Generic Medications

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by gapsych, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Has anyone found that generic medications are not as effective as the original medication?

    I know years ago, my psychiatrist said he prefered the original medications over the generic. However, I have not heard this from my present doctors. I know at one time a lot of psychiatrist were saying this for psychotropic meds. but this was years ago.

    Maybe the generics are better now?

    Thanks in advance for any input.

  2. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    Many docs receive "incentives" from the pharma companies for Rxing the name brands.

    In the past couple of years, there have been some fairly high profile legal cases, many (but not all) involving psychiatrists, who apparently become so enamored with the incentives that they abuse the system, do a lot of off-label prescribing, etc.

    With a fair bit of experience with psychiatrists under my belt, on behalf of family members, I am always a little skeptical. It probably pays to explore & research one's options when it comes to psychiatric meds.

    Having said that, my direct personal experience is that, in some cases, name-brand-label meds have had superior efficacy, while in other cases, generics have been better. But then, I have a lot of allergies, etc. and often as not, even the "inactive ingredients" can kick up trouble in a med or supp, and that is not typical in the population at large.

    FDA does allow a certain % variation in active ingredients in most generic meds.

    I doubt that there's any valid across the board generalization on this subject, although, in my book, if it's less expensive & works as well, it may be worth a try ... financial stress & all being a factor in a lot of suffering these days.

    Best wishes.
  3. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Hi, while many doctor's may have had incentives, it seemed to be only the psychiatrists community that were recommending that you not take the generic. Remember this was quite a while ago. I think it is what the medications were mixed with for the generics but not sure. Now I take the generic Zoloft.

    My other doctor's have always given me the generic. Unfortunately, Provigil (modafinil) is not available in the US but is in Canada.

    Take care.

  4. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    Thank you, GApsych, for bringing this topic up! My answer is a wholehearted YES! I am of the personal belief that generics are inferior. I say that from personal experience and extensive reading.

    Generics do NOT work exactly like name brand drugs, nor do all generics work the same. They may have the same active ingredient (although there is an allowable variation, up to 20% in some cases), but the fillers can make the drug absorb at significantly varying rates.

    There were several articles in the paper last year about generic Wellbutrin not working well for people at all, and many relapsing into very bad depression because of it.

    I think if you START with a generic med, you are OK, as long as you STAY with THAT manufacterer's generic. But pharmacies will get whatever is cheapest at the time. If you START with a brand name and then switch to a generic, particularly with some meds such as Klonopin, you can really have trouble.

    I am on Paxil CR, and a generic just recently became available. My doctor writes my prescription DISPENSE AS WRITTEN, because she says it is just not worth the risk for me (I am very sensitive to medications and dose-changes, and went through HELL trying to find an AD that worked for me). From my reading, controlled-release medications are the most difficult to "copy".

    Check out the website The People's Pharmacy, and people write in their experiences with generics all the time.