Switching brand name and generic drugs by different manufacturers

Posted by aliali @aliali, Jan 20 12:51pm

I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. My antidepressant is a generic that contains the same chemical as Cipralex. It is called Depralex and is manufactured in Saudi Arabia. The manufacuring has ceased. I tried other generic (Citoxal, made in KSA also) and causes me a terrible relapse. I had to get Depralex again. Depralex now is no longer available in the pharmacy. My physician suggested to switch to Cipralex. He said it is highly reputable and safe to use. I am still worried to switch, as the relapse is highly intensive if it were to occur. So how was your experiences with switching from a generic to a brand name? I have to decide what to do within two months i.e. before I consume the remaining quantity of Depralex

Hi, @aliali – sounds like you've been through a number of medication switches with your major depressive disorder. I also have depression, but have not had to switch in a number of years. I do recall, however, that it's tough to switch from one med to another. I have not personally had the experience of switching from a generic to a brand name of an antidepressant or an antianxiety medication. My movement with medications has generally been to a different med or from generic to brand name.

In this case, the medication you are talking about is called escitalopram (Lexapro) in the United States https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/escitalopram-oral-route/description/drg-20063707

@kittymama @jwat1537 @stsopoci @mommabird74 @darweshalassi @pklegsec and @jimhd may have some thoughts for you on any experiences switching from a generic (escitalopram) to a brand name (Lexapro) of this drug. @jakedduck1 also may have some input.

When you tried the other generic of this medication, aliali, the citoxal, which you said was also made in Saudi Arabia, what kind of relapse did you experience?

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@aliali

I've become somewhat leery of medications made in such places as Saudi Arabia or India,etc., be they brand name or generic. How long have you been taking each of the medications you mentioned?

I was prescribed Myrbetriq, but Medicare switched it to a generic, then to a second generic, Oxybutinin. The generics seem to be as effective as the brand, Myrbetriq. I don't know where it is made. I'm sure that Medicare has substituted generic meds for me, other than that one, including antidepressants. I usually do as much research as I can when I start a new medication. One of the difficulties with Medicare is that they can control things such as medications and doctors and treatments. The patient pretty much takes what's offered. In my experience, the same is true of private insurance.

When I was first diagnosed with depression I tried a number of antidepressants. I had to give each one six weeks. One made me hungry all the time – I gained ten pounds. Another one made me suicidal at precisely the number of weeks the warning stated. Most of them did nothing, but when I landed on Wellbutrin, right after Effexor, I knew that I'd found the right one. I wonder – is Wellbutrin a brand name or generic? Hmmm. I'll look at the bottle when I take them tonight.

I wish you well, finding the medication that will best treat you.

Jim

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@lisalucier

Hi, @aliali – sounds like you've been through a number of medication switches with your major depressive disorder. I also have depression, but have not had to switch in a number of years. I do recall, however, that it's tough to switch from one med to another. I have not personally had the experience of switching from a generic to a brand name of an antidepressant or an antianxiety medication. My movement with medications has generally been to a different med or from generic to brand name.

In this case, the medication you are talking about is called escitalopram (Lexapro) in the United States https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/escitalopram-oral-route/description/drg-20063707

@kittymama @jwat1537 @stsopoci @mommabird74 @darweshalassi @pklegsec and @jimhd may have some thoughts for you on any experiences switching from a generic (escitalopram) to a brand name (Lexapro) of this drug. @jakedduck1 also may have some input.

When you tried the other generic of this medication, aliali, the citoxal, which you said was also made in Saudi Arabia, what kind of relapse did you experience?

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The symptoms were: increased heart rate, los mood, lack of energy and headache. The good thing is that such symptoms immediately disappear once consuming the previous medication again! @lisalucier

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@jimhd

@aliali

I've become somewhat leery of medications made in such places as Saudi Arabia or India,etc., be they brand name or generic. How long have you been taking each of the medications you mentioned?

I was prescribed Myrbetriq, but Medicare switched it to a generic, then to a second generic, Oxybutinin. The generics seem to be as effective as the brand, Myrbetriq. I don't know where it is made. I'm sure that Medicare has substituted generic meds for me, other than that one, including antidepressants. I usually do as much research as I can when I start a new medication. One of the difficulties with Medicare is that they can control things such as medications and doctors and treatments. The patient pretty much takes what's offered. In my experience, the same is true of private insurance.

When I was first diagnosed with depression I tried a number of antidepressants. I had to give each one six weeks. One made me hungry all the time – I gained ten pounds. Another one made me suicidal at precisely the number of weeks the warning stated. Most of them did nothing, but when I landed on Wellbutrin, right after Effexor, I knew that I'd found the right one. I wonder – is Wellbutrin a brand name or generic? Hmmm. I'll look at the bottle when I take them tonight.

I wish you well, finding the medication that will best treat you.

Jim

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@jimhd In fact I cannot see any “major” difference between meds made in USA or KSA. I M not an expert nor am I pharmacist. But there is a problem with some antidepressants when you switch the brand name. I think this is a little complicated concept; even some physicians around me here in KSA are unaware about it. I have been taking Depralex for a year and a half. It is perfect to me. But I am afraid of relapse

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@aliali

I apologise for speaking ill of the medications that are produced in your country. Here in the US, the FDA approves or disapproves prescription and over the counter drugs before they can be marketed. Consumers here are warned by the FDA to be aware that drugs that are made in other countries that they aren't FDA approved.

Most medications such as Gabapentin aren't intended to be used only as needed. If a doctor prescribes something to be taken twice a day, that's how it should be taken in order for the medication to do its job.

I know by experience that antidepressants sometimes lose their effectiveness, and it's necessary to increase the dosage, change to a different medication, or add another medication that will enhance the effects of the antidepressant you're already taking. I had been taking Bupropion for more than 10 years, but I began feeling more depressed, so my psychiatrist prescribed Remeron as a secondary medication, and it helped me get back on track.

I've never taken Cipralex or depralex or citoxal. Maybe they're not available in the US. Can you talk about your concerns with a good doctor or pharmacist? You could also research Cipralex and Depralex online, and look for a comparison of the meds. I get information at Drugs.com and WebMD.

It appears to me that you are standing up for yourself, which is important.

Jim

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@aliali

I looked up Cipralex and Depralex online and found that it's marketed as Lexapro. It's one I tried around ten years ago.

Jim

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At the risk of adding to the confusion may I point out that I think there is a difference between the terms branded drug, Authorized generic, branded generic and generic? There is also a difference between the New Drug Application process (NDA) followed in say the USA, the EU, India, and Saudi Arabia. And, just to make it even more complicated in many countries, including the USA, generic drug approval follows an ANDA (abbreviated new drug application) process not a NDA process.

See for example:
https://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/karen-berger/2018/05/the-fda-generics-and-differentiating-authorized-from-branded-types-
This causes great confusion for we patients who are switched from branded to generic to branded generic often for purely commercial reasons rather than therapeutic reasons.

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I find that I sleep better with a generic drug that is manufactured by different drug companies. For example, I sleep better with Teva and Aurobindo Ambien/Zolpidem. I always check with the pharmacy regarding what brand it carries before going there to get Zolpidem. I wondered if anyone else noticed such a sensitivity to generic drugs manufactured by different drug companies.

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@isittll I moved your question to this existing discussion named, "Switching brand name and generic drugs by different manufacturers" and posted it both in Sleep Health and Depression and Anxiety Groups. I did this to help you connect with members, like @aliali who asked a similar question about differences in generic drugs depending on the manufacturer and country. Click VIEW & REPLY to scroll through the information and tips shared by @jimhd and @marazion.

@isittll, I have heard people say that generics versus name brand can act differently. Did you ask your provider by any chance why this might be?

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@Isittll

I've never noticed any difference between brands, though I do always read paperwork that comes with any medication. But if you've found that one works better than another, good for you. A good pharmacist would probably be a good resource for you in understanding variations.

Jim

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@jimhd

@Isittll

I've never noticed any difference between brands, though I do always read paperwork that comes with any medication. But if you've found that one works better than another, good for you. A good pharmacist would probably be a good resource for you in understanding variations.

Jim

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I think there is a misunderstanding here. I can tolerate generic drugs that are made by only certain drug companies, When a pharmacy switches the drug company that manufactures the same drug in a generic form I notice a very big difference. Some of the generic manufacturer drug names are not effective at all for me!

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