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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stupid Generic Drugs

I've been feeling very anxious for a few days. I set up my medications for a week at a time, in a dispenser. When I was taking my handful of pills this morning, I remembered the pharmacy had changed my Welbutrin - the antidepressent - from one generic to another.

I'm sure that the new manufacturer is cheaper for Walgreens, and that's why they switched. Since they can charge me the same thing, regardless, they make more money on it if they can get it cheaper.

And, it seems like one generic should be the same as another, but I was worried when I first saw them because they look entirely different. They are half as big, for one thing. They are also a chalkier consistency.

This is a slow release medicine, so I am concerned that it might not "release" the same way if they've used different fillers. I had an issue with this medication once before when I was in the hospital for one of my surgeries, a few years ago. The hospital gave me a different version of Welbutrin and I became extremely agitated and then, later, very depressed. It was hard to pinpoint that exact cause for my distress with all the other meds they gave me, but once I switched back to the name brand Welbutrin - my husband brought me some from home - it got better.

A couple years ago, the pharmacy started giving me the generic, and I was worried about it. The pills looked exactly like the name brand, so I gave them a shot. After a few weeks I decided that they worked just as well. The ones I picked up last weekend look very different and now I'm wondering if taking this different brand for three days (today is day four) is contributing to my anxiety level.

I keep a chart by my bathroom mirror. I fill in a number from 1 to 10 in these categories: How I've slept (recorded only in the morning); how I've eaten (recorded only at night); and my morning and evening levels of "connectedness", anxiety, sadness and irritability. At the end of the day I have 10 numbers filled in and I add them up. The total - a number from one to one hundred - gives me an idea of how the day was on the whole.

I write a little note next to each day as a reminder of what went on that day (meeting with C, CoDA meeting, writer's group meeting, daughter home, etc.)

On Sunday, the last time I took the old generic, my total for the day was 80. It dropped to 68 and 60 on Monday and Tuesday and to 47 yesterday.

Trying to get the name brand is going to be difficult and expensive, but I don't know what else to do. Wish me luck.


  1. Hi-

    Oh yes, medications can be very "tricky". Anti depressants impact people differently - keeping busy and distracted will help. Also, be very aware of your blood sugars and your blood oxygen. Try and have some source of complex carbs and protein every 2 hours,(small amounts), AND remember to deep breathe to oxygenate your blood. It WILL Make a difference in your over all anxiety - and lessen it by 50%. I hope this helps.

    Love Gail

  2. The active chemicals is the same in the generic brand. The "fillers" are different. This greatly effects the way the chemicals are absorbed and thus the effect.

    The pharmaceutical companies are aware of this as should the pharmacists.

    If you approach anyone on this I suggest you are unequivocal about the effect. You are capable of knowing the effects.

  3. Shen dear, thank you for continuing to share what goes on with you! You always present concern and good information. Blessings....

  4. Hi there,
    I just had to comment when I read this.I've been trying to get the word out to all I can that generic Wellbutrin is useless!! You may as well be taking a sugar pill. Always ask your Dr.s for the name brand. FYI, there is a massive class action lawsuit against Generic Wellbutrin. Take care of yourself and switch!

  5. hi shen, i'm just writing to check in on you. it seems like it's been longer than usual since you wrote last and given the content of this most recent post i just wanted to say i hope things are going well with you. i hope you get your meds sorted out soon.

    wishing you well~~

  6. I 've started yoga 2 years ago, and it help me relaxed and re-focused.Btw, recommend this documentary film - famous authors share about how to discard self-defeating beliefs and attitudes. ''The YES Movie''
    www.TheYESmovie.comby Louis Lautman

    Merry Chrismast everyone!


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