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"Report questions generic antidepressant"


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For those of you who thought the generic wellbutrin xl made by teva wasn't working as well, a new study says that you're right, it doesn't work the same as the brand name.

Report questions generic antidepressantConsumerLab.com finds cheaper drug may not work the same as brand

New test findings by ConsumerLab.com that were released to MSNBC.com showed that one of a few generic versions of Wellbutrin XL 300 mg, sold as Budeprion XL 300 mg, didn't perform the same as the brand-name pill in the lab.

For the testing, ConsumerLab.com purchased both the original Wellbutrin XL 300 mg sold by GlaxoSmithKline and the generic version sold by Teva, the same one that Douglas took and that many other readers complained about, and had six samples of each drug analyzed. While both drugs contained the stated amount of the active ingredient, bupropion, "dissolution testing" showed that the generic drug, which has a different time-release mechanism, released the active ingredient into a solution at a quicker rate.

"The Teva product released nearly half of its ingredients in the first four hours," says Cooperman. "The original Wellbutrin released 25 percent."

Within the first two hours, 8 percent of the original Wellbutrin had dissolved, compared with 34 percent of the Teva product, according to Cooperman. By 16 hours, both drugs had released all the medicine.

If the active ingredient is released more quickly into a patient's bloodstream, that could mean there is less medication available to the patient later, which may explain why people like Douglas experienced a return of their depression, Cooperman says. It also may explain why some readers who wrote in complained of more side effects, such as headache, irritability and nausea, given they may have received a higher dosage of the medicine upfront, he says. "Too much Wellbutrin can cause side effects, even the potential for seizure," he says.

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Forgive the tinfoil, but I can't help wondering if Glaxo set this up with Teva to discredit the generic drug industry. You know it's going to be used to try and stop physicians for prescribing generics and to stop insurance companies from insisting on them.

And that's a bad thing?

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for people with insurence it's usualy a $10 vs $30 copay. For people without, generics are often all they can afford.

Yeah, but if insurance companies shifted their view about requiring generics it seems like they would also cover the higher cost of the brand-name a bit more than they do now. I know taking away generics entirely would be bad, but I've always had the option of getting generic when it's available. Insurance or not. Or am I misunderstanding the situation?

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I know taking away generics entirely would be bad, but I've always had the option of getting generic when it's available. Insurance or not. Or am I misunderstanding the situation?

As long as the insurance companies push hard for the generics, there's still a profit to be made by smaller companies willing to tool up for them.

Take away that incentive, and a slim profit margin can become a loss. Raise the price to make the drug profitable, and the risk increases that people will shift to "better" name brands. At some point, production lines shut down and yet another med gets orphaned, completely discontinued, or available only at a high premium from a custom synthesis house.

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for people with insurence it's usualy a $10 vs $30 copay. For people without, generics are often all they can afford.

actually, because the generic existed they would not cover the cost for me to switch back to the real deal. I had to do a crap load of paper work and fill out an appeal form to my insurance company for them to cover any of the cost of the Wellbutrin XL. Even after I "won" the appeal, it was only for part of the cost. I think my copay for it right now is $60. Yes, it is better than if I had to pay full price, of course, but they all still suck...

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Here are images of generic bupropion formulations.

The large, yellow oval pills made by Teva (3rd one down) are the ones that are dumping half the product in the first four hours after swallowing. The round, white bupropion xl 300 mg pills (9th image down) made by Anchen are also generic, but seem to have corrected the time release problems.

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Well, I'm glad to see this because I thought I was totally weird when the generic (the yellow one from Teva) made me feel weepy and depressed and panicky that I was slipping down into the Abyss again. If they're going to have generics, the goddamn things ought to work like the original meds and not screw us up.

Thanks for posting this and I'll be forwarding it along to my insurance company. The creeps.

olga

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