View Full Version : name brand vs. generic


JCRR74
01-11-16, 01:55 AM
I'm new here. I am going to post a little background information and ask my specific questions at the end. Sorry if this gets a little long-winded. My son is 11. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 7, and he has taken Focalin since then. He takes Focalin XR 15 in the morning and Focalin XR 10 after school, and within the last year or so, we have added 1 mg of guanfacine morning and afternoon as well.

Two years ago, his prescription was filled with a generic version of Focalin when it was available. During the month that he was taking this generic, his anxieties increased significantly, he became almost absent to his engagement in the world around him as if he was just moving through the world without registering what was going on, he was constantly twisting and pulling (not pulling out) at his hair, and he had more frequent meltdowns. When we made the connection to the change to generic, we tried requesting the name brand the next month, and these symptoms subsided.

When I reported to our doctor, she merely said that we could request the name brand at the pharmacy, if we had a problem with the generic. So that's what we've been doing, and paying out the nose for it. For a while, we were paying about $120 a month, then throughout last year, the cost increased to $200 (this is with the Focalin coupons). I called the insurance recently to inquire about the change in cost and ask whether I could get an override. Unfortunately, my phone call triggered a review of the account, and they informed me that they flagged the account for extra penalty, so the cost will now be $400/month. $200 was unsustainable; $400 is undoable.

So, now I'm faced with trying a new approved name-brand med, a new generic med, or try the Focalin XR generics again.

My specific question for this forum is: Is there specific information about the difference between Focalin XR and its generic counterparts? I think the pharmacist said that there are three generics. Are there known, specific differences among these, and if so, which seem to be closer to the name brand? Also, if we have to switch meds, which are close to the effects of Focalin XR? Would it be worth trying another generic in a different medication? Any generics that have less reliable effects? I read a little about Concerta generics that are non-OROS and seemingly less-effective - I'm not sure if there are similar publications or actual studies to compare. TIA!

sarahsweets
01-11-16, 05:21 AM
Two years ago, his prescription was filled with a generic version of Focalin when it was available. During the month that he was taking this generic, his anxieties increased significantly, he became almost absent to his engagement in the world around him as if he was just moving through the world without registering what was going on, he was constantly twisting and pulling (not pulling out) at his hair, and he had more frequent meltdowns. When we made the connection to the change to generic, we tried requesting the name brand the next month, and these symptoms subsided.

Have you ever tried the generic again? I am not saying what happened wasnt possible but its really unusual to have that kind of a reaction to a generic because there is very little difference between the brand and generic.


Also, if we have to switch meds, which are close to the effects of Focalin XR? Would it be worth trying another generic in a different medication? Any generics that have less reliable effects? I read a little about Concerta generics that are non-OROS and seemingly less-effective - I'm not sure if there are similar publications or actual studies to compare. TIA!

Focalin xr is part of the methylphenidate class of drugs. This class also includes ritalin, ritalin LA, concerta, metadate, etc. There are many options that you could try that wouldnt be like switching medication drastically. I personally would really try and give something s good chance, at least more than a month. I am not saying that you didnt experience an issue with the generic, just that its very uncommon.

twm5043
01-14-16, 09:58 AM
I can tell you that the difference between the Brand and the Teva manufactured generic is literally night and day. I am only on month two of the XR, but the first month I was able to get the name brand as I was on a different prescription plan. This month my new insurance would only pay for the generic, and it has been a rough ride to say the least.

The most alarming side effects of this specific generic are the tremors, the heart palpitations (which continue into the next day, my heart is racing as I type this up from my dosage yesterday), and waves of anxiety, paranoia, and extreme agitation. This past Monday I had the most worrying symptom appear: I became confused and disoriented. Thankfully I was working from home but I could NOT process information normally and it was making me even more agitated than just what the drug was doing.

Other symptoms included cold sweats, restlessness, rapid shifting from being cold to hot and vice versa (within minutes), headache...the list goes on. I had NONE of these on the brand name and I finally found something that worked.

I am going to have a talk with my psychiatrist this month about trying the focalin xr 25mg - there is NO generic for this strength (I am on the Xr 20mg right now, not much of a change.) My insurance will require a prior autorization (my MD will have to call them and put in a request for them to approve the medication), but it will be $30 a month for the brand.

Currently, there are only two strengths that are still patented by the original manufacturer without a generic. They are the Xr 25 and 35mg strengths. Luckily, my plan marks them as plan preferred.

P.S. I did a little research. I had a very very similar situation happen to me the first time I tried adderall Xr. Surprise surprise, found out I had the Teva brand as well.

I hope this helps in some way. And $400 is more than the actual price of the drug from what my insurance informed me. That means that your prescription plan would be making money off of you if you paid that price at the pharmacy.

sarahsweets
01-14-16, 10:20 AM
I can tell you that the difference between the Brand and the Teva manufactured generic is literally night and day. I am only on month two of the XR, but the first month I was able to get the name brand as I was on a different prescription plan. This month my new insurance would only pay for the generic, and it has been a rough ride to say the least.

The most alarming side effects of this specific generic are the tremors, the heart palpitations (which continue into the next day, my heart is racing as I type this up from my dosage yesterday), and waves of anxiety, paranoia, and extreme agitation. This past Monday I had the most worrying symptom appear: I became confused and disoriented. Thankfully I was working from home but I could NOT process information normally and it was making me even more agitated than just what the drug was doing.

Other symptoms included cold sweats, restlessness, rapid shifting from being cold to hot and vice versa (within minutes), headache...the list goes on.
I can assure you that those side effects are not because of the generic. When there are issue with the generic it usually has to do with the fillers and binders which can cause less efficacy or in some very very rare cases, the raw ingredient that is the active ingredient can be slightly off. All of those side effects you mentioned mean that your body is telling you to lower your dose or switch medications. If I had tremors and heart palpitations that lasted until the next day I would see a cardiologist asap and also go back to my doctor. If you get the brand you may notice more consistent results but those side effects are alarming and need to be checked out. Especially the disorientation part.


P.S. I did a little research. I had a very very similar situation happen to me the first time I tried adderall Xr. Surprise surprise, found out I had the Teva brand as well.

When it comes to adderall xr SHIRE makes all the generics including teva/barr and global. The only authorized generic completely manufactured on its own is Actavis. I can tell you that that one did not work for me. If you had Teva, the you were getting the exact same one as the SHIRE brand.