View Full Version : Are generic brands as effective as name brand?

08-18-14, 03:16 PM
Hey guys. To give some background, I was diagnosed and treated for ADHD when I was 7 up until about 12 or 13 years old. My prescription went up to alza 54mg, but I spent most of the time on alza 36mg. The medication worked well for me, but I stopped because I had trouble eating. I also took 36mg off and on throughout highschool, but stopped because I was forgetful of taking my medicine :p

Alright, now I'm 18 years old, and asked to get back on meds for college. The prescription I was initially given was mallinckrodt 27mg. It's basically the generic brand of concerta, from what I've found online. It was greenish grey and had an M printed on it. I took it a few times to see how I felt, and that dose didn't seem to do much, and I felt kind of sick. I got the dosage upped to 36mg, and I tried it out today. I've had a sort of nauseous feeling so far, and although I did feel stimulated, I've also been kind of mindless, if that makes sense. Just stupid mistakes and misspeaking. Granted I haven't had class yet, so I don't know how I'd be in that kind of setting.

So my question is, is it normal to react well to the name brand concerta, but feel so different on the generic brand? It's the same chemical, so it seems like I'd react the same, but it's also been a few years since I've last taken concerta, so I guess it's possible my brain has just changed? Or maybe my body just needs to get used to the meds and after taking it for a while it'll get better? I dunno, do you guys have any experience with this? Should I continue taking it or ask to switch to alza? I'm nervous to talk to my doctor, but I really want to feel more... connected I guess.

08-19-14, 11:46 AM
For me the brand has always had a different effect than the generic of any med I take. For the meds I take it takes less mgs to achieve the desired result with a brand than it does generic. Switching generic mfgs has also had an impact. Different mfgs can use different binding agents. I do not think it's unreasonable to ask for a specific mfg but it can be difficult to find the desired mfg. Talking to your doctor can help but discussing your options with your pharmacist can aid you in your search for a specific mfg.

08-19-14, 01:46 PM
With Concerta (in the US), there are two different "generics".

One is the "branded generic", sold by Watson/Actavis. This is actually still made by Alza, and has "Alza" stamped on it like the brand-name Concerta. It uses OROS (the osmotic release system), which is what makes Concerta different from other long-acting forms of methylphenidate.

The other generic, made by Mallinckrodt, does not use the OROS system. In theory, the manufacturer has provided some info showing that it is equivalent. Given that it does not use the same release mechanism, though, it seems plausible that there are differences.

I can't remember the source now, but I think there was some discussion of a formal investigation into the equivalency (or non-equivalency) of the Mallinckrodt generic. In Canada, a similar non-OROS generic is available and substituted for Concerta, with similar concerns.

My pdoc and psychologist work at an ADHD specialty clinic, and they claim that they've seen patients who did well on Concerta do poorly on the Mallinckrodt generic. For me, I think there was some difference. They've also told me that the duration of this particular generic is typically shorter than the OROS versions (speculation/ which might imply that more is being released at one time...which might account for your side effects...? /speculation).

My doctor now specifies on the script that it should be filled with the OROS generic or the Actavis/Watson generic. That way, I get the Alza-manufactured pills with the OROS, but pay the generic co-pay. You may have to ask your pharmacy to order the "authorized generic" for you if they only have Mallinckrodt in stock.