I just started taking it (samples) and it seems to be working, but I can't afford $150 a month.
9 Mar 2010
Unfortunately, there is not a generic version of Pristiq available. Moreover, one will not be available for AT LEAST 5-7 years (depending on the amount of time they spent on research and clinical trial, which was probably not that much time, since it is merely the "active" stereoisomer of "Effexor"). That is, it just entered the "pharmaceutical market" last January (I believe that is the correct month), so it's only been a little more than 1 year since it has been running on it's pillow of patent-comfort.
I have two suggestions for you, however. First of all, ask your doctor if he or she has any of the discount cards for Pristiq (and if your doctor doesn't, you can probably get one from the pharmaceutical company itself). I was given one when I started taking it, and it automatically cuts whatever your copay (or final amount charged) that you have to pay for the prescription by 50%! It is a card-shaped CD, which you run in your computer to set-up, and then make-sure to take it to the pharmacy each time you refill your Rx (type in "Pristiq A New Day Program" into Google, and you may be able to obtain a card that way).
Secondly, if $75 a month for 30 pills is still too much (and I know how it goes!), then you may want to consider asking your doctor about trying regular Effexor XR? Have you tried it already? If not, it is worth a try, because (as I mentioned above) Pristiq is simply the active stereoisomer--in an extended-release form--of the drug Effexor. In fact, Pristiq was most certainly marketed specifically (at least one of the major factors) due to the ending of the patent for Effxor XR; thus, Effexor XR is available as a generic, and you would simply need to take twice the dosage of the amount of Pristiq that is working for you (i.e., if you take 50mg Pristiz per day, you would take 1 100mg Effexor XR a day). As a final note, you may want to talk to your doctor about any possible differences between the 2 in terms of efficacy and side effects, as there may be some differences that are fairly common (e.g., although this may not be comparable now, I originally could only take Effexor for 3 days before having to quit due to side effects... however, that was more than 4 years ago, and when I started Pristiq a little less than a year ago, I felt the same side effects--to a milder degree--for the first 2-3 days. Since then, the side effects have subsided).
I hope that this can be of some help to you, and I definitely wish you luck in trying to find a way to obtain the medication that works for you without your insurance company making you work just in order to pay for your prescription!
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