Generic vs. Brand Name Drugs - page 4

yesterday, i had my first reaction to the celexa i take for depression. i've been on this med two years now, and no reactions experienced before now. i just had the rx refilled, and took the first... Read More

  1. by   live4today
    so sorry i'm just getting a chance to sign on today, but i had much to catch up on this morning, including checking out my meds with the pharmacists and my family med doc.

    okay...here is what went down with the celexa...my reaction...and so forth...

    the pharmacist verified that the pills given me were indeed celexa. he proved it to me by showing me a huge container full of pills that had the name celexa typed and taped on the side of the container. he even opened a brand new bottle to compare the pills...everything came up completely kosher.....

    his recommendation was for me to not take the pill again until i had a chance to speak with my doctor. i thanked him for that profound advice since i do not let on that i am a rn. the pharmacist couldn't have been kinder. very gentle soothing voice, tall in stature, tanned to the max...gorgeously.......oh...i'm drifting into one of my male trances again...:chuckle



    anyways...he even checked in the system to verify what other meds i was taking...all were correct...and i was sooooo thrilled to learn that tid bit of information as that isn't always the case with some patients.

    i finally got to speak with my doctor a few minutes ago. after we went over my history of how long i've been on celexa, what other drugs i am taking, how i take them, what i ate and drank on the day that i suffered the reaction, and so forth...doc suggests the following:

    after hubby comes home from work (so i'm not alone), she wants me to take another pill from the same bottle i had the reaction from...have hubby monitor me for changes -- of course i would notice firsthand whether or not i was having a reaction. if a reaction occurs...take benadryl 50 mg. again...then report to her the outcome. if i show a reaction again...it's the pill...if i don't...it was something i ate or drank in conjunction with the med that day that may have caused the reaction. so.....i'll have to wait until after four or five this evening before hubby gets home to take the pill. meanwhile...i'm not to eat anything that i haven't been eating all along...do not try any new foods or drinks...or take any other meds up until the time of this next celexa dose. so.......time will tell. i thank you all for sharing so much with me about this as i was truly worried. also...thanks...
    jen911for the website. it proved that i am not taking some other drug, etc. :kiss

    heather...no, i am not allergic to "sugar"...i should be then i would have to lay off those darn hershey and baby ruth candy bars that i crave so much! :chuckle it's good to know those rules regarding giving "placebo" pills is outdated. shows ya how...ahem...mature...i have truly become. :chuckle
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 10, '02
  2. by   sunnygirl272
    Originally posted by KarafromPhilly
    Quick question-- I thought that Prilosec and Protonix were two different drugs. Generic name for Prilosec is omeprazole, for Protonix--? ?
    Pantoprazole
  3. by   sbic56
    Cheerfuldoer

    Sounds like a scary experience you had! There sure is a difference between some generic and brand name drugs. I can't take the generic of Synthroid, (levoxine I believe it is). It works pretty much like a sugar pill on me. My TSH remained elevated for the month that i was on that, but I do fine on brand name Synthroid. My pharmacist said that he had seen that happen before with other people with that drug.
  4. by   live4today
    sbic56.....yes indeed there is. My doctor agrees wholeheartedly...she's the type of doctor to NOT hold back on any info when it comes to her patients. That's what I love about her...she's totally straight up. I haven't taken a dose of Celexa yet today because hubby hasn't made it home yet, so when he does, I'll take it and see what happens. Say a prayer for me. Anyhoo...I've got my Benadryl close by in case I need it.

    Well....it is getting ready to cut loose again outside. The thunder is rolling along the clouds and the rain is coming down. I sure hope we do not get another heavy rain. Our bedroom wall is still not repaired from last weeks downfall when it rained into our bedroom at four o'clock in the a.m. Pray for all of us who live in Texas. This weather has really put some people out...and the poor little tykes and big kids that have their lives turned upside down by this weather. Anyway...I may have to shut down my computer until after the storm...but will be back when it's over...providing it's not too terribly late...or I'm not on my way to ER d/t a second drug reaction. :chuckle
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 10, '02
  5. by   Nurse Ratched
    Thanks sunnygirl - I think I meant aciphex for prilosec. There's another way to get cofused - we also have what the pharmacy considers "formulary equivalents" which I think may be what protonix is to prilosec (or at least they are deemed similar enough to substitute.)
  6. by   CATHYW
    Renee,
    Have the Benadryl where you and your husband can get to it, immediately (like right beside you!) Also have a glass of water at your side.
    I would also suggest that you try these things with the pill bin case it IS the thing that caused the reaction:
    -rub the tablet across your lips and see if anything happens within 15 mins. If it does, don't take.
    -if no probs. with the lip thing, touch the tab to the tip of your tongue, and again, wait 15 mins. If nothing happens, go ahead and take the pill.
    If you are sensitized to the medication, either of the above should cause a fairly immediate reaction.
    Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
  7. by   nell
    Good suggestions Cathy.

    Can't allergic reactions get worse with repeat exposures? As in unpleasant once but anaphylaxis the next? Is 50 of benadryl going to be enough?

    Renee, I will be waiting to hear that you're OK.
  8. by   live4today
    Hi Cathy and Nell

    It was too late for me to test out your theory today, Cathy, because I had taken the pill during our storm here...had to shut off computer until the storm subsided. THAT drove me nuts not being able to be on it and all.

    Hubby came home and said "Go take your pill...Daddy's home now." :chuckle Sooooo crazy! He even marked down the time I swallowed it which was 6:34 p.m. One hour later, no reaction. Go figure! And.....praise God in the process of it all because I was sooooo nervous. I did have my Benadryl handy though, but so far haven't had to take it.

    My doctor thinks it may have been that I took the pill with grape juice which she says is so similar in acidic quantity to grapefruit juice and grapefruits.......which I already know NOT to take with Celexa...and haven't in the almost two years I've been on it. She wants me to call her and let her know how I did on MONDAY as she is "off work until then". Okay....if I had had a reaction, I suppose I would have had to go to ER with my Benadryl already 'on board'. Good thing I am doing okay, huh? :chuckle I am suppose to schedule an appointment to see her as soon as the appointment desk receives her August schedule. It's a trip trying to get an appointment these days in the military system. But, it beats having NO health insurance at all, so I'm thankful for what we do have. Nighty night...again...thanks for you alls concern and great advice. (((hugs)))
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 11, '02
  9. by   Q.
    Originally posted by KarafromPhilly
    Quick question-- I thought that Prilosec and Protonix were two different drugs. Generic name for Prilosec is omeprazole, for Protonix--??
    Prilosec and Protonix are different drugs; protonix is the "new" form of prilosec, like an alternative, sort of like clarinex is to claritin. They do the same thing but different formulas.

    Also, I don't believe aciphex and prilosec are the same.

    A better example would be zestril and prinivil, which are both lisinopril.


    As far as substituting placebo pills, I believe this is illegal. Pharmacists can only dispense what is ordered by the nurse/doctor. It sounds like Renee got the wrong pill. What are your allergies anyway?

    Pharmacists also can't switch generic to brand without physician order, or without informing them, or at least without patient consent. The only reason they switch is for cost-savings. Did you notice a lesser charge for what you thought was generic tablets? If not, you probably got the wrong pills.
    Last edit by Susy K on Jul 11, '02
  10. by   Hardknox
    Our insurance requires us to use mailaway for long term meds. One day I got a package from Express Scripts in my mail box. When I opened it there was a 90 day supply of Prilosec with my name on it and a DR. I'd never heard of. Never had a RX for Prilosec. Called Express Scripts--you wouldn't believe how long it took to get a refund after I sent the med back. They made out like it was no big deal and just send it back. Couldn't explain how it happened, but no big deal! I told them I was a nurse and it would sure be a big deal if I gave a patient the wrong med!!!

    Funny thing was that 2 months later I took my Dad to a new specialist. While sitting in the office I noticed that one of his partner's was the DR. named on the Prolisec RX. I told the receptionist what had happened and sure enough, they had a pt. with the same name as mine! So Express Scripts definiately screwed up that one. If I'd been a demented old lady, I just would have thought the DR. wanted me to take one of these purple pills each day!! Health care is SCAREY all around! Question all RX!!!!!
  11. by   Jen911
    Renee, you don't by chance have any of those pills from your LAST bottle hanging around anywhere that you could identify from that website, just to make sure those were Celexa, do you?? I mean, just per chance???? All the websites I've looked at appear to me to say there's no generic form of Celexa out yet. (but I could be wrong).. If you go to walgreens.com you can see the actual photo of the tabs, the 40mg tab is white, the 20mg tab is the salmon, were you perhaps being given the 40mg tab all this time? (also look up celebrex, make sure that's not what you were given...lol)

    I recently changed pharmacies, and 2 of my meds changed appearances on me, as they used different manufacturers. Really freaked me out, so I know where you're coming from! You get used to "the little blue pill, the big white pill, and the oblong salmon pill" syndrome like our patients come in with! And then this parmacy messed it up! LOL. Yes, I had to verify my meds were all correct, and they were...but still, each time I opened my meds, confused the daylights out of me..grrrrrr....

    Good luck, hope you're feeling better!

    Jenni
  12. by   adrienurse
    In regard to synthyroid, I too am hypothyroid. There is a difference between one brand or the other, but this is an exception. I think infact the different formulations of this drug are slightly different, as opposed to just being made by a different company.
    Off topic: A really good book for those coping with thyroid deficiancy is : Thyroid Power: 10 steps to total health. By R. L. Shames MD and K. H. Shames RN. HarperResource.

    Renee, as they say with allergic reactions, these can happen at any time, even with a substance that you previously have tollerated. Maybe they've recently changed the way they process the drug?
  13. by   live4today
    thanks everyone for all the wonderful advice. there is a lot of truth in every post here that i had verified by my doctor and the pharmacist yesterday. the pharmacist assured me that i indeed did receive "the right drug...the right dose...for the right patient...as the doctor prescribed". he told me that there isn't a generic celexa....as yet since the drug is still relatively new on the market. the thing that bothers me.....still......is the brown tinted container that held a massive number of pills the pharmacist showed me as being celexa...and the same batch that my rx was filled from. i saw the inside of that container, and i wonder if they clean those periodically, or really know for sure that no other med...looking like the salmon-pink celexa pills are "accidentally" thrown in the mix of those pills. i thought about this all night long, and my gut feeling tells me to call the pharmacist there, and inquire as to how those containers are kept clean and safe from other pills getting mixed in them because it sure didn't look safe and clean to me. so...that's my next mission to undertake. it worries me that "other patients" may be harmed if i don't pursue this issue....even though i am okay now.

    jen911....when i think back over the past two years since i've been taking celexa, i am certain that i was given white pills and not salmon-pink ones at one time or two...but...the bottle always said 20mg. it was during those times that i thought i was being given a "placebo" as the study on celexa states they do this periodically as a measure to check the effectiveness of the new anti-depressants on the market...as well as other drugs. so.......guess i have been a guinea pig for this new drug without my knowledge of knowing i have been...except...being the astute nurse that i am...i already suspected that i was being given placebo pills from time to time, and this i will bring up with my doctor when i see her next month. also, i did not have any pills left from an old bottle to compare them to. i usually check the pills when i pick them up, and if they look like my pills, and have the proper letters and mgs on them, i feel okay about having received the right medication, but rest assured...i will be checking them against an old bottle of pills before i take the last pill from the previous bottle from now on.

    i need to know what happened to me a few days ago, and somehow i doubt if the grape juice story is all that kosher...maybe not...my doc is known for her sincerety...but i am in no way finished getting to the bottom of all this. :d

    suzyk.......my allergies are numerous...but i'll share one of them with you all......asa ------ aspirin ----- big time...........and it was those same allergic symptoms that i get with asa that i had on monday eve after taking the first dose of celexa from the new bottle: dyspnea, itching of the throat, watery eyes, larnyx tightening up, and wheezing. i believe those symptoms would be called going into "anaphylactic shock". the quick response of taking the 50 mg. of benadryl, curtailed those symptoms in a short amount of time, so thank god i had some on hand.
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 11, '02

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