Hi there. My doctor prescribed me generic Lexapro (escitalopram) for mild situational depression and generalized anxiety. I have read many negative reviews about the generic versus the name brand, but most of those reviews seem to come from people who switched from the name brand to generic mid-treatment and had negative side effects (possibly because the generic and name brand are not EXACTLY the same and their bodies had to readjust to the new medical formulation). Has anyone had positive results beginning their treatment on the generic (as opposed to just switching from name brand to generic)? The generic is only $7 through my insurance, and the name brand is $166! But, I am scared to take the generic if even newbies have terrible reactions. Any info is greatly appreciated!!
7 Oct 2013
I haven't tried lexapro generic, but I've taken other generic forms of SSRIs. I've had a lot of success with generics, plus they are super cheap! If the generic forms weren't similar enough to the name brand, the FDA would take them off the market. Generic Prozac worked wonders for me even though a lot of people told me the name brand was much better.
8 Oct 2013
Hi, Lorz! Technically, a brand and generic medication should have exactly the same drug and exactly the same effects. Every pill you take has not only the active ingredient but fillers and inert ingredients which differ from brand to generic to another generic. People who switch from a brand to generic may be reacting differently because of the different formulation.
I've taken the brand and several different company's generics (the pharmacy generally orders the most cost effective version and may switch from time to time to keep your co-pay lower) and I found absolutely no difference.
For the cost difference, try the generic. People react differently ~ you might be a lucky one and not have side effects, or only mild ones, from brand or generic. If you do, you can always switch.
Good luck, WCV
2 Apr 2014
I never had a problem with switching from brand name Lexapro to generic escitalopram, which I am now asking to be put back on. I was switched to Cymbalta last year due to back pain to see if it would help with that as well. I had no problems, but just switched to the generic for Cymbalta and I feel like I have quit taking antidepressants cold turkey.
12 Jun 2015
This is the second part to my response. You can finish reading now if youre bored but there are just a few other quick things Id like to mention from MY EXPERIENCE with this medication if youre interested:
TIMING: I take my medication in the morning AFTER I eat breakfast. I find it helps the medicine absorb more slowly into the bloodstream and I get less acid reflux, less light headedness, and less stomach discomfort (these last three side effect should go away after the first few months)
LIBIDO: Sex. What good is being freed from depression and paralytic anxiety if you cant have sex?? So PERSONALLY I did experience some lack of sex drive in the first month or two of taking escitalopram, but honestly I was so stoked to actually be able to get out of bed, leave my apartment, and interact with other human beings I didnt even realize my decreased sex drive. Then, guess what?? My libido came back just as it was before, and with my new upbeat personality and confidence I could actually put it to use here and there. yay.
STIMULANTS and LIBIDO: So again, IN MY EXPERIENCE, I have noticed that stimulants such as nicotine, caffeine, and amphetamines (adderall in my case) have generally caused a decrease in my sex drive while Im on escitalopram 20mg. This decrease in sex drive may sometimes even last a few days after the use of the stimulants. I dont know if this is common or just something that I experience but I tend to stay away from stimulants entirely (especially amphetamines, but thats a whole separate story)
ALCOHOL: I dont really know why but there are about 100 warnings when you are being consulted about taking SSRIs to NOT DRINK ALCOHOL. I guess the main reason is that alcohol is classified as a depressant and the whole reason were taking this dang medication is to overcome depression so they kind of counteract one another. Or maybe its if you drink too much alcohol while on anti depressants it does something to your brain chemistry and you turn into a vegetable. Idk
MANUFACTURER: This is a part of the equation I have recently become familiar with. Since starting with the escitalopram 2 years ago I had always got my prescriptions from Costco (manufactured by Aurobindo as I said earlier) which was working great. A few months ago I went to my doctor for a medication checkup I asked if I could get the prescriptions sent to the CVS by my house for convenience.
And let me tell you, the "escitalopram" I got from CVS (manufactured by Accord Health) was NOT the same. I cant say if it was better or worse or just different but my mind and my body did not like the reaction it caused. The easiest way I can describe its effect on me was complete and utter serotonin depletion within 3-4 days. Not fun. I felt like there was a lead weight in my stomach, I couldnt even force a laugh or a smile, and I almost quit my job from the fatigue and anxiety. After realizing it was the switch of the medication and not just me going insane for no reason I went back the Costco escitalopram (Aurobindo) and things immediately began to get better. Still took some time to get those serotonin levels back up but in the long run it just served as a lesson. Again this is my personal experience and these medications and manufacturers may or may not have the same effect on others in the same position.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: As much as I wanted them to, anti-depressants ALONE did not give me the full and joyous life I always wanted. I needed to get out there and live life. These blessed pills gave me the ability to go out and do the things I always wanted to do but was too tired, unmotivated, or afraid to do. It reignited my passion with soccer, surfing and skateboarding, things I lived for as a kid. I got the courage to talk to the girl and ask for the promotion I never had the cojones to do before. I found certain spiritual practices which brought about that love, joy, connection, and fulfillment I had always been seeking. bla bla bla
Anyways, in my humble opinion Lorz, I say go for the generic escitalopram (Aurobindo! check local Costco) at $6-10 rather than the $166 Lexapro, unless you invested in Netflix or have some kind of oil royalties coming in. From my experience they both work wonderfully and will give you the happy, joyous and free life you undoubtedly deserve :)
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