October 22, 2011

Are you taking generic drugs? If so, listen up!

I’m sure many of you out there are on some prescription drugs to lower your cholesterol or your blood pressure, etc. I’m very upset and annoyed with the pharmacists and doctors who believe that a generic drug is identical to the brand name!

Many, including myself have experienced adverse reactions and nothing is being done about it. It just becomes a trial and error situation whereas; the doctors just prescribe another generic and see how your body deals with it. Duh!

I have had severe leg pain, tingling feelings on the bottom of my feet and my left hand, twitching of my left eye and discomfort in my left ear!  I stopped taking the generic cholesterol medication and the symptoms are now starting to subside after a little more than a week.  The doctor's answer to this is just put me yet on another generic statin drug!  It is dangerous to be on it and dangerous to be off of it!

I requested blood work to detect if any muscle damage has occured.

If a patient is offered a brand name drug for $200. And, then what they claim to be an identical drug but is a generic for $10.00! Shouldn’t that alone raise an eyebrow!

Most pharmacists routinely tell patients that generic drugs are identical to brand name medications. That is bull. This is what pharmacy students are told during their education process. It is also what the FDA states on its website:

"A generic drug is identical--or bioequivalent--to a brand name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use. Although generic drugs are chemically identical to their branded counterparts, they are typically sold at substantial discounts from the branded price."

Now, I don't know about you, but when I see the word identical, I assume that means exactly the same as.

Here is how Dictionary.com defines the word identical:

1. Similar or alike in every way
2. Being the very same
3. Agreeing exactly

Related Words for: identical
Indistinguishable, one and the same, selfsame

Medical Dictionary
1. Exactly equal and alike
2. Of or relating to a twin or twins developed from the same fertilized ovum and having the same genetic makeup and closely similar appearance; monozygotic."

The use of the word identical, when describing generic drugs, is misleading. First, the inactive ingredients (colors, binders, fillers, etc.) do not have to be "alike in every way" to the brand name product. In fact, they are often quite different. These so-called inactive ingredients or "excipients" may influence how the product affects patients. For example, a patient who is allergic to a particular color may develop a rash when switched to a generic product. The formulation may also differ dramatically from the brand name.

Plus, according to the FDA, 80 percent of the active and inactive ingredients in our pharmaceuticals come from abroad. It is estimated that 40 percent of the finished pills come from abroad including countries such as India, China, Brazil and Mexico.

When patients experience problems with certain generic formulations, doctors and pharmacists should offer a sympathetic ear and report the problems directly to the FDA's website (MedWatch). Perhaps if pharmacists insisted that the FDA do a better job both approving and monitoring generic drugs, patients would have more confidence in these money-saving pills.

What troubles me even more is that there are many patients out there with ailments and complaints of aches and pains and have no clue that their medication is responsible for it.  My question is “why the pharmacists and doctors not reporting all the complaints received from the patients regarding the generic drugs”?

You have to be your own medical advocate otherwise you are royally playing Russian roulette with your health and life!  Don't ignore those aches and pains and think it is just caused by aging.

I'm livid!


  1. it's insanity- and another way to separate the haves from the have nots- by making the brand name drugs only those with the better/ best insurance policies can afford and leaving the knock-off generics to the rest of us who are on more sparse policies.


  2. You are so right!!!


  3. Again youare right. I have never taken meds and it is a new thing to me. Cholesterol being high I was prescribed a statin. for the first itme in my life I am haveing leg cramps. Frustrating. I sometimes agree with one website I where I read no one had ever died from Cholesterol. In reading about wine, it states even though yoru readings are high, the anti-oxidants in the wine prevent the sticking to the walls.

    Well how do I know if that part is working.
    My frustration is the doctors believe the pill makers salesmen, then turn around and prescribe from their cover letters of the drugs.
    We teh patient think this guy is brilliant when he is actally taking the word of a SALESMAN!

    Oh well, A very good entry and timely. It hurts to be at the mercy of something you cannot understand and are not even qualified to know who is right, so you must trust someone you do not know.It is a CRAP shoot!

    Love ya!
    From this end of the turnpike
    Sherry & Jack

  4. That would be so scary to have those kind of reactions to the wrong medication. I'm really happy I don't take any, but that doesn't mean it will stay that way for the rest of my life. I try to stay away from doctors as much as possible. Hope all goes well and you continue to recover from the side affects.

  5. I am very thankful that I am not having any problems with any of the generic drugs that I am currently on, although I did have a problem with one statin a little over a year ago.

    take care
    Janice S.

  6. Although I have never had trouble with generic meds... this is good information you provided. Too many shenneigans going on these days. You can't be too careful. I used to have to get a shot, once a week for a medical condition I had. I went to a local health clinic instead of the hospital because it was cheaper. When I would get the shot, my hip all the way down my leg burned with pain. Turns out the medicine they were buying at the clinic for half the cost, as the hospital was probably counterfeit. It had all kind of fillers and junk in it. Therefore I wasn't getting the medicine I was supposed to. SCARY STUFF going on out there in the world, especially when it can affect someone's health.

  7. Can give you the inside information that it is recognised that generic substitution is not always a good idea. Anti-epileptics and thyroid meds are but one example. How individuals react to a change in brand (e.g. allergies) is not predictable. If you experience problems with one brand, report this to your pharmacist and doctor and demand (yes, DEMAND) the old brand back. Even if this involves extra work for the health professionals involved.

  8. I believe the generics are just as good as the name brands, who put undue pressure on doctors and patients with the obbsessive advertising promoting the brand.


  9. I couldn't agree with you more! I don't take any drugs right now, but in the past have found generics and NOT the same as the prescribed drug. Just another way for insurance companies to keep their costs down.

  10. A pharmacist that I knew advised me that most "name brand" drugs preform at the top, the generic drugs must preform with in a range of effectiveness. Some are at a better level than others....It is like a sliding scale....It would be nice for us to know where on the scale they are. I learned this when my kids were little and had strep throat. in the beginning they had "brand name" drugs and were better in two weeks. when the generic drugs hit the market and were required by health ins. coverage, they usually had to go two rounds of meds before it was cleared.....This was not always but it did happen quite a few times....