Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brand Name versus Generic

Dear Readers,

How many times has your doctor said "the generic drug is the same as the brand name?"   I was under that impression until I started taking medication for an under-active Thyroid many years ago.   One year the family doctor forgot to specify "Synthroid only" on the script, so a generic was sent.   I was an emotional basket case after trying the generic for 1 week.  When I called the doctor's office, they immediately wrote a new script for brand name only. My symptoms were that of being a nervous wreck and crying at the drop of a hat.    Once I got back on the brand name drug, things were fine. 

I've been taking Mirapex for RLS for years and now Parkinson's, as I've mentioned before.  When the Nurse Practitioner ordered the new drug dosage for me, she did not know I needed Mirapex only (although it should have been on my chart).   I forgot to mention it to her, so I can't blame her.    But, why didn't the pharmacy question it due to the letter they had received from the doctor one month earlier, which they had requested?    

The generic drug does an okay job of managing the Parkinson's symptoms.  But, it makes my RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) worse -much worse.  It is for this reason that I need the Mirapex brand only versus a generic version.   I'm about going nuts when I sit longer than a half hour.  The legs have a constant need to move.  Apparently the gal that I talked to last Thursday didn't really put a rush on mailing the Mirapex like she said she would.  The gal today assured me it would be shipped tomorrow, marked for overnight delivery, at no charge to me.  At least they are taking some responsibility for the snafu!

Because my RLS has kicked in big time and my Arthritis has also kicked in, I made a trip to Walgreens to pick up another bottle of Tylenol (can't take the other types like Alieve, Naproxin, due to Colitis).  There was not a box of Tylenol anywhere in the entire store.   I'm stuck because apparently the Tylenol manufacturer has recalled all the Tylenol - AGAIN!  I did buy Walgreens private label Tylenol, came home took 2 and it's done nothing for me, except make me feel hyper!   

I wonder if they make one of those medical alert necklaces that could say "Brand Name Only."  If I had remembered to tell the NP that I needed Mirapex instead of generic, I wouldn't be in this "holding pattern."  Hmmm, I think we still have my mother's antique cow bell in the basement.   That might work!   "Brand Name Only" could be engraved on it.   It could be worn around my neck and always be with me.  he he - wouldn't that be stylish!

I'm always willing to try a generic - it does cost me less.    But once I have tried the generic, and if the generic doesn't work, I NEED THE BRAND NAME!!!    

Have you noticed a difference between brand name and generic on any of your drugs?

Sorry if I'm sounding grumpy - I am.  The fact that you can't buy any Tylenol presently just pushed me over the edge because my entire body hurts.  (added note just before publishing: The Walgreen brand Tylenol made me hyper last night.)   

I shouldn't complain because some people today can't even get a prescription drug that they desperately need because there is a drug shortage, brought on by the drug companies themselves I hear, so they can raise the price of the drug even more.   Hmmm, now I wonder if this is what Tylenol is doing!   Food for thought!

I hope you will come back again next week.  I promise to be in better humor.  

Update at 4:00 EST- YAY - the Mirapex came.    I'll be a happy camper tomorrow.   


  1. Don't worry whether you sound grumpy... you don't, but if you did, you have a reason to. When you find a medication that works, it's important to stick with it. Unfortunately, everybody else seems to be inadvertently helping you to "expand your horizons".. Yes, wearing a cowbell might help. Send me a picture of that....

    Hope things will calm down medication wise.


  2. My dear friend, you don't sound grumpy at all. You are simply stating you need the drugs that work for you..and you've been down a rough road regarding them these past several months. Now the's likr the straw that broke the camel's back. I will see if there is any at my store today and mail them to you.


    (Love that cowbell idea!!)(I may try it!)

  3. You can sound grumpy all you want to. It's your well-being and you have the right to complain. I wonder if you can have anything you want put on a Medic-Alert bracelet? Wow, I didn't know about the Tylenol. Hope you can get relief soon.

  4. You have every right to sound grumpy but you don't. I can't blame you for venting. You have had some major annoyances with meds lately. I hope you get your Mirapex today.

  5. Mary, feel free to vent here! Somehow we are all suoposed to believe that generics, whose sole purpose of existence is to be cheaper, will be exactly the same as the name brand drug, Clearly our bodies know the difference, I share your med sensitivities and have had similar episodes with brand name vs. generic.

    Is it RLS or dyskinesias? Wondering...
    I am laying low myself after pushing way too hard to take care of mom, who is still hanging on. All her caregivers are amazed.

    Feel better soon. ��

  6. Hope you be feeling better. Did you try CVS for Tylenol?

  7. I am so glad that you are feeling better! Also that your meds came today. It is good you know that you can't take generics it solves a lot of trying something that won't work and getting that out of the way.

  8. You don't sound grumpy at all! We never knew that the generic wasn't the same as the brand name. How unfair and unfortunate for those that can't afford the drug prescribed! We're really in a mess with our health care system. Wish we had an answer.
    The important thing is that you're feeling better! {{hugs}}!
    (Theresa, borrowing Prudie's acct.)


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