Meimeiquest

Generic vs brand versions of antidepressants?

51 posts in this topic

I am tapering off brand effexor. 

 

My PDOC said generics contain at least 20% LESS potency than its' brand equivalent. My pharmacist says there is no potency difference.

 

I just went through a rough night and morning after having to take a generic (and staying on taper schedule) until I could pick up a brand RX.

 

This happened once before whereby I had taken generic when I ran out of brand (when I was on full dose, not tapering) back in December. I did not anticipate nor project concern of medication effectiveness between brand and generic. My body picked up on it and it felt just like CT withdrawal - in some ways it felt worse. 

 

I wonder if this is why the generic effexor  did not seem to have any effectiveness at all when I began taking it again  after four month being off paxil (CT). Once I switched to brand, I felt more stable. I had been taking generics approx 3 mos when I switched to brand last yr.

 

I apologize if this is an old topic but I could not find a post re this topic doing a search in the forum.

 

I have a comment and a question

 

I have worked so hard at attending a 12 step for general help and support (ind therapy last yr as I could afford) and truly trying my best to manage depression and panic along with the stress of my sister dying from cancer and me losing my home. I now take care my elderly parents and it is tough as hell being that my mom is an alcoholic (which is why I am in al anon). I am amazed at how scrambled, distorted and confused my brain became within hours of taking the generic. I try not to be angry and doubt that I will ever be ok w out this effing med - but I find it hard.

 

The question I have is - how are manufacturers of brand and generic allowed to vary in potency of this medication time and time again without being sanctioned for errors? How can it be every time I have tried generic it is vastly different in experience? Is the brand company dding something others are not when comparing brand to generics?

 

I know I sound paranoid but JFC - I feel like I am being fed addiction and not dependence on this crap. 

 

Thanks

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Newme….. I cannot answer your question but I can tell you that for some people the generic just plain is not as effective. You MAY be one of them.

 

If the reason you are going generic is because your insurance Co. won't cover the brand name, your doctor CAN work with the insurance company as a special case by explaining to them that only the brand is effective for you & then the insurance CO. should pay.

 

RU

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Thank you for the reply.

 

I had been able to get the meds with the manu assistance program - but have just moved and no doctor - only had one script left and some generics. Have to find a new doc and reapply for med assistance from the company that enabled me to become dependent on this crap. 

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There are some variations between generics and name brand drugs, and there are variations among generic brands, too.

 

Some people are sensitive to the differences and some not.

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They may as well have put gerbil shavings in the generic for the lack of effectiveness I experienced. Good excuse to get a gerbil. 

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I could not take the generic and my pharmacy switched it without telling me a melt down was what gave me the heads up... the pill looked the same I had taken it for wks.  

When I asked the pharmacist he said they were supposed to be the same active ingredient I told him NEVER change any of my drugs again without talking to me about it first. I was amazed it was legal for them to do this without telling me.  There was a case on the news here a few months ago of how a generic had messed up a disabled person severely affecting his life without a word to the care taking parents who had power over his daily living. They made the news but like most things that make the news doubt anything changed.  

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Newme

 

I was taking generic immediate release effexor since Aug 2012. I was having vertigo and headaches 24/7.

I asked my doc to switch to brand effexor XR. I do believe they have a variance in potency. The vertigo and headaches were gone almost immediately however mood swings, and anxiety have ramped up.

I proceeded to decrease the XR and add more of generic to modify these effects. These wds/side effects have dissipated somewhat.

 

I feel if I would decrease the generic i would not feel wds as much but

in the future would like to convert the generic into liquid.

 

Not sure if I am making any sense in how I'm tapering (using both generic IR & brand XR) but I was so tired of vertigo and headaches going on for months at a time.

 

I wonder which is the least harmful as far as withdrawals go.

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Lexy, you changed from generic immediate-release to brand-name extended-release. Which do you think had the most effect, the second drug being brand-name or extended-release? You're comparing apples and oranges.

 

Not only that, you varied your dosage in a very confusing way. It's impossible to tell what caused what or what was the benefit.

 

I don't think your example shows anything about generic vs brand-name.

 

All that aside, I'm glad your headaches have gone away.

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You are right I was comparing apples to oranges however, 

I do believe that for me,  Effexor XR took away the vertigo and headaches.  This happened the following day I increased  the XR part of the dosage. 

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That may be true, Lexy. I'm glad it did that for you.

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I echo the difference in generic vs name brand for lexopro. I was switched to generic 2 yrs ago without knowing. Struggled with side effects and started tapering from it 1 yr ago ended up with nix of side effects and , had to stop tapering when I was at 2.5 mg. pain all over ESP jaw, head ever since and only started seeing some lights after 6 months back to name brand.

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I agree there is a difference in generic vs brand.

My brother is on Wellbutrin and recently moved to a different state. He found a pdoc which gave him rx. He noticed the the bottle was different, however he started taking the generic a few days later he called doctor to request the brand.

He's been complaining of feeling anxiety after this I'm not sure if it was the generic. He's been on Wellbutrin for about 5 years at 300mg.

He is not tapering. He does believe it has helped him.

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One prove is that I experience WD when switching back to name brand without any other changes. Tats how different the two could be!

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I agree they for me there was a huge difference between the brand name and generic... whichever you on don't switch.  As your body is use to it. 

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I could not take the generic and my pharmacy switched it without telling me a melt down was what gave me the heads up... the pill looked the same I had taken it for wks.  

When I asked the pharmacist he said they were supposed to be the same active ingredient I told him NEVER change any of my drugs again without talking to me about it first. I was amazed it was legal for them to do this without telling me.  There was a case on the news here a few months ago of how a generic had messed up a disabled person severely affecting his life without a word to the care taking parents who had power over his daily living. They made the news but like most things that make the news doubt anything changed.  

Sorry so late in replying - 

 

I too, am shocked (disgusted) that this is legal to do without informed consent. The more I red bout psychopharma and realizing the insanity of it in being sold as "helping" people - the angrier I become at the many losses in my OWN life due to the meds. and lies.

 

My own Pdoc had said the generics offer 20% LESS of the effective drug though his RECEPTIONIST quipped that "oh yeah - he tells people that - but thats not true."...further backed by pharmacists who have insisted there is no difference.

 

Now that I am informed about FDA's role in approving generics based on manu "STUDIES" and trials - I see with the recentlink giaK supplied in the fora (Wellbutrin drug recall), that big pharma FDA and PDOCS are destroying lives with chemical straightjackets as if OFSA (one size fits all - IF AT ALL!!!!!!!!!). Has yet to be PROVEN. 

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After reading more personal experiences on here - online - and becoming way more informed than before, I am disgusted, angry, fearful and generally at unrest watching psuedoscience hard at work  putting people into chemical straightjackets. 

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After reading more personal experiences on here - online - and becoming way more informed than before, I am disgusted, angry, fearful and generally at unrest watching psuedoscience hard at work  putting people into chemical straightjackets. 

I see you are new. 

This is something most of us have come to know sooner or later sadly all the emotions that come with the knowing hamper you healing... so if you can please try to step back from this just now and focus on your healing.  I know that is a tall order when in withdrawal but it is paramount that you heal that is more important than the truth right now... the truth will still be here when you well it has been here for years and is not going anywhere. 

I wish you peace 

peace is the state in which our bodies heal best....

peace.

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After reading more personal experiences on here - online - and becoming way more informed than before, I am disgusted, angry, fearful and generally at unrest watching psuedoscience hard at work  putting people into chemical straightjackets. 

I see you are new. 

This is something most of us have come to know sooner or later sadly all the emotions that come with the knowing hamper you healing... so if you can please try to step back from this just now and focus on your healing.  I know that is a tall order when in withdrawal but it is paramount that you heal that is more important than the truth right now... the truth will still be here when you well it has been here for years and is not going anywhere. 

I wish you peace 

peace is the state in which our bodies heal best....

peace.

 

Yes I am new to this board but not new to coming off vi tapering from SSRIs - unfortunately.

 

Unable to find work despite college degree and a return for a tech degree - I cannot afford brand - hence the need to switch to generic. I was just turned down for assistance due to skewed incorrect presumption about income.Had to draw the last of my IRA to survive - and it wasnt much - but with a astounding tax penalty that did more harm than good. 

 

I am not in withdrawal right now. Its not a return of my depressive state. It is pure unadulterated disgust with the lies I was sold and an RX now dependent on. The day I have to choose over eating food and dependence on an RX that never did anything to help and costs more than I spend on gas in a month is outrageous. 

 

There is no reason a generic should provide less quality though the discontinuation syndrome is very very real when I have taken it. I had anticipatory anxiety in the switch presuming the medicine potency was the same. I was told there is no difference by the pharmacist as well as a second MD I went to. Considering the unfavorable scenarios people go through in DS, the disparity is something that can cost someone their mental well being and possibly their life. 

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Article is somewhat dated but really helps - 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201203/brand-vs-generic-when-it-matters-and-what-do-when-it-does

 

..."Generic drugs are supposed to be deemed "bioequivalent" by the FDA, which means they should have the same amount of active ingredient as their brand counterparts as demonstrated on healthy volunteers.  They do not test whether they actually work or not (ie efficacy/effectiveness).  A review of studies comparing bioequivalence and therapeutic effectiveness of generic vs. brand psychoactive drugs concluded that bioequivalence and effectiveness are not necessarily the same, and recommended more rigorous testing for toleratibility and efficacy in actual patients--not just healthy volunteers (Borgheini, 2003)...."

...."Just because a drug company is headquartered somewhere does not mean the drugs are manufactured there.  They may be outsourced to more than one location, and oversight may be poor. 

76389-67002.jpg

 

Generic drugs have different fillers and binders that many people point to as the culprit when a generic doesn't work as well.   Experts speculate that these chemicals may interfere with absorption, or cause adverse allergic-type reactions that increase inflammation in the nervous system. "

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After reading more personal experiences on here - online - and becoming way more informed than before, I am disgusted, angry, fearful and generally at unrest watching psuedoscience hard at work  putting people into chemical straightjackets. 

I see you are new. 

This is something most of us have come to know sooner or later sadly all the emotions that come with the knowing hamper you healing... so if you can please try to step back from this just now and focus on your healing.  I know that is a tall order when in withdrawal but it is paramount that you heal that is more important than the truth right now... the truth will still be here when you well it has been here for years and is not going anywhere. 

I wish you peace 

peace is the state in which our bodies heal best....

peace.

 

Yes I am new to this board but not new to coming off vi tapering from SSRIs - unfortunately.

 

Unable to find work despite college degree and a return for a tech degree - I cannot afford brand - hence the need to switch to generic. I was just turned down for assistance due to skewed incorrect presumption about income.Had to draw the last of my IRA to survive - and it wasnt much - but with a astounding tax penalty that did more harm than good. 

 

I am not in withdrawal right now. Its not a return of my depressive state. It is pure unadulterated disgust with the lies I was sold and an RX now dependent on. The day I have to choose over eating food and dependence on an RX that never did anything to help and costs more than I spend on gas in a month is outrageous. 

 

There is no reason a generic should provide less quality though the discontinuation syndrome is very very real when I have taken it. I had anticipatory anxiety in the switch presuming the medicine potency was the same. I was told there is no difference by the pharmacist as well as a second MD I went to. Considering the unfavorable scenarios people go through in DS, the disparity is something that can cost someone their mental well being and possibly their life. 

 

I don't care what they say is in the drug or how they are suppose to be the same the meltdown I had was not because I had anxiety about the drug switch as I did not notice it had been changed till after the damage was done.  

I no longer have a problem going against the norm or what they tell me as I know what I know and generics do not act the same inside my body as the brain name no matter what crap they are trying to sell... I am not buying.

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Hello there,

 

My own withdrawal is progressing... for the last year with some complications but I've survived them.

 

My question isn't about me, though- it's about my husband who is taking Pristiq.  He's been on it for quite a few years- I think more than 5 years.  He recently retired and is now using a Medicare Supplemental Drug program through an insurance company.  He was ignorant of how much he was going to be paying for his antidepressant.  (This is in part why I wanted to get off these drugs).  

 

He checked with Canada Pharmacy and they have a generic from India- I did not know you can ask them where the country of origin is for any drugs you get from them.  The price for this drug is $300.00 less than what he is now paying for a 90 day supply.

 

He's pretty bullheaded and won't listen to me when I tell him I don't think this is a good idea.  I did a little research and the advice I gleaned did not recommend this alternative.  

 

Has anyone here tried this?  I don't have any other dependable or bias free resource I feel is trustworthy.  Your input is much appreciated

 

Newtons Mom

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I can't say I noticed any major difference between effexor XR and the generic until I started bead counting to try to taper off. There seemed to be a wide discrepancy with the size of the beads. The effexor beads seemed much bigger so if I was removing 100 beads from an effexor XR capsule then trying to remove 100 beads from a generic was never going to be the same. This led to some unpleasant side effects so now I insist on effexor only.

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I can't say I noticed any major difference between effexor XR and the generic until I started bead counting to try to taper off. There seemed to be a wide discrepancy with the size of the beads. The effexor beads seemed much bigger so if I was removing 100 beads from an effexor XR capsule then trying to remove 100 beads from a generic was never going to be the same. This led to some unpleasant side effects so now I insist on effexor only.

Harmonica are the effexor beads all the same size? I had some effexor capsules and the beads were all different sizes, more like chips than beads. I also had generic (rodomel, which is what I'm tapering.)  The rodomel are more uniform in sizethan effexor but still not all the same.  It's a pain trying to get them all the same consistently! The effexor was an old pack though, they might have changed now. Some chips were like sugar crystals! 

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Alto, If I didn't respond, thank you so very much.  I passed the information along to my hubby.  I knew someone here would know.  I thought I posted a response but I don't think it made it.  Sorry.  Thanks again.

 

Newtons Mom

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Have you tried buying a scale and weighing the beads?

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Google and ye shall find.

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Hi, I had personal experience switching from name brand to generic for Lexapro and it was horrible. It caused me a whole year of severe side effect after 1.5 yr of generic and I am still going through them now after 6 months switching back to name brand.

 

Since this is not lexapro, it may be different, but I would strongly recommend serious research and great caution. 

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Yes, some people are sensitive to the differences between name brand and generic or even between different generic brands.

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After reading more personal experiences on here - online - and becoming way more informed than before, I am disgusted, angry, fearful and generally at unrest watching psuedoscience hard at work  putting people into chemical straightjackets. 

I see you are new. 

This is something most of us have come to know sooner or later sadly all the emotions that come with the knowing hamper you healing... so if you can please try to step back from this just now and focus on your healing.  I know that is a tall order when in withdrawal but it is paramount that you heal that is more important than the truth right now... the truth will still be here when you well it has been here for years and is not going anywhere. 

I wish you peace 

peace is the state in which our bodies heal best....

peace.

 

Yes I am new to this board but not new to coming off vi tapering from SSRIs - unfortunately.

 

Unable to find work despite college degree and a return for a tech degree - I cannot afford brand - hence the need to switch to generic. I was just turned down for assistance due to skewed incorrect presumption about income.Had to draw the last of my IRA to survive - and it wasnt much - but with a astounding tax penalty that did more harm than good. 

 

I am not in withdrawal right now. Its not a return of my depressive state. It is pure unadulterated disgust with the lies I was sold and an RX now dependent on. The day I have to choose over eating food and dependence on an RX that never did anything to help and costs more than I spend on gas in a month is outrageous. 

 

There is no reason a generic should provide less quality though the discontinuation syndrome is very very real when I have taken it. I had anticipatory anxiety in the switch presuming the medicine potency was the same. I was told there is no difference by the pharmacist as well as a second MD I went to. Considering the unfavorable scenarios people go through in DS, the disparity is something that can cost someone their mental well being and possibly their life. 

 

Your not alone in your outrage! 

Effexor is expensive my drug coverage would not longer cover E when the generic came to market so I too paid out of pocket for it.  I was left with a few hundred dollars worth of meds when I quit not to mention a few other bottles of varying doses when I tried to go back on... all went in the garbage eventually. I know I should have taken them back to the drug store but I didn't.  I was in an angry mood and went through all the old pills in my possession and toss them all.  I thought I should keep the bottles so I have dates and did that ...but all the pills were bagged and tossed.  

I wonder how many millions of dollars in pills have ended up in the landfill. 

 

I am sure this does not make you any happier know people are throwing away drugs you need... it is stupid but laws mean people can't pass you off their old drugs or I would have easily... so would others I am sure. When I think how poor I am now and how I have not worked in years ...all the money I wasted on Effexor just pisses me off even more. 

 

Nope you not alone in your outrage I just can't keep the intensity year after year it waxes and wains.. bet is the same for other long timers.  

I wish you peace....

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After reading more personal experiences on here - online - and becoming way more informed than before, I am disgusted, angry, fearful and generally at unrest watching psuedoscience hard at work  putting people into chemical straightjackets. 

I see you are new. 

This is something most of us have come to know sooner or later sadly all the emotions that come with the knowing hamper you healing... so if you can please try to step back from this just now and focus on your healing.  I know that is a tall order when in withdrawal but it is paramount that you heal that is more important than the truth right now... the truth will still be here when you well it has been here for years and is not going anywhere. 

I wish you peace 

peace is the state in which our bodies heal best....

peace.

 

Yes I am new to this board but not new to coming off vi tapering from SSRIs - unfortunately.

 

Unable to find work despite college degree and a return for a tech degree - I cannot afford brand - hence the need to switch to generic. I was just turned down for assistance due to skewed incorrect presumption about income.Had to draw the last of my IRA to survive - and it wasnt much - but with a astounding tax penalty that did more harm than good. 

 

I am not in withdrawal right now. Its not a return of my depressive state. It is pure unadulterated disgust with the lies I was sold and an RX now dependent on. The day I have to choose over eating food and dependence on an RX that never did anything to help and costs more than I spend on gas in a month is outrageous. 

 

There is no reason a generic should provide less quality though the discontinuation syndrome is very very real when I have taken it. I had anticipatory anxiety in the switch presuming the medicine potency was the same. I was told there is no difference by the pharmacist as well as a second MD I went to. Considering the unfavorable scenarios people go through in DS, the disparity is something that can cost someone their mental well being and possibly their life. 

 

I don't care what they say is in the drug or how they are suppose to be the same the meltdown I had was not because I had anxiety about the drug switch as I did not notice it had been changed till after the damage was done.  

I no longer have a problem going against the norm or what they tell me as I know what I know and generics do not act the same inside my body as the brain name no matter what crap they are trying to sell... I am not buying.

 

Totally agree!

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After reading more personal experiences on here - online - and becoming way more informed than before, I am disgusted, angry, fearful and generally at unrest watching psuedoscience hard at work  putting people into chemical straightjackets. 

I see you are new. 

This is something most of us have come to know sooner or later sadly all the emotions that come with the knowing hamper you healing... so if you can please try to step back from this just now and focus on your healing.  I know that is a tall order when in withdrawal but it is paramount that you heal that is more important than the truth right now... the truth will still be here when you well it has been here for years and is not going anywhere. 

I wish you peace 

peace is the state in which our bodies heal best....

peace.

 

Yes I am new to this board but not new to coming off vi tapering from SSRIs - unfortunately.

 

Unable to find work despite college degree and a return for a tech degree - I cannot afford brand - hence the need to switch to generic. I was just turned down for assistance due to skewed incorrect presumption about income.Had to draw the last of my IRA to survive - and it wasnt much - but with a astounding tax penalty that did more harm than good. 

 

I am not in withdrawal right now. Its not a return of my depressive state. It is pure unadulterated disgust with the lies I was sold and an RX now dependent on. The day I have to choose over eating food and dependence on an RX that never did anything to help and costs more than I spend on gas in a month is outrageous. 

 

There is no reason a generic should provide less quality though the discontinuation syndrome is very very real when I have taken it. I had anticipatory anxiety in the switch presuming the medicine potency was the same. I was told there is no difference by the pharmacist as well as a second MD I went to. Considering the unfavorable scenarios people go through in DS, the disparity is something that can cost someone their mental well being and possibly their life. 

 

Your not alone in your outrage! 

Effexor is expensive my drug coverage would not longer cover E when the generic came to market so I too paid out of pocket for it.  I was left with a few hundred dollars worth of meds when I quit not to mention a few other bottles of varying doses when I tried to go back on... all went in the garbage eventually. I know I should have taken them back to the drug store but I didn't.  I was in an angry mood and went through all the old pills in my possession and toss them all.  I thought I should keep the bottles so I have dates and did that ...but all the pills were bagged and tossed.  

I wonder how many millions of dollars in pills have ended up in the landfill. 

 

I am sure this does not make you any happier know people are throwing away drugs you need... it is stupid but laws mean people can't pass you off their old drugs or I would have easily... so would others I am sure. When I think how poor I am now and how I have not worked in years ...all the money I wasted on Effexor just pisses me off even more. 

 

Nope you not alone in your outrage I just can't keep the intensity year after year it waxes and wains.. bet is the same for other long timers.  

I wish you peace....

 

OMG since the RX company refuses to pay this yr based on my tax return (which is a joke) the cost has about buried me in more debt.

 

I have been able to get a 6mos script and have Walgreen pharmacy fill 5 at a time. This way I won't end up with extras when I get off Satan's vitamin (Effexor). 

 

I appreciate your input. Thank you!

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I can't say I noticed any major difference between effexor XR and the generic until I started bead counting to try to taper off. There seemed to be a wide discrepancy with the size of the beads. The effexor beads seemed much bigger so if I was removing 100 beads from an effexor XR capsule then trying to remove 100 beads from a generic was never going to be the same. This led to some unpleasant side effects so now I insist on effexor only.

Harmonica

Thanks for your reply.

 

I have yet to get a scale so now I count beads that appear relatively uniform in size. I tend to pick the biggest ones. 

Your observations re gen and brand bead size is interesting. 

 

Thanks!

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My husband was placed on Effexor in 2006 for anxiety.   He’s been on generic version I guess since it became available—I’m not sure.  I don’t know if he had any side-effects going from the brand name to the generic, and it’s been too long for him to remember.  Due to “Effexor” causing him so many problems, he’s been weaning off it for the past year—he was on 150 mg and is now hanging out at the 37.5 mg pill level (we dropped him 5% each 3-4 weeks with a few longer stays whenever he felt increased “emotional” sensitivity, etc.).

 
Anyway, at his last refill, the pharmacy gave him the script broken into 2 bottles—one was his usual Teva generic and the other was Greenstone (which is “real” Effexor).  He’s about to start on the real Effexor, and I’m worried this might cause added problems in his withdrawal, side-effect process.  Any thoughts?  I just hate seeing him change “brands” during withdrawal from one, especially since I read something about someone going from generic back to brand and experiencing anxiety, etc.  Hubby cannot afford to get messed up with his new, highly visible job he just started on a few months ago.  
 
One thing I can do is fill our own capsules.  As I was researching here for info, I realized I had TONS of little beads (Teva brand) in a container from this weaning process.  I could get some empty capsules and fill them.  Then I need to know if the capsules themselves being different could cause problems (different dissolve rates).  Any ideas?
 
Thanks so much!

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I can share some of my experience with shifting between the brand and generic although its for lexapro. I started with brand name on 2.5 mg for headache for years, when insurance changed it to generic, I had to increase the dose over the time to 10mg to help with the anxiety. Been on generic for 1 and half year, the killing jaw pain made me decided to tapering. I tapered from 10 to 2.5 in 3 months then could not going down further because the worsened jaw pain and panic attack. I stated there for another 4 months until I read the generic can cause jaw problems then I switched back to name brand. All kinds of withdral problems started in like 2 months after the shift so I had to increase the dose again to 3.7 then 4.5. One good thing is the jaw pain was gone after 7 months post shifting. In the last month I started tapering again from 4.5 to 3.8 now. I am scared to find the jaw pain came back yesterday. So in summary, the 2 shifts caused lots of problems and I suffered so much with various and severe symptoms also ended with much worse condition now. My feeling is shifting can trigger more damage and make your brain more sensitive. If the shift is for the consideration of cost, I would not suggest shift. Drug equivalence defined by industry or FDA is based on the potency of the active ingredients, but our problem now is Ssri induced problems not even the efficacy of the drug. Any tiny difference can mess up more of the brain then lead to unpredictable situation. Just my thoughts.

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