Are generic medicines really as good as brand name

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Christine 2 months ago.

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  • #35679

    jancookie
    Participant

    I’ve been using Tylex (30/500 codeine/paracetamol) for many years interspersed with generic preparations which are supposed to contain exactly the same ingredients, however, I find that the generic versions don’t seem work as well as the brand.
    I’ve done a ‘blind test’ where my partner put the capsules in my mouth without telling me what he was giving, and then I kept a log of my pain, while he noted down what I had and when. At the end of a month, we found that the days on which I had the generic version were ‘worse days’ than ‘tylex days’. I’ve looked up the various components and all I can find is a difference in the ingredients used in the shell. Could this really be making a difference to my absorption of the main ingredients, or am I crazy? Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

    #35680

    Deb
    Participant

    I totally agree with you. I take a stomach med called famotidine for a hiatus hernia. I have been taking the brand name pepcid for over 18 yrs and it works perfectly. About 6 yrs ago with pressure from GP I changed to generic famotidine and found that I had constant heartburn on this so GP agreed to change back. Just recently my local chemist cannot get the branded version pepcid for weeks so I have had to have the generic to tide me over and once again two days after starting it the heartburn is back. Having spoken to a hospital pharmacist who used to work in the industry he said that unofficially the strength of the generic versions cannot be garuanteed and it has even been known for the nhs to buy counterfeit medicine that has no use at all. so you are not imagininig it, if you want a standardised drug you really do need to have a brand but your Dr won’t admit this!

    #35681

    jancookie
    Participant

    Thanks Deb, glad to know it’s not ‘all in my head’

    #35682

    Steph
    Participant

    Jan, I was so interested to read your posting – especially as it relates to Tylex.

    For years I took tylex and then my pharmacy started giving me solpadol. As you say, should be the same as same amounts of codeine and paracetamol, 30/500 but I found it wasnt as good. One time I got my prescription from another pharmacy and was given a brand called Kapake – they barely worked at all and gave me stomach cramps too.

    I cannot get Tylex unless my GP actually writes that brand down, but they were most definitely the best brand and were more “pokey” than solpadol which I have had to settle for using.

    No idea why they differ so much, but they certainly do. Oh also – have you found that if you take co-codamol then wait about 20 mins and eat something, it makes them work much much better, especially if it is something substantial like a proper meal, but even a banana or something helps. Without food, I find I barely get any benefit from them. Steph

    #35683

    Deb
    Participant

    Don’t we just love drug companies – finally tracked down a customer service number for Johnson and Johnson who produce pepcid and found out that pepcid the med that works for me is out of production and may or may not be discontinued, ring back in two months and ask again!! I will persevere with the generic version so wish me luck.

    #35684

    jancookie
    Participant

    Can’t say I’ve noticed whether having a meal makes a difference to absorption Steph, but I suppose if the digestive juices are busy elsewhere, the drug is not subjected to full strength acids in the stomach. I came across this article which makes very interesting reading – it seems that there can be no guarantee that generics mimic the original absolutely…
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1263805/Is-pharmacist-fobbing-cheap-copies-branded-drugs.html

    #35685

    Kev
    Participant

    To quote my Doctor when i lived in surrey, “why do they give you this cheap stuff when i’ve written you a Prescription for your needs, You can never tell what they have put in this stuff”

    Hope that answers how I feel.
    have a happy pain free day.
    Kev

    #35686

    Rob
    Participant

    I always preferred Tylex capsules to Cocodamol tablet and mentioned it to my GP and now get Cocodamol capsules. They are supposed to be taken with food. I have a blood pressure tablet and was finding it hard to swallow as it started to dissolve on my tongue before I could swallow it and would stick in the throat. I came off the generic and went on the propriatary and it has been fine. The pharmacist at the health centre and double checked due to the cost and my slip has the propiatary name in large letters preceeded by “must be”. Asked why and he said they would just ignore it otherwise and dish the cheaper one out again. As generic are based on manufacturing costs rather than research I guess they will always be inferior.

    #35687

    Di
    Participant

    I’ve just had to see my GP to get my script changed to brand name oxynorm rather than oxycodone because they’ve now brought out a cheap version of that too. After 10 years on it I’m not about to risk it either not working or me getting allergies from some awful colouring. There’s no difference in price.
    For several months now I and others have been researching exactly what drug companies use in medicines particularly in respect to dogs. It’s known that the sweetener xylitol KILLS dogs but because it’s the cheapest around it’s now being used in all sorts of medicines that are given to dogs including human medicines like childrens’ benylin and liquid gabapentin. They have to list such ingredients for human meds but not for veterinary ones so it’s proving really hard to find out what it’s in. Drug companies meed to be much much more honest and transparent.

    #35688

    Rob
    Participant

    Drug companies are monitored and there is an argument that some drugs take far too long to approve by the monitoring agencies. Without being disrespectful drugs that may affect dogs do not neccessarily affect humans and there is no point in scaremongering. The drug industry is controlled tightly as they are there to generate a financial profit and although there are historic malpractices they are tightly controlled in such a way that we can remain confident. This is true of generic medicines as well prescribed in the UK. In reality though always judge the pros and cons of what is prescribed for you as an individual.

    #35689

    carole Sheen
    Participant

    Hallo everyone,
    I was given Esmoprazole last May for hiatus hernia and acid reflux, and told I needed to stay on them by a Specialist.. My G.P, said they are very expensive and put me on a generic which gave me a rash and did not work as well. So yes I do believe they are not as good. Hope everyone is having not too bad a day today. Best wishes Carole ( old member)

    #35690

    Deb
    Participant

    The daily mail article posted above is very good and explains that generic meds can have only 80% of the active drug in them compared to branded version or as high as 125% . This is all perfectly legal but does mean that the dose in a generic version can be alot different to the branded version. Also different fillers and binders affect absorbancy rate and generics usually have different ones to the branded ones so again not the same. Although the branded version will have had trials of absorbancy rate etc done the generic version does not as they do not do any clinical trials of generic versions!
    That explains everything, we are not imagining it.

    #35691

    Di
    Participant

    Rob I never said any of the drugs drugs would affect humans and I certainly was NOT scaremongering. If you read my post properly I clearly said that whilst drug companies are required to publish all their ingredients for HUMAN medicines the same is not true for veterinary medicines so there needs to be more transparency. Veterinary – NOT human drugs.
    Despite the regulations required for drug companies and the monitoring that still doesn’t prevent them from changing ingredients or using cheaper ingredients that either don’t work as well or may badly affect some people. As Deb says, the same tests are not done on generic medicines and they often do contain less of the active ingredient. A very good post Deb.
    When a drug is patented, the patent contains list of additives that may be needed in order to make it more palatable, easier to digest etc etc. That gives the manufacturers lots of leeway to choose whatever is cheapest.There will be bulk sweeteners, intense sweeteners and flavour enhancers;thickening agents and preservatives. The patent gives long lists of all possibles but states a recommended choice leaving manufacturers free to choose whatever they like- hence the big difference between brands and generics.

    #43724

    Christine
    Participant

    I had no idea there was such a big difference.
    It all comes down to ┬ús, doesn’t it?

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