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Effexor/Venlafaxine confusion: Generic Manufacturers, Tabs vs Capsules??

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First off, I'm aware people here sometimes have issues when switching from Brand med to Generic. My pdoc started me on a Generic Venlafaxine, (maybe she didn't want there to be an issue at a later date, in case I wasn't given the specific Effexor name brand everytime, I guess)? I started on 37.5mg Mylan tab, and as I increased, not sure if it changed. Last 4 months, I was taking 150mg (in 1 tab pill), (can't remember the name).

Anyway, I am completely confused!! I've been on different generic manufacturers and different formulations (sometimes I go to a different pharmacy, due to stock, they sometimes give me 2 75mg doses, instead of 150mg). I'm not sure even which manufacturer/brand I've been taking the longest, as I don't save the packages. However, I have noticed this last week, I've been on a different pill than months prior. I am definitely feeling different (much more tired, LAZY, spacey and sweaty) I compared my current pill (Peach, 2 dose 75mg Pfizer Venlafaxine Capsules with individual beads) to a previous one (White, Mylan Venlafaxine, it's a hard tablet inside a capsule?). I've never been on the capsule with individual beads version (usually only the hard tab).

I don't know the difference between these formulations (capsule with beads versus hard tabs)!! I'm assuming there would be a huge difference in the release mechanism and absorption of the drug right? I'm not sure what to do, or which specific manufacturer/name to request now....I also read that only XR formulation exists (no instant) so all of these should be extended, right? Which ones have the best reputation?

 

pills.jpg

Edited by Blahblah

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Yeah I wish I had written down the different brand names. I think it comes down to which one you've started on and been on the longest. You get used to it, and then there must be something ever so slightly different with the fillers or absorption rate/metabolism because there are many accounts of people feeling very different (or having alot of side effects) on different brands of the same drug! This can't all be placebo effect....I never even examined the package or noticed a different brand name. I first noticed the tablet versus capsule thing.

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I believe the beads are what are supposed to be inside the capsules... At least, that's what's inside brand-name Effexor XR. I have never even heard of or seen tablets inside of capsules before!! That is so bizarre! The peach capsule on the right with the "W" on it looks pretty much identical to the brand-name 75 mg capsule, so I would go for whatever brand that is if I were you, but that's just because I personally did much better on brand-name Effexor XR than the generic venlafaxine ER.

On brand-name, I was bright, cheery, sunny, happy, my anxiety was controlled, and I was focused. My dose was 150 mg. When I switched to generic, everything went to hell... it was like I wasn't taking anything at all. I had withdrawal symptoms and everything. My pdoc had to increase my dose all the way up to 375 mg. It worked for about a week and I started having withdrawal symptoms again. We tried to get brand-name, but my insurance wouldn't pay for it. The only way I was able to get brand-name is my friend, @THE_REAL_Bryan had a TON of Effexor XR he got from the pharmaceutical company that he gave me because he wasn't taking it anymore. We went up in the dosage all the way up to 825 mg and it still lost its efficacy. We just decided to call it quits on Effexor. Just wasn't worth it. I was even using the brand-name my friend gave me, but what would I do when I ran out, you know? The generic venlafaxine ruined it for me.

I wish you the best of luck with your Effexor experience.

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Wow @mikl_pls That is sooooo bizarre!!! How long were you taking the brand before you switched? Now I'm worried that if I go back to the other one I was on, it may not work (though I've always taken the generic). Any idea why that happened to you? Should I ask my pdoc about this? I've always taken generic because she said people often react when taking the "brand" and then switching to generic. Even though they are supposed to be pharmaceutically "equivalent" it surprises me that there are differences between every generic....

So I'm not crazy, thinking that the hard tablet thing is super weird! I've never seen it either. When I was taking Cymbalta years ago, it was always the capsule with the individual beads (I remember well, because tapering off at that time, I had to count each individual bead coming off the lowest dose!) And since I started taking the 2 peach 75mgs capsules about 9 days ago, I've been experiencing ever so slight brain zaps and more fatigue...like it's not affecting me the same way.

I wish I knew what causes this, I find it unbelievable that a tiny thing like filler can completely change the drugs efficacy! Perhaps it's because meds do not usually get tested on human subjects for more than 6 month trials and generics aren't tested as thoroughly? i don't know.

 

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3 hours ago, Blahblah said:

Wow @mikl_pls That is sooooo bizarre!!! How long were you taking the brand before you switched? Now I'm worried that if I go back to the other one I was on, it may not work (though I've always taken the generic). Any idea why that happened to you? Should I ask my pdoc about this? I've always taken generic because she said people often react when taking the "brand" and then switching to generic. Even though they are supposed to be pharmaceutically "equivalent" it surprises me that there are differences between every generic....

Hmm... I wanna say like a month... because I remember at my first appointment was when she prescribed me the 150 mg (starting 75 mg for a week) after having got off Emsam. At the next appointment I tried switching to the generic, but that was when it hit the fan. I had to call in about it and my pdoc raised me by 75 mg increments until we got to 375 mg.

I'm sure that you can have your pdoc specify "Pfizer generic" on the script or whichever generic effects you the best. I've had my pdoc do this for one of my meds, oxazepam, because the Sandoz generic worked best for me. Granted, I go to a family pharmacy, not a chain pharmacy. I tried doing that at a chain pharmacy without success for several of my meds, but they swore that they had customers who had "their own stock" of custom generic brands on their shelves in back.

Pharmaceutically equivalent my foot!! The definition of "pharmaceutically equivalent" I think is too loose and needs to be reeled in a bit for quality standards and for the benefit of patients taking the medicines. I mean, to make a tablet and cram it in a capsule and call it extended release seems beyond lazy to me. I know they can make extended release tablets and all, but why have the capsule then? Capsules with beads, according to my pdoc, work better for extended release mechanisms than do tablets.

3 hours ago, Blahblah said:

So I'm not crazy, thinking that the hard tablet thing is super weird! I've never seen it either. When I was taking Cymbalta years ago, it was always the capsule with the individual beads (I remember well, because tapering off at that time, I had to count each individual bead coming off the lowest dose!) And since I started taking the 2 peach 75mgs capsules about 9 days ago, I've been experiencing ever so slight brain zaps and more fatigue...like it's not affecting me the same way.

No, not at all! I mean, for all I know, it could be like that with brand-name Effexor, I've never taken 37.5 mg brand-name, though. Oh wow, what a nightmare that must've been coming off Cymbalta! I must be lucky because I didn't have that problem. That's strange that the Pfizer generic would be causing those symptoms in you like that. It sounds like they're weaker than the other generics or something... or maybe the release mechanism isn't quite up to par with the others'...

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On 4/10/2018 at 10:55 AM, sbdivemaster said:

if it's a good, low cost pharmacy, ask if they would order the brand you favor.  Can't hurt to ask.

I agree- @Blahblah    Many good pharms can order the generic brand you want, provided you give them enough notice to order it, so they have it when you need it.

As a side note, I had a terrible experience with different brands of generic clonazepam........I usually take the TEVA brand clonazepam, but once when my regular pharmacy was out of stock, I had to go to a different pharm and all they carried was the MYLAN clonazepam....So I was stuck with the MYLAN generic for the month, and it didn't work nearly as well for me.

After that experience, I switched to yet another pharm where the only generic clonazepam they carry is TEVA brand--haven't had a problem for 2 years now with my current pharmacy--They are a little more expensive, but they have never once been out of stock for my TEVA.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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@mikl_pls @CrazyRedhead  Look what I got this time. I've never heard of this brand (EU part of Merck I'm assuming??)

I didn't know what generic to specifically ask for (I just wanted the 150mg in 1 dose, instead of taking 2 75mg doses). They gave me these Tabs...Hmmm....

Venlafaxine.jpeg

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@Blahblah,  yes I think you're correct in saying these were manufactured for European use, as the writing is in French from what I can see on the box........That's a little odd.

But since it's MYLAN, I would think it would be the same formulation as the American MYLAN......

I think you said you were doing okay on the MYLAN tabs when you first started Effexor , and felt worse on the PFIZER capsules?........Correct?

Have you started taking these yet, and if so how are you doing on them?

If your pharmacy switches generic manufacturers a lot, I think it would be a good idea to note the generic manufacturer of the one you do best on, and request it, or have your doc write it on the prescription.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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6 hours ago, CrazyRedhead said:

If your pharmacy switches generic manufacturers a lot, I think it would be a good idea to note the generic manufacturer of the one you do best on, and request it, or have your doc write it on the prescription.

I second this and agree with this!

If you can remember to, try to keep the package or box in which it came or write down the generic manufacturer each time so you can keep up with it plus the date you filled it, and note how well or poorly you do on that brand. If you have any side effects with that brand, write them too next to that brand so you can keep up with what it does to you. That way you'll have a track record of what's doing what. Then you can tell your pdoc about it, and, like @CrazyRedhead said, your pdoc can write it on the prescription in an attempt to request it from the pharmacy. If your pharmacy isn't compliant, your pdoc can probably call them and tell them what it does and why you need that brand. If they still won't order the generic you need, maybe you need to find a new pharmacy?

IME, Mylan is generally a pretty good brand most of the time; however, when I was taking Stelazine, Mylan-brand Stelazine was definitely less effective than Sandoz-brand Stelazine.

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On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 8:58 AM, Blahblah said:

First off, I'm aware people here sometimes have issues when switching from Brand med to Generic. My pdoc started me on a Generic Venlafaxine, (maybe she didn't want there to be an issue at a later date, in case I wasn't given the specific Effexor name brand everytime, I guess)? I started on 37.5mg Mylan tab, and as I increased, not sure if it changed. Last 4 months, I was taking 150mg (in 1 tab pill), (can't remember the name).

Anyway, I am completely confused!! I've been on different generic manufacturers and different formulations (sometimes I go to a different pharmacy, due to stock, they sometimes give me 2 75mg doses, instead of 150mg). I'm not sure even which manufacturer/brand I've been taking the longest, as I don't save the packages. However, I have noticed this last week, I've been on a different pill than months prior. I am definitely feeling different (much more tired, LAZY, spacey and sweaty) I compared my current pill (Peach, 2 dose 75mg Pfizer Venlafaxine Capsules with individual beads) to a previous one (White, Mylan Venlafaxine, it's a hard tablet inside a capsule?). I've never been on the capsule with individual beads version (usually only the hard tab).

I don't know the difference between these formulations (capsule with beads versus hard tabs)!! I'm assuming there would be a huge difference in the release mechanism and absorption of the drug right? I'm not sure what to do, or which specific manufacturer/name to request now....I also read that only XR formulation exists (no instant) so all of these should be extended, right? Which ones have the best reputation?

 

pills.jpg

Your current pill (pink capsule) is actually brand Effexor. Pfizer makes them, but it's common for parent companies to distribute their products as labeled generic after their patents expire.

 

Also, the 37.5 and the 75mgs do come as IR tablets. 

Edited by Persona_Is_Life
Clarification.

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On ‎4‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 5:39 AM, mikl_pls said:

I have never even heard of or seen tablets inside of capsules before!! That is so bizarre! 

Delzicol (formerly known as Asacol HD) is the Asacol tablet inside a capsule. It does happen. 

On ‎4‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 5:39 AM, mikl_pls said:

 

 

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On 4/10/2018 at 2:38 PM, Blahblah said:

Yeah I wish I had written down the different brand names. I think it comes down to which one you've started on and been on the longest. You get used to it, and then there must be something ever so slightly different with the fillers or absorption rate/metabolism because there are many accounts of people feeling very different (or having alot of side effects) on different brands of the same drug! This can't all be placebo effect....I never even examined the package or noticed a different brand name. I first noticed the tablet versus capsule thing.

How's your switch to generic going ?

I found the generic to be different than the brand, less effective and way more side effects.  I also feel it flattened my emotions in a bad way, where the brand seemed to lift me up into positive feelings.  But then again this could just be me and my depression.  I also feel like I'm sleepwalking through the days...

Avoid the Aurobindo if you can help it.

Edited by BrianOCD

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