MUST report a problem.

In the field of pharmaceuticals, Americans have been told that price doesn’t matter. Generic drugs are supposed to be identical to their brand name counterparts. For nearly 30 years, we believed this argument. We encouraged people to save money by insisting that their physicians prescribe generics whenever they were available.

The Original People’s Pharmacy Book:

A lot of health professionals and FDA officials who are familiar with our work find it hard to believe that Joe was once among the country’s leading advocates for generic drugs. The People’s Pharmacy book was first published in 1976. In it Joe had a chapter titled “How to Save Money on Prescription Drugs.” Here is what he wrote almost 40 years ago:

“The argument which your doctor will almost always resort to when defending his practice of prescribing expensive brands is that they are superior in quality to the el cheapo generic varieties. Since no one wants a prescription for lousy medicine, this approach usually shuts a patient up pretty fast. By the time the doctor is finished, you will probably apologize for mentioning the subject and end up meekly retreating with your tail between your legs. But does this argument hold water?

“Now just so you know which side of the fence I am on I am going to make the story crystal clear. If your doctors hands you this tired line, he is fooling you in the worst way. The inequality of drugs routine is usually just plain untrue. Although there have been some exceptions, there is very little solid evidence that demonstrates generic drugs to be inferior. But don’t take my word for it: listen to what the experts have to say.

“Let’s start with antibiotics, because they are prescribed with great regularity. That is where your doctor is on the thinnest ice if he tries to convince you that expensive brand-name drugs are more reliable than generic equivalents. For one thing, the Food and Drug Administration tests and certifies each batch of antibiotic for all pharmaceutical manufacturers before any product can be released for market…”

Our BIG U Turn!

We believe that what Joe wrote 40 years ago was true…then. But how times have changed. The FDA no longer tests or certifies each batch of antibiotics or anything else for that matter. For the most part the FDA relies on the honor system. Drug companies are responsible for their own testing and quality control. Now that most of our generic drugs are made in foreign countries, we  have relied on regulators in those countries to oversee a lot of the generic drug manufacturing process.

In the last few years, however, the FDA has discovered that its trust may have been misplaced. Since sending a handful of FDA inspectors to India an incredible number of cases of fraud and poor manufacturing have been discovered. Reuters reported on Sept. 14, 2015:

“The ban on Polydrug takes the total number of Indian drug manufacturing facilities that currently stand barred from exporting to the United States to 44 between 2011 and now, according to the FDA website.

“The sanctions have hurt India’s image as a reliable supplier of cheap generics, and slowed the growth of India’s $15 billion pharmaceutical industry that supplies 40 percent of the generic and over-the-counter medicines sold in the United States.”

How We Learned There Was a Problem:

Our faith in the FDA was challenged several years ago when some pharmacists started telling us they had doubts about the quality of certain generic products. We also began getting letters from readers who had trouble with their generic prescriptions. Readers have shared their disappointment with generic pain relievers, antidepressants, blood pressure medicines and diabetes drugs. The generic drug manufacturers discount these reports.

Kathleen Jaeger, president and ceo of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, has written:

“To set the record straight, there are no differences between FDA-approved brand and generic medicines. A generic must meet the same high standards as the brand-name drug, with the same safety and effectiveness, same active ingredients, same strength and dosage, same labeling and use and same high quality manufacturing standards.”

While we agree with Ms. Jaeger that FDA approval is rigorous, it is not foolproof. We proved that we we uncovered problems with the FDA’s approval of the generic version of the antidepressant Wellbutrin XL 300. After years of fighting the FDA it was revealed that Budeprion XL 300 (a generic version of bupropion) was not up to snuff. A couple of other generic versions of bupropion were also found lacking.

We also worry that once drugs are approved and marketed, monitoring is spotty at best. The FDA is not capable of analyzing more than a handful of pill bottles from pharmacy shelves each year. As a result, unscrupulous manufacturers or counterfeiters may be slipping substandard generics into the marketplace.

How to Report a Generic Drug Problem:

Let’s start with the FDA unwavering position that there are no (read that zero, nada, zip) problems with generic drugs. The agency still maintains that everything is fine and dandy with its approval process and its monitoring of foreign drug making despite banning 44 manufacturing facilities from exporting drugs to the U.S.

That said, the FDA repeatedly tells us that it wants patients to report a generic drug problem through its MedWatch system. Of course the FDA makes it very hard to report a generic drug problem this way. That’s because it requires information that is really hard to obtain:

  1. Manufacturer/Labeler (pharmacies do not always put this information on the label, or if they do it is often in print so tiny that it is very hard to read)
  2. Expiration date (pharmacies almost never put the actual expiration date on the label. They are not required to do so and it would be almost a miracle if they did. What they do put on the label is the discard date, which is almost always one year to the day the drug was dispensed. It has no relationship to the expiration date)
  3. Lot Number (pharmacies rarely, if ever, put the lot number on a dispensed bottle of a generic medicine. Unless the pharmacist dispenses the original bottle from the manufacturer you will have no way of determining the lot number unless you call the pharmacist)
  4. NDC # (most people have no idea what the NDC# is. It is a unique number that identifies the particular pill you are taking. You should be able to find it on the pill, though the number on really small pills will be hard to make out.

The bottom line is that the FDA makes it challenging to report a generic drug problem because it requires information that you will have to extract from your pharmacist and your pharmacist is not required to keep track of things like the expiration date or the lot number of your particular dispensed medicine. Nevertheless, it is important to do your best to report a generic drug problem. Again, here is the link to get you started. Good luck and please let the FDA know if you have ever experienced a generic drug problem!

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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 was on Lialda for 16 years without a flare-up of my ulcerative colitis when my insurance company (without asking) switched my prescription to generic Mesalimine. Within weeks I had a flare-up. A literature search showed that the difference is in a coating that causes the active ingredient to be released at the appropriate place in the colon. The coating is different in the generic, causing the medicine to be released in a different place. The insurance company says the active ingredient is the same in both (true), therefore they are bioequivalent (false). My gastroenterologist insisted they go back to Lialda and the flare cleared immediately. I’ve been fine since.

I see a pain specialist every month and get a prescription for norcos. A couple months ago I got a different generic brand than I usually do, and it was Amneal brand. When I took my monthly urine test, that month I had taken the Amneal brand ones, I tested positive for tramadol & I haven’t taken tramadol for over 8 years. I got the amneal brand ones again this month and am afraid of testing positive for tramadol again. How can I get one of these pills tested to see if this generic company is trying to pass off tramadol for norcos?

I have had the same issues with certain medications. I have been on Citalopram (orange ones) for anti-depression. My last 90 day refill is with is with Mylan. I didn’t put it together until approximately 3 weeks taking the Mylan version. I am having vivid horrible dreams. Nothing has changed in any of my medications except this one. I went back to my pharmacist and explained to her what was going on. Her reply was that they get whatever they get from the warehouse!

This is obviously wrong for them to just change the brand of medications because their company is trying to save a dollar while still charging me the same amount for an inferior product! I can not even get my regular version because they don’t have it an I am on a limited budget. I can only afford x amount for medications. Pharmacist and manufacturers should be held accountable for putting patients health in jeopardy.

my thyroid went from a 1.5 to 64….. I was taking the medicine from walmart. How do we get the sh*t tested? I have been on it for 15 years…..there is NO way it takes a drop like that if you are taking your meds…..

I take fenofibrate a generic for TriCor. Recently I was switched by RiteAid to a 90 day supply. Mylan lot 3056513 145 mg tablets. When I ran out I called for a refill and was told that I was twenty six days too early. So I had to wait without my medecine for almost a month. Got the new bottle, which was sealed claiming it had 90 tablets but it has 63 pills. What do I do? This is stealing! I can’t believe the manufacturer is skimming almost one third.

Metforman there is something very wrong!! I have been taking 500MG for about 4 years and it has been working just fine. Now, it is no longer working very well. I though it was just me however, tonight after going to dinner with a friend I find out her Metforman is no longer working for her. Sooo I called my other friend who is also on Metforman and she is also having the same issue with her sugar levels. All three of us on the same medication for the same diabetic II reason and all three of us having the same issue with the same medication. I could see if it was only one or even 2 but all 3 off us on the same medication and all three having the same problem that is a big issue!! The manufacture is AMNEAL and yes all three on the same med

I am writing this important post in regards to the to the pharmaceutical company MYLAN. I have been on Xanax/Alprazolam for approximately 12 years. Just recently I started to notice a difference in the potency of my pills. Rite Aid starting using a different pill that was new to me & I didn’t think twice about it. I thought it was me & I must be building a tolerance.

This went on for about 7 months & my aunt calls me to tell me that she just picked up her prescription & she was given the same pills that I had been taking. She said immediately NO its not YOU these pills DON’T WORK! I felt a sigh of relief, I told my Psychiatrist the next time I saw her & she said she hadn’t heard any complaints about MYLAN but she would write on my prescription NO MYLAN.

So I filled the xanax/alprazolam at a different pharmacy & to my relief the pills Worked!

Psychologically I wasn’t alright though, I felt ripped off & upset with the fact that there is NOTHING that I can do to fix the problem. But now I’m embarrassed that every time I get my prescription filled I have to ask what manufacturer they have & the pharmacists don’t make it easy on me, they look at me like a pill popping addict. I hope that at least one person can be reassured by this post that its NOT YOU! I THINK IT’S MYLAN!

A week ago I was force to o to a generic type Nexium from my company pharmacy, Express Scripts, instead of the brand name Nexium that I have been taken since 2001. Each day since making the change I have fought with tremendous intestinal cramps and Loose bowels. I cannot go anywhere. These Dr. Reddy generic drugs are crap, literally.

I am disgusted with these generics and think they need to be stopped. I received mylan pills these month and the only thing they do is make me feel worse! I will not longer be a guinea pig.

If people did not consume so much sugar, (in hidden forms also) the economy would enter a recession because no one would have to see a Doctor so often. Consumption is about 160 pounds of sugar a year for the average American. Hang out with any individual that never gets sick or have health problems. You will see they do not consume much sugar.

I started having problems with foot pain after a month on generic metphormin from Aurobindo pharm.

BC/BS will no longer cover my Wellbutrin XL 300 mg. They will only cover generics. I tried the generic several years ago and within weeks was experiencing withdrawal like symptoms and thought disturbances. I was promptly returned to Wellbutrin. My Wellbutrin went from $75.00 per month to over $1.400.00. BC/BS said that even a letter from my MD would not help. Does anyone know of a generic that is bio-equalently the same as or very close to Wellbutrin XL 300mg? My pharmacy can get Greenstone or Parr generic. Please advise.

My Metformin Hcl Tabs 500mg are NOT working. I take 1 Tablet After Breakfast and 2 Tablets After Supper. Never have my Blood Sugar Readings been this HIGH. The Mfg. Aurobindo is Not Working. I have been on this Mfg. brand for a month Very high levels. Something is very wrong with this medication. These pills are not working. What should I do?

Different dosage, but same experience you describe. Plus other side effects.

2nd med from Aurobindo also prior unknown side effects plus did NOT treat the cause it was prescribed for.

Both generic meds taken years before with desired results, no side effects until pharma was switched to Aurobindo.

Why isn’t there a warning on “the Pill” (oral contraceptives) about possibly causing thyroid issues? I’ve read that this is a very common issue. I’m also having this problem (hypothyroidism). I am very upset that I only hear about this issue happening so often when I have this problem and I have to dig around for information. And the fact that it could stick around for life all because of a pill messing with my hormones! There needs to be a warning and OB’s need to tell their patients! I’m tired of being sick and tired and Levothyroxine is not making me feel much better. Wish I could have avoided it all! Especially because thyroid issues do not run in my family!

Try having your doctor put you on Armour thyroid. I was on levothyroxine for about 30 years and started having really bad side effects. I itched all over and felt like bugs were biting me. I had constant heartburn, my hair was falling out, so my doctor suggested Armour thyroid which is all natural. It has made a huge difference. And by the way, I had stopped taking the levothyroxine for a couple month and first felt great and then started feeling really lousy, so had blood work done and my number was 114.4. On the Armour for 6 weeks and my level is in the middle of the normal range. Armour is not covered by my insurance and costs me about $84. for 3 months, but just found out I can get it from Canada for $55. I hope this information helps you!

Usually the research seems to indicate that oral contraceptives (and postmenopausal HRT) alter the thyroid blood test results without making significant changes in thyroid function.

I don’t think Obama has anything to do with it.
But yes, the Insurance companies are the ones making the profit.
The generics make their money after the patents run out – that’s why the original is so expensive – gotta make up time quick.

I recently went thru 4 generic ‘brands’ of tramadol before I got one that didn’t make me walk sideways. When I asked the pharmacist how many brands she had behind the counter she said ‘8 or 9′. Why? And why do I have to be a test rat for them?

I have started demanding the actual manufacturer brand of meds all around and it’s not easy.
IF anyone has them they are very expensive and most are simply not available.
Something as simple as Levequin, an anitibiotic, is not available 6 out of 6 local pharmacies. It just doesn’t pay to have it. One told me they could order it and have it in a few days, but I need help now?

BTW – my generic Levenox cost $.37 for 10 days. I could have gotten that washing one windshield.
Yes, after reading all the complaints above I will definitely send a letter of complaint to the FDA.
Fat lot o’ good it’ll be. But at least I’m a number! Thanks All!

I had been taking 100 mg of spironolactone for a year for hair loss and edema associated with hypothyroidism with great and almost immediate success. It was suggested that, since this is a maintenance medication for me for the time being, that I could get it through Humana’s mail order pharmacy and save a little money.

Since spironolactone is a generic medication, I did not expect this would be a problem. SO wrong. Within a couple of weeks of starting the mail order medication, my hair started falling out in ever-increasing amounts. I had aldosterone tested before starting spironolactone (which is an aldosterone blocker) and it had been low in the normal range. After 6 weeks on the mail order medication I was tested again and my aldosterone was very high outside the range….the top was 28 and I was at 40 ! Neither my primary doctor nor my dermatologist could explain this.

Finally after 6 months on the mail order drug and with my hair falling out in golf ball sized hunks every time I washed my hair and having lost all the hair that had previously grown back and with my thyroid levels at near optimal levels, I thought to check whether the generic manufacturer had remained the same… this occurred to me because I know how greatly generic thyroid medication can vary between manufacturers and in comparison to the brands. And LO ! indeed the medication had been changed from that manufactured by Amneal to that manufactured by Qualitest.

I went online and found that many many people have had their symptoms return when using Qualitest products, not just spironolactone (though for that there were lots of reports) but also all kinds of other medications. I had my doctor write me a new prescription for the Amneal generic. Two weeks later my hair loss is almost back to a normal amount, i.e. to what it was before I had a thyroid problem. I reported this to the FDA. In my opinion, the Qualitest spironolactone is worthless and seems to have created a hormonal problem that didn’t exist before I started taking the drug.

I had a similar problem with liothyronine manufactured by Paddock. I tried taking it because Cytomel is so expensive. Because both my doctor and I are aware that the FDA allows generic thyroid medications to vary up to 15% in strength from the brand, she increased my dose by 15%. Prior to taking the Paddock generic, my Free T3 level was near the top of the range and I felt the best I had felt since developing hypothyroidism. After a couple of weeks on the generic I started to feel terrible and had a resumption of symptoms. After 3 months I had new labs and on MORE medication my Free T3 level was now down near the bottom. When I take Cytomel I take it sublingually and because of its sucrose base, it dissolves almost immediately.

The Paddock generic was so hard that I could barely chew it and it tasted like chalk. I tried pulverizing it with a mortor and pestle, thinking I would drink it in water, but the pill was so hard I couldn’t grind it up ! An online search showed the Paddock had a base containing :
calcium sulfate
cellulose, microcrystalline
silicon dioxide

Since calcium binds thyroid hormones, rendering them less active, it is surprising that a thyroid medication would contain calcium at all but there it is. I discontinued the generic and went back on Cytomel and after about a month I started feeling better. I also reported this to the FDA.

I have been taking the Teva generic of Celebrex with good success for over a year. Recently got this through mail-away and they use Greenstone’s version. I have noticed my pain is increasing daily. Not sure if I did something to inflame this or starting to wonder if it is the different manufacturer?

Hi all. I have been reading the posts on here. I just called the main Walgreens phone number and reported these incidents to them. I too am on Zoloft. I picked up a Rx yesterday and realized they changed manufacturers from Greenstone in the US to Aurobindo from India. I asked them to take this very seriously. They are sending the report on and are looking into it. I urge all of you to do the same. I also reported it to the FDA. I discussed it with the Dr. today and he said it is NEVER good to switch mental health drug manufacturers. Anyway that is my 2 cents. I did contact my local Walgreens and they are letting me bring the Aurobindo product back and ordered Zoloft from Greenstone for me. I wish you all the best!

I can’t believe how similar my husband’s recent experience with Aurobindo vs. Greenstone has been to many of the poor people on this blog! We have been trying to figure out for weeks what’s been going on with him, since changing to Aurobindo Sertraline he has plunged into a deep depression, worse than he has ever been! I am so thankful for finding this information and can now move forward with trying to get Walgreen’s to order Greenstone again or try to locate some elsewhere. I pray for all of you that are suffering so terribly that you make it through this and regain the peace and “normalcy” of your life that you had before changing to this manufacturer’s useless version of Sertraline.

This is an update regarding my Oct. 19th post. Sadly, my husband has sadly passed away due to suicide on Nov. 8, 2015. I am still waiting for toxicology reports, but I truly believe that the switch of the manufacturer of his Sertraline prescription played a major part in his death. I am so lost without him and feel horribly guilty that I couldn’t save him from this tragedy!

I have NEVER had any problems with my blood pressure medication until my last refill. I take Linisopril 10mg and this time I have had severe dizzy spells to almost blacking out when I stand up. I know that generic is the same as name brand but I have to say that this company’s version has something wrong with it! I will NEVER get this brand again!!!

Call Walgreens 1-800 number and complain. I just did!

I noticed this last month when picking up my rx refill that the Sertraline (Zoloft) tablets were different, but I know there are several manufacturers of medications, so I didn’t think much of it. Now, after almost a month on the new Walgreens generic Sertraline, my anxiety is at another rise, panic attacks are prevalent and I had no idea until just now researching this drug why thus was happening. I guess I’ll be switching to a different pharmacy. And trying to ride out the next few days in hell…

Michelle, I take the same medication you mentioned, and twice now have glanced at the toilet after I got out of the shower and seen a whole, unmolested pill sitting on the bottom of the bowl. Apparently they go through the digestive system undissolved due to the coating on the tablet. I am trying an experiment of breaking them in half before I take them, to see if this makes a difference. Who knows, maybe worth a try?

Report AuroBindo to the FDA. Info on their website. Enough complaints hopefully they will do something.

My pharmacy just switched to an aurobindo generic for venlafaxine. Ever since my symptoms have been getting worse. Today I had a major episode of tremors, confusion, sweats, and speech problems. So bad that my doctor wanted me to go to the emergency room. Now she told me to stop taking the medicine abruptly and I’m scared to see what is about to happen.

Refilled my prescription for sertraline at Walgreens,( the MFG for my drugs went from Greenstone to Aurobindo), I noticed the pill looked different and the MFG seemed different but, I figured it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, the pill description matched the pills inside.
Then after 2 weeks of the drug, I would go home after and I wanted to kill everyone. I was so emotional and all over the place. I literally started to feel schizophrenic and not myself. I hated anyone that crossed my path at home, and I would lock myself in my room for hours, wondering wtf is wrong with me. I just knew I was feeling weird.
Finally at work, someone mentioned a very similar issue they had where they had a bad reaction to a new generic version of a pill they’ve been taking forever. Going home, I was set to figure everything out, but as soon as I closed the door, I had the worst panic attack of my life. I have had anxiety issues for many years and I have overcome this a million times, but this one sent me to the hospital. I called my mom because I felt strange and I was slurring my words and could only answer yes/no questions. My mom came to check up on my and found me face down on the floor having a seizure (ended up being a pseudo-seizure). I was hospitalized for 24 hours. Can I sue someone or contact anybody for this? I feel like this is sickening that you can be on the same drug for years and then they’re allowed to switch generic brands (A TOTALLY DIFFERENT DRUG) without really telling you.

In follow up to my previous comment, I have learned that potato starch is NOT a problem for individuals with celiac disease and is, in fact, a safe alternative. But that being said, the generic sertraline from Aurobindo did make me feel like I was on some sort of “speed”, and it appears that others are feeling some pretty negative side effects as well. Hopefully, Walgreen’s will respond by returning to Greenstone for their generic sertraline, and we’ll all “BE WELL” again.

I was switched from Cymbalta to generic and noticed immediately it wasn’t as effective and also weight gain whereas Cymbalta made me lose weight. I got used to it and continued the generic version (insurance won’t cover regular name brand). My pharmacy switched manufacturers this week from “GLOB” at Sun Pharma to APOTEX and when I opened the bottle the smell of plastic was overwhelming and disgusting!! I could not take it. They replaced it with my other manufacturer. I am feeling very discouraged with this whole generic is the same as name brand bologna. It is not the same!!!

I was taking a generic zonisamide made by Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories then my pharmacy switched to the generic zonisamide made by Ranbaxy Phamaceuticals, took for a couple of months and started having seizures. I had my pharmacy order the original ones, then felt like I did when I first started taking the zonisamide, tired, somewhat drugged. I’ll give it more time before I declare myself seizure free.

I just had a similar experience with Walgreen’s switching from Greenstone’s generic sertraline to one manufactured by Aurobindo. I had done very well for years on the Greenstone generic, but within two days of starting the Aurobindo tablets, I began feeling manic and couldn’t sleep at all. I felt like my brain had gone into overdrive. I also experienced constipation and had headache. I looked the two generics up on and found that the inactive ingredients were almost identical, with the exception of some type of potato starch in the Aurobindo tablets (which would make it pretty bad if you had celiac disease). I did, however, notice a difference in the ORDER of inactive ingredients listed, so that may have an effect on the absorption of the active ingredient. What I do know for certain is that switching generics like this is DANGEROUS and seems to be made solely on the basis of cost, with no examination of the difference in ingredients and the possible effect on the patient (as in the aforementioned potato starch and celiac disease). I have contacted my representative in Washington and asked that this be looked into. It’s time to STOP this practice!

I have been on Sertraline 25mg manufactured by Greenstone for many years until Walgreens switched to selling the drug manufactured by Aurobindo, in July 2015. I have had the most horrific panic attacks and pervasive anxious feelings since the switch. I have never before experienced such mental anguish, which is chemical and due to the change of manufacturer. (I am fortunate not to have any major stressors to blame.)

Apparently Walgreens stopped selling Greenstone since it was more expensive than Aurobindo. Walgreens informed me today that they will “try” to get me a refill from Greenstone. I was also able to find a small independent pharmacy which carries the Greenstone drug.

Holy crap, you guys! I have been having major anxiety and mood issues since this summer (2015). I haven’t been able to figure it out. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that my sertraline from Walgreens had a new manufacturer, Aurobindo. It made me wonder so I went to check it out. As a weird aside, I’m a gardener and collect seed from my native plants to propagate in the spring, and old pill bottles are perfect for storing the seed in so I have all my old bottles. Sure as heck, the old manufacturer was Greenstone and changed to Aurobindo this summer, which is when I started having problems. I started researching it and found this site and confirmed the change. I’m going to have my provider switch my prescription to brand name zoloft immediately. My quality of life is suffering. This isn’t a game for people with anxiety and depression. Makes me so angry! I will also be reporting it to the FDA as well.

Same as you, Mel. Have been on Zoloft for 17yrs. My pharmacy just switched to AuroBindo, and I’ve been crazy since I got my prescription filled: emotional, panic attacks. I’m calling my doctor tomorrow. I can’t do this.

I urge everyone here to report to the FDA with your issue. If they get enough complains they might just actually look into it and recall.

I have had this same problem. I tried calling Walgreens Pharmacy and they refused to help in any way. I really don’t know what to do. I can’t find any nearby pharmacies that carry the Greenstone brand sertraline.

I have been on Zoloft since 1991. I switched to Sertraline HCl as soon as it was available. I have been stable on 200 mg for several years. Since my last refill I have noticed a gradual decline in my mood. I am ‘down in the hole’ again and can’t seem to find a way out. I have even been obsessing with suicidal ideation again. It’s a scary place to be in. Situationally nothing has changed in my life. I am in a therapy, so I feel safe. I am starting to wonder about the effectiveness of my Sertraline 100 mg. It is an oval, yellow tablet with the imprint G 4910/100. My next refill is from a different manufacturer. It is an oval, yellow tablet with the imprint A/1 8. This change causes me further concern. I was curious if anyone else has had a return of symptoms while taking Sertraline vs Zoloft.

I have had almost the exact experience as you, but my pharmacy did not change brands ( Kaiser has GREENSTONE) I just feel like this was a bottle at the end of line and maybe got shorted (and I feel like suddenly I was taken off them and all those horrible thing start happing in my body) I don’t know if that can happen at these companies. This has not only happened with stetraline, but some other medications I have taken, overtime I bring this up to a DR, they just say that it is not possible… but they are exactly like to name brand – they are not. I’m writing this just to document my message and someone out there will do something about this.

I had the exact same issue as Jennifer from Boston. Sertraline was switched from Greenstone to Aurobindo at Wallgreeens. I started feeling anxious, lightheaded, and I had a Vesovagal reaction and passed out at work. After 2 weeks of this I have called Walgreens and they have ordered the Greenstone for me. I have been on this drug for over 10 years and I have never had a reaction like this.

I have started taking lisinopril and spironolactone manufactured by qualitest and my last blood pressure reading was high. I haven’t gained weight, actually have lost. And my sodium intake is less. I have noticed I haven’t been visiting the restroom as often as I did taking a different brand. Last night I took one of my old spironolactone and I’ve been urinating every two to three hours and my feet aren’t as puffy. I’m thinking the quality of Qualitest is not there. It’s not working. How do we get checked out?

I never realized there were different manufacturers for generic medications. I recently refilled a prescription for escitalopram, which I’ve been taking with great success for a long time. But shortly after I got the refill, I started having really pronounced symptoms. I’ve been joking, “who switched my Lexapro for placebos?”

I called the pharmacy today just to make sure there hadn’t been a mixup. The pharmacist told me they’d switched manufacturers for escitalopram. I asked more questions and found that the generic made by Lupin was working just fine, but on the recent refill I got the generic made by Accord. I might as well be taking tic tacs.

My doctor called every pharmacy in town, and no one has the Lupin escitalopram. So now she’s calling in a script for Lexapro name brand only, no generic. It absolutely infuriates me, because the generic has been working so well for such a long time. Now I’m going to have to pay more for brand name. It doesn’t feel fair.

The same thing happened to me. I was on liquid generic escitalpram (lexapro) made by Camber Pharmaceuticals and it was working great. I switched to tablets made by Accord-Healthcare, and withdrawal started within a day of taking them. It also explains why the tablets didn’t work in the first place when I took them for a month this past July. They also caused a lot of congestion, which Lexapro isn’t supposed to do. Of course my pharmacy cannot get Camber tablets and my insurance doesn’t cover brand names. The Pharmacy does carry Lupin, which is made in India, and unfortunately a lot of Indian pharmaceuticals provide sub-par generics. But since you say that Lupin was working for you, maybe it will work for me too.

Recently filled my Rx for generic sertraline and was informed the manufacturer changed (went from Greenstone to Aurobindo). I know from past experience this can be an issue but I was trying to go with the flow. Fast forward after taking the Aurobindo for 2 weeks and it was scary how dark my mood/thoughts were getting. Walgreen’s actually handled it great when I went in to tell them I was not responding well at all to the Aurobindo sertraline and needed to switch back. They were able to get me the Greenstone manufacturer again within a couple of days but it took another 2 weeks to get it back into my system and start to feel like I was in control of my thoughts again…pretty terrifying really. Overall bad experience with sertraline manufactured by Aurobindo.

I take the Zolpidem generic Ambiem.The oval shape with E and the #79 works great but the generic round shape with TEVA/74 doesn’t. I must say it is a difference in the mfg.

I find the generic brand Qualitest is of little help with my anxiety while Tva & Mylan both work

Been taking Sandoz valsartan and pharmacy switched to Aurobindo. Not working and must have a lot of fillers as it also upsets my stomach.

I started using Apotex Metformin 2 months ago (March/15) sourced from Publix due to being a “FREE” drug. In the past 2 months my blood sugar has spiked by 40-50 points on average in comparison to the version I received from Walgreens. I guess free is a substitute for CRAPPY MEDICINES!!

I had the same experience Publix free metformin my numbers were 150-160 switched back to Walmart’s $15 for 90 days supply and my numbers are back to normal 120-125. Spend the money get REAL Drugs. This must be horrible for the elderly who move south and think their diabetes is getting worse, when in fact it really isn’t.

I just restarted pravastatin sodium 10 mg. I was given a prescription manufactured By Apotex. I have never had such bad side effects. I don’t think this was “up to snuff”. I have requested my pharmacy to only give this drug manufactured by Teva.

Ever since the switch from the Oxycodone 5mg / 325mg round white tablet w/ #512 on one side & scored on the other – the switch was to Aurobindo Pharm (supposed equivalent) U15 oblong tablet – These Aurobindo tabs DON’T WORK AT ALL !!! My pain levels are thru the roof with little relief of parastesia pains – I talked to the Pharmacy/Pharmacist but to no avail – they claim I’m the only one complaining !? Huh? – After seeing the web results, I don’t believe I’m the “the only complainer” & they must be full of shizaam. I don’t know what to do – almost 1 yr. w/ so much pain – Oh yeah, BTW -I still have just a few of the “old round 512’s” & still they work way better than a “Fresh Aurobindo Pharm U15”. I must say – these Aurobindo U15’s suck because they simply don’t work. :(

I have been on generic lexapro for a while but on occasion, the pharmacist will switch the manufacturer and I get the escitalopram oxalate that has a letter M on it. The last time I took this, it made me so incredibly tired and light headed that I could barely function ( I am on a 10mg dose). It has been a while since this has happened but last week I was given the drug with M on it again and same symptoms are happening. The pharmacist insists it’s the same as other generic (that has an I/G on it), but I just can’t believe this based on symptoms. Has anyone else had a problem with the generic with the M on it? Who is the manufacturer of the one with M on it and how can I report it?

Sorry this is a bit late, but any pills of any type of medication that have a boxed M on them are made by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Sometimes people mistakenly think this brand mark means Mylan (another company) but they are not.

I have stories and anecdotes about this subject for days, but as we all know, that won’t make a difference when it comes to enacting real regulatory reform for generics. In an ideal (or even obvious) world, the fact that *thousands* of people have noticed differences in their medication from brand to brand would be enough to, at least, warrant some further investigation into the matter. This post alone is a microcosm of that point – it’s over seven years old, and it is *still* gaining comment-traction, attention, and search-engine-generated results from people who want to know why they’re experiencing differences in their medication from brand to brand.

As far as statistics go, the number of people who take X-medication and the number of people who have noticed discrepancies in X-medication after switching from name-brand to generic (or after switching from one generic to another) is large enough to make a convincing pie chart. It’s a bit curious that the issue is still present and unchanged after wide speculation and concern. If an average business found a large percentage of its consumers expressing quality-inconsistency, it wouldn’t be long before the business was forced to change… or fold (word-of-mouth, competition, governmental regulation and/or quality control, failure to comply with standards of safety, etc etc etc). So why hasn’t anything changed when this many people have recognized inconsistencies in their prescription medications? The ‘business’ in question is not your ‘average business’. It’s extremely difficult for average folks (even if they are also the business’s primary consumers) to enact large-scale scrutiny/reform/transparency when the business or industry 1. generates significant money (and is therefore responsible for large economic growth), 2. finances scientific research or other studies (which happen to often cross-benefit mutual industries and/or interested parties), or 3. actively participates in a symbiotic relationship with political affiliations. Yet if anyone tries to point this out (that is, “what separates the “average business” from a pharmaceutical company) they’ll be accused of sounding like a conspiracy-fueled, tinfoil-hat-wearing loon.

As of Jan 2 2015, I am now paying almost $300.00 ea month for2 brand name drugs – Maxide and Glucophage. The generics used to work but haven’t for a long time. I have previously had to pay
more, but the difference is almost $300 compared to $100 ea month. They told me a letter from Dr will not even be considered.
Thank you for any help.

The Metformin pills from India are so cheap, Walmart, Target and Supermarkets are giving monthly supplies for free. We all need to write to the FDA. Sun Pharma, AscendLabs are falsifying quality records. And the pills don’t work. No one cares!

You should know that synthroid has never been approved by the FDA because it is a very old drug. I took it for a few years. Then broke out in a rash over all of my body. Culprit after many many tests was Synthroid. Switched to levothyroxine and no problems. Check out the color of the pills that cause issues. I cannot take pills with green dye in them.

Have you heard anything about Metformin by Major Pharmaceuticals not working? For some reason the VA sent my brother many more bottles than he could use of the 1000 mg strength, which he was supposed to break in half and take 1 bid. My mom ran out of hers and was given some of my brothers. His blood sugar never changed at all with this Major Metformin, which I found odd. Before my mom took the VA Major brand, her blood sugar which was quite well controlled with her own prescribed Metformin. It promptly went up to almost 200, and has never gone below 125 previously. Why is this? Is some weird research being done on vets that we know nothing about? With all the recent VA problems I am wondering if I inadvertently uncovered something. They have really been pushing insulin on him, because his blood sugar is so high. Something really stinks here, and I would like to know what is going on.

Major Pharmaceuticals also supplies a generic of Tylenol that hasn’t worked for me so I went back to the Costco brand (Kirkland).

I don’t know about the VA owning Major Brand (which is out of Livonia, MI).
Another med that I get from the VA is Baclofen. I get that pill in 3 different
shapes, Each is verified based on shape/color/imprint but it shows how difficult it can be to keep up with even one med. The VA always shops for a better price.
If I bring an issue to their attention they “explain” that the side effects aren’t always terrible so don’t worry when the printout they ship with the prescription says to NOT take this if you’re taking that.

Interesting! I got pushed into mail-order pharmacy via insurance (thanks, Obama!) and my metformin is a different manufacturer. Have taken it for about 30 days and my morning b.s. readings are too high; I’ve even slightly increased the Levemir I take daily and it still isn’t working. Tomorrow, back to my local pharmacy to get meds from previous manufacturer. I pray it makes a difference! Btw: old meds from Ascend, new from Aurobindo. Also — why are the majority of our meds made in India?

seems strange that the price of synthroid and levithroxide have gotten very expensive, I recall when the drug stores were envolved in a class action and in my casse returned me for 100.00 for their tactics when I first had synthroid it was around 6.00 for a 90 day script. If the item is cheap they discontinue the product, not fair tactics

I had been taking Synthroid for about 15 years when I went on Medicare and Tricare for Life and started getting prescriptions from Tricare’s Express scripts. They substituted a generic, and very soon I started gaining weight (I have never had a problem with weight), I couldn’t get enough sleep, and my hair and nails became brittle. I went to my MD who checked my thyroid levels and said they were OK.

I went online to search for thyroid problems and found lots of reports of the same problem with the generic. I asked my MD for a prescription for the Synthroid brand and my symptoms disappeared within days! Tricare won’t pay for the brand, so I have to pay for it myself. It is quite expensive, almost a dollar a pill.

How do we report problems with “physically defective” generic pills? One of my medications recently had a generic version released, and the tablets are literally Falling Apart in the bottle!! I’ve filled the prescription 2 times so far, and there have been a Lot of broken pills in both bottles. They come pre-packaged in sealed 30-day supply bottles (packaged & sealed by the manufacturer), so I know the problem isn’t caused by my pharmacy mishandling the tablets.

My only options for now are to either discard the broken pills and hope there are enough left for me to be allowed to refill the Rx without it being “too early to refill”. Or I can try to match up the pieces like a bunch of little puzzles to assemble a “full” tablet. I’ve done this successfully with a few tablets, but seriously, it’s getting ridiculous! I was told by the pharmacy tech that I can’t return the medication for a refund, but I think I’m going to call again and speak with the head pharmacist, store manager, regional office, etc.

What’s even more troubling, though: if the generic pharmaceutical company can’t even manufacturer a pill that doesn’t Fall Apart (a pretty basic requirement!), how can I trust Anything about manufacturing of this pill? How do I even know the active ingredient was synthesized properly & safely?

The company is Orchid Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in India. They have a location listed in Princeton NJ as well, but the manufacturing is done in India. I have the phone numbers for both locations, and I considered calling one or both of them. But at this point I’d rather report them to a US federal agency like the FDA, or any other relevant agency. Especially since these agencies keep records (I assume) of the number and types of problems reported with specific drugs and the drug manufacturing companies.

Any suggestions on who to contact to report this? I’ve also alerted my pharmacy about it (both the local pharmacy and their toll-free customer support). Pharmacies have the option to order their generics from a different company if needed, and I would seriously hope they’d change suppliers, but I suspect it’s not an easy thing to “demand” that from a pharmacy.

Has anyone noticed problems with generic cymbalta manufactured by Lupin? I am having symptoms of withdrawal after taking it two days – light headedness, some nausea, insomnia.

Not sure where to turn. I switched from name brand cymbalta to duloxetine hcl manf by Lupin pharm based in India. I had immediate return of depression symptoms including suicidal ideation. Many people on the net complained about its ineffectiveness. I did follow through with c/o to FDA. I’ve started paperwork. Lupin wanted my entire supply of pills. I sent 6. I have a supply still. 4 days ago I received new refill of duloxetine hcl from lupin but different lot number. Already I am stable, happy and more functional. I believe lupin released this generic with low amt of effective ingredient just to see if they could get by with it. This latest supply is effective. Seems that should be illegal.

I have been fighting suicidal thoughts for past three months. I’ve needed monthly pdoc appts and numerous medical appts. My fibro flared up requiring a course of PT with possibly of pain management referral. I can’t find case histories against lupin. Not sure where to turn. If you can help me or refer me i would really appreciate your time.

I’ve been prescribed both Ambien Generic by Teva and Generic Klonopin by Activas! After over a decade with no problems with Watson being the generic company my medication came to a halt and no longer works! At first my DR increased my Klonopin to a whopping 8mg daily and Ambien to 20mg switching every other month with Ambien CR! I’m at the point I need to have to pay more money to get the brand! The FDA has approved all these generic pharmaceutical companies that are overseas and are NOT effective! 8 mg of generic Klonopin doesn’t even make me drowsy! It’s not a tolerance issue because it literally happened when my pharmacy switched brands back in February! If I take a brand it works in its full capacity! I also had issues when prescribed generic Percocet 10/325 by Activis!

The Watson version worked wonders after major oral surgery yet Activas brand barely dulled the pain and gave me sever diarrhea! I felt sick and jittery while Watson eliminated pain and pressure, no stomach issues and did not cause jitters or racing heart beat! I actually slept! My mental health with my Ambien and Klonopin is far more worth paying more that to put drugs that contain unknown fillers from foreign companies!

@ JENNY from NY. Have you mentioned this to your pharmacy? Sometimes pharmacies will order a particular version of the generic for you. If your current pharmacy won’t special order, are there other pharmacies in your area that do? Better yet, have you tried calling around to see if other pharmacies carry your meds from by the previous manufacturer (Watson)? Since pharmacies periodically change vendors (as you know too well), there may be a pharmacy out there that carries and/or may be willing to order the Watson version. Good luck, and sorry to hear you’re having to deal with all that.

I have been taking 20 mg. of lisinipril for several years. I haven’t noticed a change in my blood pressure until I got a refill and the manufacturer was accord healthcare. Most days I have to take 2 tablets to keep my blood pressure controlled with this new refill. I plan on seeing my doc soon to discuss this and will be calling the pharmacy.

After two months of taking the Teva diazepam generic, I was having heart palpitations, sweating, insomnia, to a *much* greater degree than normal. I just got my Rx refilled with the same Teva brand. If I continue to have trouble I am going to have to have my doctor ask for a switch because I do NOT feel comfortable talking to my pharmacist about matters such as these because they always think, as is said a thousand times here, they think it’s “all in your head” if you claim your meds are weak… and I know that it is not in my head. The only way I stayed out of the ER this month was the fact that I had one day of the Watson brand saved… How to piss off a Ppharm? Ask for Watson brand

I was switched to a different manufacturer and I am having a very hard time this month. I feel like screaming!

The doctor prescribed this medicine for rapid heartbeat. The pharmacy filled it about 3 times, then substituted the medicine. My heart was erratic and pounding after about a week or two. It got so bad, I called the pharmacist, who said it is exactly the same just different manufacturers.
Then it got worse, I called the doctor’s office, the receptionist was not sympathetic, but said to come on in. The doctor met me at the door, said it was not my meds, even tho it started when i started taking the substitution.
After a very unpleasant time of it, he reluctantly prescribed the first meds, if I would go to a different pharmacy. The way I could tell it was the first, was it was a larger pill that you could half.
I take one half in the morning and one half at night. The other pill was a smaller pill, with no half marking on it, My heart still hasn’t settled down but is much better.

I’ve been taking Levothyroxine for several years. Manufacturer Sandoz 25mcg pills dissolve on my tongue the second I start to swallow water.
This can’t be good for efficacy – I can’t find one bit of information while researching for several months now.

I have been researching this myself and can’t find anything either… I was taking them for about 3 months, and in that time I had blood work done and my numbers went from 1 to 5.5. So I called around to other pharmacies asking about manufacturers and found one that uses Mylan which is the Manufacturer that I previously used… I noticed that they aren’t accredited by the BBB where Mylan is.. Maybe there is something to that, I have know idea..

In 2013, while traveling, ran out of Effexor XR 75 mg. Received generic refill by Teva at a Walgreens. Within 2 days went into what I think was Effexor withdrawal — many side effects, including fuzzy vision. Switched back to Effexor XR in another city, which worked, but it took weeks before I was back to normal. When a generic releases most of the active ingredient at once instead of slowly over the 24- hour period, it is dangerous. FDA should decide these generics are NOT equivalent to extended release brand name meds. Thank goodness I was not driving when my body got messed up.

Almost every month one of my prescriptions has changed formula or manufacturer. I take 3 psychiatric medications, and the change ranges from having a bad week of adjustment to my current period where I feel like I am in all-out withdrawal. These generics companies are not consumer-focused but investor-focused. When I see news reports of recalls, the CEOs talk about how it won’t hurt their stock this quarter and that things are full speed ahead.
If you don’t know what benzodiazepine withdrawal is, it has been described as worse than heroin withdrawal. And that’s what I have been going through while trying to stay in college for the last 4 weeks. I know it started to the day when my brand of medication was changed. I know that long-term use of benzodiazepines is not good. I was 14 years old when I was put on them, and I can’t get off now—although in essence it feels like I am since the brand switch.
I don’t trust any of these companies. Why is it that we know where our food is made but we accept generics made in India in factories that are now regularly shut down by the FDA? The FDA needs to be completely reformed and actually start regulating and TESTING these drugs!

I am prescribed diazepam, had several brands over the 40 years I’m using it. Apotex and PCM =TEVA 5mg are (for me) by far the worst. This week I got Apotex thought I was going to die. Heart rate more than 140, impossible to sleep. I phoned and convinced the pharmacist to switch back to Actavis, those are what my m.d. prescribed Feel reborn. But it makes me sad for people who cannot do anything about it. Believe me staying friendly and polite to someone who is almost killing me was not easy. I live in the Netherlands

FYI. A similar story as told by others here. I have been taking generic Zoloft or sertraline, 50gm for a few years. My pharmacy, a large chain, will sometimes switch the generic manufacturer from time to time, I suppose based on cost or availability or both. I noticed my symptoms reappeared when taking the Aurobindo Phama generic. Of course, you are never certain if its the meds or something else going on. But I was bothered by the perceived lack of effect when taking the generic so much, that I asked the pharmacy, and paid out of pocket almost $200 / 30 day supply, for the name brand Zoloft. I noticed an IMMEDIATE difference taking the brand name. Since the name brand is so expensive and not covered by insurance, I hope to at least find a generic manufacturer product that will perform as well as the name brand.

I took a name brand thyroid medication from childhood (I am now almost forty) and was given a generic without warning while living in California. My life started falling apart. I lost moments of memory. I had trouble doing basic things. I was writing a dissertation at a top university and my ability to organize my work and thoughts fell apart in less than six months. As I had no warning I also had no suspicion of why or what was happening. I had brain fog, exhaustion, depression, and ultimately three different kings of anemia–leaving me with a feeling of electric shocks running through my body.
Is there something I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others? It had a terrible effect on me personally and professionally–and several months of my life just feel like a blur. I want some answers … I am more or less fine now — I’m still taking supplements to try to fix the anemias. I think it is understandable that I am upset. I will write to the FDA and to Wallgreen’s (where I was unwittingly filling the prescription). This happened in California and North Carolina–and I don’t understand why the latter since they are not supposed to be able to change medications without telling you. My feeling is this is malpractice in fact if not in law …

Wow this website is incredible! I honestly thought I was losing my mind as did my Dr. I have been on toprol for 5 years with no problems …until the pharmacy I use (no names needed) and when switched to the generic I have felt like walking dead.
My Dr. has notified pharmacy that I can’t take generics in my Dilantin and synthroid… but the metoprolol is generic and every month seems to be a different story… one month I can feel fine and than the next feel shaky, foggy, depressed and trembling legs.Anyone else experience this issue… I’m off to see the doctor next week and I’m sure she will think I am over the edge because she weaned me off generic Zoloft because I was not feeling any effect from it. Please someone tell me I’m not over-reacting.

I also live in NC and can’t comprehend why docs here don’t understand that the Synyhroid is so dosage specific that once it’s right, it shouldn’t be tampered with! Same thing happened to me after moving here so I feel your pain. It was a nightmare, first they had me on antidepressants and Librium. Didn’t want to listen and accept that generics are different. Now I’m disabled with arthritis from a car wreck many years later. Same battle trying to get neurologist and pharmacist to accept pain med generics, the cheaper they get, less effective and shorter shelf life. Not years but weeks! Glad I got my Synthroid back, but this pain is getting to me. Neck and spine. Ouch. And I will not take extra or put anything up my nose except my pinky! Small nostrils. Good luck to you all. Pharma can buy low and sell high. Docs don’t listen much anymore as we are on a stop watch. Ouch. Goodnight and God bless.

I’ve been on Loestrin 1/20 made by Duramed for awhile now and I’ve done quite well on it. My menopausal symptoms abated and I felt well with no side effects. For several months I took a generic version called microgestin made by Watson. I felt no difference from the brand name and did well. When we had a pay cut at work, I began to order my medicine from Caremark. We’ve had many problems there, including wrong drugs, wrong dosages, incorrect information given over the phone, conflicting information on the phone vs. online secure messaging, but the pertinent problem here is with the generic version of Loestrin they sent me: Junel manufactured by Teva. It took me a long time to figure out what was wrong.
Gradually I began to have hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, many of the troubles that had me begin the medicine in the first place. I did not attribute it to the medicine until very recently when I said “you know, it feels as though I’m not taking any hormone at all! Just placebo day after day!” I looked at the manufacturer and sure enough, Teva. Previously I had a doctor ask our pharmacist not to use Teva with another medicine so I guess this isn’t so shocking.
I wrote to Caremark and asked if I could switch to another generic or brand name. I’m going to call my doc on Monday and tell her about it. I still have some of this batch left. I wish I could have it tested somehow.

I found the same issue with my generic script that I just had filled at a local pharmacy. When I checked package, it wasn’t made by the same manufacturer that had made my previous generic imitrex. It is made in India. The other generic worked fine. This same pharmacy filled another script with product made in Israel, where previously the meds were made in NJ. This particular script is a topical chemotherapy. Not the same in texture and when you open the tube it oozes and you can’t stop it. The tube is $381 so to end up wasting 10 to 15 applications every tine you open the tube is unacceptable.
These two scripts came from a local pharmacy not a chain, so I would have thought they would be better about issues like that but I guess they go for the cheapest possible suppliers.

Is there somewhere you can have medication analyzed if you have suspicions that a generic is not complying with guidelines? I would be willing to pay if there is a legitimate way to do have a medication analyzed. I reported my concerns to my pharmacist, but only got the standard company line of generics are by law biologically equal to their brand name counterparts. Thank you.
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Such an analysis is sadly far too pricey for an individual or even a small company like ours to undertake. Do report your concern to MedWatch.

I was taking a 5 mg generic for flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) for fibromyalgia pain. I found that 1/2 of the tablet (round pink TL 211) was sufficient to block pain and allow me a decent nights sleep. I had to switch to another pharmacy and they filled the prescription with a different generic (round blue M 771). My usual dose of 1/2 pill for the blue pill did not work at all. I upped the dose (yes this was OK, the prescription states 1/2 to 1 pill 3x daily) and took a whole pill nightly for two weeks with no noticeable effect. I had 5 of the pink pills tucked in my travel bag so that I would be sure to have some medication in case of emergencies. I gave up and took 1/2 of one of the pink pills and slept all night.
I took the prescription back to the pharmacy to talk to the pharmacist. He stated he had never heard of any such thing and that it must have been my body that changed. Obviously not true. After I asked specifically, he stated that he had received no other complaints. I asked specifically, and he stated that there was no way to report that the drug didn’t seem to work, no way to test the drug, and no way to file a complaint. All he would suggest is that I up the dosage to 10 mg.
I’ve been searching the FDA website, etc. for some guidance on who to report to or complain to and this is the only place I’ve found so far. Why isn’t there an official place to which one can report less than effective generic drugs?

Hey I know the feeling. Going through the same problem.

I was switched from Avtavis witch was fine to me to TEVA diazepam I’ve got ill an hour after taking it, heart irregularity is the scariest and the spastic like uncontrollable movements. Now I’m trying to get the old Actavis again. Lucky I have some til Monday when I have to phone pd, pharmacy, and TEVA what in the name of hell is in the tablets. It is no diazepam.

I wanted to report that Teva’s generic drug Zolipidem 10MG (Ambien) is ineffective in treating insomnia . Just tried this brand which my pharmacist substituted for Mylan Mfg. which I use to get RX from. There is no comparison between the two brands in the way the medication gives expected results. FDA should look into this since Teva is selling a lot of Zolipidem to a lot of unsuspecting people and making a lot of money for a poorly manufactured drug.

I find that I have to take twice as much of the generic Imitrex to get about two-thirds of the effectiveness of the name-brand, but I’m unable to get the name-brand anymore because of the cost.

Generic Zonegran, manufactured as Zonisamide, 100mg by Mylan are causing the skin on the palms and fingers on my hands and feet to peel and sluff. This is only with this one manufacturer, and it is nearly continuous year round.
I need Zonisamide to fight a broken sciatic nerve’s pounding pain, and now radiation nerve damage.

Thank you for providing this forum.
As a 63 year old male, I take a variety of generic drugs. I have, many of us have, grown to depend on them for our health.
We are seeing now many of the problems involving purity and bio equivalence that were predicted, coming to light. I had been taking the generic bupropion, Wellbutrin XL since it became available several years ago and have had my suspicions. This recent inquiry into this product explains some things. Many doctors, nurses and pharmacists considered my concerns as “all in my head”. Many symptoms, unless severe, are often not evaluated properly.
I expect this is only the tip of the iceberg as there are hundreds of different drugs in many strengths and forms. I take several pain medications they seem to vary in performance, at times. Thanks again for providing a forum to address these issues. I will continue to be vigilant for myself, my family and loved ones.

Generic form of Clarinex (desloratadine) by Virtus Pharmaceuticals did NOT work for me because it caused increasingly severe gastrointestinal symptoms over several weeks. Finally I stopped taking it in hopes that I’d get some relief, and almost immediately things improved. I suspected this medication after a few weeks because nothing else had changed. Also, the pills have a bad odor and taste (musty odor, almost like penicillin). The G.I. symptoms became pretty bad (diarrhea 5-6x/day, to the point where I almost couldn’t leave the house). I’m wondering if one of the “fillers” is the culprit.

HI It doesn’t matter what spelling they use. There are articles on the internet. its the manufacturer that is important. In the effected Wellbutrin, it’s TEVA Manufacturers. Their version of generic Wellbutrin is the one at issue and they “voluntarily” recalled it. Check with you pharmacist on who’s drug they sold you. My daughter is better after switching her meds and 18 days inpatient, she is stable again.

I’m confused, I take BUPRONION HCL XL TABS and have developed the same symptoms as others claim in earlier comments. I had been taking Welbutrin in the past and got along fine. I ask my druggist yesterday as I’m getting concern and she said that is was Budeprion that was recalled not Bupropion that was recalled. ( notice the spelling ) so what is the real story ?? please someone answer because in need support to get my Doctor to get me off of this… How does one ween from a drug ?
What is the difference between the spelling ???
Thanks wdp

My insurance, Tricare, demands generics. I take Fosinopril for my blood pressure. They switch to a different generic manufacture of it, every third or fourth prescription refill. Every time they do that, my BP goes up. It usually takes months to get it stabilized again. I have gone from 10mg a day (TEVA manufacture-to now 40 mg a day (Eon/Sandoz). I would happily pay a premium or surcharge for a quality manufacture of Fosinopril, just to keep from having to go through that. I’m 60 years old and don’t need the grief. All generics are not the same. All manufactures of the same generic drug are not the same. I complained to Tricare about it. They said it was not their problem because I had already paid for it.

Has Anyone concentrated on the inert ingredients in generic formulations?
Recently, I took a generic of Keppra, a brand-name drug that worked well for 7 years but which costs 1000’s of Dollars a year. The generic, which costs 320 a year, meant unbearable itching and burning. I finally had numb feet–Peripheral neuropathy… from which I hope I am recovering. No generic formulation has the same formulation as Keppra. Yet, these other ingredients are misnamed inert. They all have functions. They are chosen for their precise role. They are not inert. I had a reaction to one of them.

My daughter has recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disease in January of this year. We thought after 2 inpatient admissions, we thought that we had her stabilized with her meds. THEN, the insurance company that I work for, forced us to use generic Seroquel and Wellbutrin. Now after 6 months of dealing with her sliding back into depression, we have the suggestion that the generic Seroquel does not work as well and now there is a voluntary recall or withdrawal of the Wellbutrin.
I am at a loss for what to do. Is anyone else having this problem with the Seroquel? Her doctor’s office seemed to be all to familiar with the problem and put her on a 3rd drug, Celexa. They have now doubled the dose of the Celexa but she is barely able to function.

Here is a link to the article about the FDA pulling TEVA generic Wellbutrin XL300. Note that in this article at Q19, there is a place to report adverse events to generic Wellbutrin XL. PLEASE, if you have had an adverse effect from generic Wellbutrin (any brand), REPORT IT to the FDA!!! Maybe we can finally get their attention about this serious problem!

Just wanted to chime in with the hope that it will be noted by the FDA.
After taking Zoloft for 3+ years, which helped me come out of my depression and anxiety, I switched to generic when it first became available.
Within 3 weeks I was a wreck! Jittery, depressed, anxious – all kinds of side effects I had not experienced on the brand name.
Fortunately I realized what was going on. I switched back to brand – which I pay cash for – and have been happy and side effect free for years!

Heard this morning that Teva’s generic brand of Wellbutrin 300XL pulled. I too have been on either the brand or generic of Wellbutrin 300XL for YEARS. I’ve had ups and downs but never attributed them to the generic form of the medication. It certainly makes sense now.
After reading all the heartbreaking comments posted here since 2007, I sincerely hope you all have found some relief in your medication and can afford it. Too bad it took so long for the FDA to acknowledge what was being reported.

Our son takes Depakote as a seizure medication. A local PA changed his prescription to the generic form of Depakote, without our knowledge. When we begin to notice negative changes in our son, we took him to his neurologist who was livid that his seizure medication had been switched to a generic. He must have the brand name seizure med. I feel this is true for other medications as well, but saw first hand the difference this switch made!!!

This is EXACTLY how I feel that I pay a lot for insurance and cannot even decide which medications to take without a PRIOR AUTHORIZATION or trying one med first on a trial and it not work before the insurance will pay for the medication I’ve been taking all along. It’s insane!

Depakote is one of several epilepsy medications that are “Narrow Therapeutic Index” (NTI) drugs. Dilantin and Tegretol are also NTI drugs. Narrow Therapeutic Index means that there is very little dosage difference between the dose at which it is effective and the dose at which the drug is toxic. For generics, the FDA allows too much variability in the bioavailability of active ingredients (anywhere from 80% to 125% of stated bioavailability) for generics to be substituted in NTI drugs.
For example, if you are stable on your medication from ABC generic company for several months and they make the drug at 125% of bioavailability, and then next month you get it from XYZ company and they make it at 80% — you are going to have a problem of ineffective levels of drug in your blood on the XYZ product.
If your insurance company is insisting on generics make sure your pharmacy always gets the generics from the same manufacturer – so that the likelihood of variability is reduced.

I have been taking glimperide to help control diabetes for the past 10 years. My last two refills of the generic drug glimperide were produced in India. My blood sugar has increased a good 20 points because the drug produced in India is either of poor quality or not the correct strength.
What ever happened to keeping Americans working in this country? Is everything about making a buck these days? How can we trust overseas factories to produce top quality and out there the F&DA does not do as thorough a checking process there as they do here?

Until recently I have never had a problem with generics. I was switched to generic ditropan XL. I had taken this drug for urinary frequency and/or stress incontinence for appx 20 years. It was a wonderful result to an annoying problem. I was switched to a generic by my mail order pharmacy 6 months ago or so. I knew immediately things were significantly different. I may have been paying much less but I was only having 10% of the efficacy that I had been experiencing prior to the switch. The mail order pharmacy claims that they have to have communication with the extent of my problem etc. from my physician to give me the brand name. I have given it more time to see if there would be an improvement on the generic but it hasn’t happened. I may as not take it at all. So disappointing. It impacts and complicates my life.
Then just recently my orthopedic physician wanted me to try diflucan for my knee arthritis. He gave me a prescription for 10 days to see if I tolerated it and if it helped. It was amazing the result I got with in 48 hours. So, I had the orthopedic office fax a prescription to the mail order pharmacy. I wish I hadn’t. I received a different generic and it is only 50 to 75% as effective.
Now what do I do? Toss the 90 day supply and get a new prescription and pay a higher co-pay. I don’t like to waste the meds, I don’t want to pay more if I don’t have to….. it just plain complicates things and I am starting to mistrust generics at all.

I have been forced three times now from Welbutrin XL to a generic “equivalent”, and each time I have tried to switch, depression rears its ugly, gloomy head with increasing darkness almost daily. None of these things has happened with Wellbutrin XL.
Why is it that our bureaucrats are free to do this sort of thing without consequence? If they fail to respond to the public and are subsequently shown to have not seriously checked out complaints about discrepancies, they should be imprisoned for at least 5 years in a Federal prison. Otherwise these people will simply work the pharmaceutical “buddy system” and get cushy jobs and contracts after government “service”. We need accountability and we are simply not getting it.
In addition, generic drug makers and distributors should be forced to refund money spent on ineffective products that they had very good reason to know do not work as advertised to end users only, not to insurance companies or their contractors.
Generic Wellbutrin does not work, at least for me and for tens of thousands of others. The FDA is not receptive to consumer complaints, insisting that you do your own studies to prove them wrong before they will document complaints. This is not service to the public but service to an industry they supposedly regulate in the Public Interest and at taxpayer expense. Crooked, corrupt, and unresponsive. Those people should have their “professional” licenses revoked.

I have been taking generic Prozac for almost three years, the pills were half white and half green. At the first of the year my new insurance home pharmacy sent me another generic that was half white and half navy. I did not think much about it at the time. As the months went on I had heartburn and stomach problems. I thought it was from the sports drink I was drinking, had a similar problem before, so I stop drinking them, but still had the pain.
I thought to myself, could this be the new Prozac made by Northstar? Then a doctor told me it could be. I did a search and found other people had the same problem with Northstar. I call my in town pharmacy and asked if they had the green and white generic Prozac and they said yes. So after jumping through hoops with the insurance company I was able to get the other generic Prozac.
When I got the new generic I saw that is was white with light green strips, not the same manufacture. I decided to take it since I needed the medication. Two days after starting the generic Prozac made by Teva I started to break out in a rash. I stop the medication and did a search to see if I could find the half white, half green pills. I did find the manufacturer and in talking with them they told me they are no longer making the generic.
I call my doctor to let her know what was happening and we tried to get the Prozac brand. My insurance denied it and if I was to pay for it myself it would have been over $600.00 a month. The generic was not working that well in controlling my depression, so I thought it was not worth it.
Not sure if it was the generic Prozac that caused the rash or another medication I had started a week before (now stopped), but normally if I am allergic to something it only takes a day or two to show up. The rash was on over 90% of my body and itchy. I did see my PCP and I am better.
I wanted to leave a comment because I feel this generic problem is going to get worst for all of us with company’s possibly using cheaper inactive ingredients.
Another question I have is if starting a new medication and you have an allergic reaction, how are the doctor’s going to know if it is the medication or the inactive ingredients, they can’t. This could limit access to medications and of course cost us all more money.
I am contacting the FDA about this.

I took the generic medication for toenail fungus but there was no improvement in the fungus. I wonder if anyone else has had this problem?

Last week I was prescribed Azithromycin for bronchitis. I “knew” I would feel much better the second day but DID NOT. Actually I felt worse and my temp. went up to 100 for a while, but I thought maybe my condition had not peaked at that time. I have used the Z-Pack [ The Wonder Antibiotic ] several times in the past with great results. This is my 4th. day on this medication that came from INDIA and now I am really worried.
I am not getting well as I should and think this is shameful of our drug companies in this country, what can we do about it?? I also wonder if this drug is doing me more harm than good. I was prescribed an ointment by my dermatologist after having pre-cancerous spots frozen off my face, that one came from Israel. Both of these this week !!!!! I am really disappointed and worried about our future in this country as far as drugs are concerned, for one thing.

Oh thank GOD!!!! I thought I was going insane!! I have an appointment today to discuss all of the changes I’ve had since switching from Celexa to the generic Torrent version. I feel worse than I did 12 years ago when I started Celexa. It crept on in the last 3 weeks since refilling my prescription.And no one at the pharmacy told me they were switching manufacturers. It took me going in there last night, crying and panicking hysterically, to get to the bottom of this. I will pay any amount of money that I am able in order to feel good and healthy and like myself. I will never touch a generic celexa again.

I have heard of problems with this before. It is unfortunate that you had problems with the generic of Depakote. Be reassured that this is not always a problem. To be most effective in stopping this kind of problem in the future be sure you report this problem to the FDA at
Most would agree that not all generics are bad and likewise that not all brand names are good.

Neurological Drugs – Very important to take Brand
My daughter takes depakote for seizures. Her pharmacy filled it with the generic and she had a grand mal seizure within 48 hours. Blood tests showed the level of the drug assimilated in her blood stream from the generic (valproic acid) was low. Her neurologist/epileptologist at Johns Hopkins told us that with neurological drugs the consistency of the brand name is very important. He informs that there are several current papers on this issue.
We kept her on Depakote brand without problems, although the name drug was a higher co pay. Now she is on other insurance because of a job change but they will not fund the brand at all, only the generic. She is paying for it herself but it is very frustrating.

I agree. The generic of Wellbutrin doesn’t work for me either. I never know which manufacturer Walgreens is going to use..( I am sure which ever is making it most profitable for them ) and some work better than others and some not at all.
I pay an exorbitant amount of money for insurance and I can’t even get the meds my doctor prescribes.

I was forced to go onto generic Valtrex when the company we own moved to NY from PA. Our insurance plan (Aetna) told me I’d have to pay $325 per month for brand Valtrex or go to generic. I not only gained a horrible amount of weight, I had weird mood swings and depression. Plus the actual dose did not work so I had to “up” the dosage with terrible results.
I asked the pharmacist where it was made and was told India. The pharmacist then retorted “everything is made in India”. So I’m assuming this is a corporate decision but it is horrific. Recently the BBC reported that a heart medication manufactured in INDIA killed quite a number of people in a Pakisitani hospital–This happened to a 3rd world country 2 weeks ago. What is happening?
People’s Pharmacy response: Some generic drugs made in India adhere to good quality standards; some do not. It is extremely difficult for consumers or even health care providers to be able to distinguish them.

Thanks Greg. I appreciate your input. Unfortunately, I’m thinking Nucynta is more of a standard opiate drug. I’ve never been able to tolerate regular narcotics on any kind of regular basis–they cause intense itching and other side effects that I’ve never had with the Ultram which, fortunately, seems to be just different enough to give me relief without the terrible side effects.

As an alternative to brand name Ultram, maybe your doctor would be willing to prescribe Nucynta, which is very similar to Ultram, but a schedule 2 medication (requiring a new prescription with each fill).

I hope your suggestions help poor L.H. Unfortunately, pain patients tend to be treated like dirt. If you say you need more pills or a new prescription, the automatic assumption is that you’re an addict. Even if his current doctor believes him/her, it will go in that person’s medical record like a black mark of suspicion.
This posting is very timely for me. I took Ultram for quite a while, then was switched to a generic (can’t remember which) when it went off patent. My pain increased on the new pills, but the worst part was they made me feel sick as well. I have multiple food allergies and celiac disease, so who knows what was in them that caused the problem. As soon as I switched back to Ultram, I was fine, and have been since. I’ve been paying a much higher co-pay, but it was worth it.
I just found out that, as of this month, my co-pay has gone up from $75 to over $1,000 for a 3-month refill. My doctor will appeal for me, but I’m really frightened. I have M.S. and regional chronic pain syndrome as well as other issues, and without the pain control, my life is unbearable. I’ve had serious problems with some other generics in the past as well, including allergic reactions so bad I’ve almost needed the E.R. (throat swelling, etc.). Every time they switch my pills on me, I feel like I’m playing Russian Roulette.
On a different topic, I recently had problems with the *name brand* potassium replacement, Klor-Con. I’d been using a generic and taking 2 10MeQ tablets per day. Then my pharmacy switched me to the Klor-Con version. The very next day I began having uncomfortable bouts of heart racing and weakness. My blood level showed that my potassium level had plunged–so much so that the hospital called right after my lab was drawn, to tell me to immediately double my dose.
Even with that, it took a long time to get the level up. I am now taking triple the dose I was taking on the generic. The pills themselves look the same, but dissolve differently. The Klor-Con usually dissolve completely in my mouth before I can swallow them. Now I’m worried that when I’m switched to another brand again, my potassium level will suddenly be too dangerously high. It’s insane.

L H,
Thank you for filing the complaint with the FDA, this is only way you can hope to make a meaningful change in the generic medications on the market.
I would contact the insurance to get an override for more medication. If need be, file a complaint with your insurance company if they are not helpful.
If you are still in pain and without medication your insurance should cover tramadol 50 mg or tramadol er 100mg, of course with a new prescription from your doctor.
Best of luck,

I have been on tramadol er 200 for many years. I have been on a generic from PAR for quite a while and was fine, however Walgreens is now using a new generic recently FDA approved. Manufacturer is Lupin out of India. I took my first dose of this generic on 1/3 and within 5 hours knew something was seriously wrong. It is like a sugar pill and does not have any effect at all. Over the 24 hour period I noticed nothing. Just severe pain.
I filed a complaint with the FDA, with Walgreens and am suffering. My insurance won’t cover another refill and I can’t get a refill with the other generic for another month. I am in excruciating pain and this is not right.
There is no way that this the same as the brand or the generic by PAR Pharmaceuticals. I believe the Lupin brand was just approved in 11-11. I trusted generics, but not anymore. There should be more control over pain medication generics. They even look like plastic. Scary.

My God, yes, I also began the same symptoms when my Metoprolol refill came back a different looking pill. Sure is…and I have the “booming bass drum” heartbeats, along with annoying PVCs (a consequence of pericarditis in October and not staying on colchicine long enough after being released; MDs fault). I will have my Metoprolol Rx changed to another maker or brand or non-generic or whatever.

I had taken Zoloft for anxiety for three years, and it basically changed my life around. Since we are experiencing difficult finances (like so many others), I decided to switch to the generic to save money. BIG MISTAKE. Within 3 weeks I began feeling anxious and irritable, just like I had before being on the Zoloft.
To the pharmacy student who insists generics work the same, and that negative thinking (the mind) can make you think a medication won’t work (which perhaps may be true for some people), I believe you are misguided. It was NOT even a thought in my mind that the generic wouldn’t work. It wasn’t until my therapist suggested that I try a different antidepressant entirely that I put 2 and 2 together and thought.. “hmmm Zoloft has worked so well before, and I have been on this different one for about a month and a half and now feel lousy… let me just try going back on the brand Zoloft before we start all over with a new drug.” Within about two weeks on the brand ZOLOFT I was no longer anxious and feeling great and like myself again. Perhaps I am sensitive to the fillers- who knows. All I know is that the generic does not work for me.
Believe me, I would MUCH RATHER be able to use the generic and pay the generic price, but it does NOT work for me. $110 a month for one drug is very hard on the pocket book. However I have learned that my sanity is not something I am willing to put a price on :)
My heart goes out to all of you who have experienced the same thing!

I have been on Catapres patches for several years to help control high blood pressure. My insurance company switched me to generic Clonidine patches, manufactured by the AVENA company, without my knowledge or consent. Within 36 hours of switching to the generic my blood pressure was out of control-over 200/100.
After a week I looked at the patch when I was changing to the next one and wondered if that was the problem. I got my doctor to switch back to the name brand and within 24 hours my blood pressure was back to normal. I still have problems with the insurance company (Medco) sending me the generics but I will never take that particular drug as a generic again.

I am having trouble with metoprolol (generic) also. My blood pressure has shot up and it was fine before when I was on a different drug. I have been on Metoprolol for about 2 weeks now… can’t sleep well, I am aware of every beat and my heart feels as if it is pounding hard.

After reading all these posts with people interchanging names of the drug and getting things wrong, I couldn’t help but take the time to write this, Bupropion hcl is the generic form of wellbutrin budoprion or however the first posts I saw spelled it is not the generic name of the drug, it is bupropion hcl, and it is definitely not a different drug, because it isn’t a drug at all, just a misspelling regular release, sr, and xr are all different forms, so there are possibilities of getting a generic from a different lab when you switch types sr is sustained and is twice a day(reg release is three I believe) xr is extended and is once a day.
I read a few studies and found that although one generic (TEVA LABS) released a much higher dose of the drug than did wellbutrin xr in the first two hours, it was still the active ingredient. Some might be sensitive to the different fillers, but the last main point I want to make is that, the mind is a powerful thing, if anyone were to read all these posts about how the generic didn’t work at all and switched to the generic I would guarantee they wouldn’t think it would work, Just think how you get out of bed each day going through life and thinking it’s crappy, or taking everything in stride and making the best out of it. Anyone could put themself in a depressing mood whether they had a bad day or a good day depending on how they went about it, and especially if they didn’t think their medication was working. -Pharmacy Student

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