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!!
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.
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
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.
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 :)
Lorz' Please don't listen to or read as much on generic and brand name medications. I have taken both and switched when the brand became generic and have never had a problem. The mind is very powerful and we can convince ourselves that one is better than the other. Go with the Generic unless you have money to waise. I just posted the other day some facts on generic and brand name drugs here I think its in the generic thread. But even what is dispensed the generic far exceeds the brand name medications.And when there is a problem which is rare it would be in the binder of the medications but the active ingredients of the medications are the same thing.And both brand and generic are allowed the same amount of difference from batch to batch. You well have no problems taking the generic that you would have taking the brand. Chuck1957 Save your money the fda is watching all companies very close these days.
Okay kids, here is my take on generic vs Brand name, AND one generic vs another!
First, the FDA allows us lovely folks without enough money to purchase the brand name up to 20% less of the active ingredient for your money. Doesn't that give you the warm and fuzzies?
SO I tried generic #1, made my Camber. I had lactose intolerance that started out bad, but was taken care of easily by enzyme pills once I figured out what the issue was, which took a while. 6 months into taking, I was free of the enzymes. No more lactose intolerance! Lactose intolerance happens to a small percentage of us according to the information I found/
ONE WEEK LATER, after being enzyme free, I had to change pharmacies.
SO, then I started the Aurobindo brand. Now I have lactose intolerance that is NOT controllable with enzymes. I feel sick 24/7, have headaches (unusual for me), and I feel extra sick for 4-6 hours after eating a meal. I have nausea most of the time, at varying levels of severity. I eat as few meals or snacks as possible right now. I am 3 weeks in and feel like I am in hell. My depression has not changed, but I am miserable and unable to really go anywhere or do anything. I am contacting the pharmacy to try for my old brand! If that does not work, I may try the brand name.
Hope this helps!!
I know this is an old question but I wanted to answer with my experience in case anyone else does a google search looking for multiple opinions.
There is a huge difference between the generic and non-generic. There is also a huge difference between the generics that are manufactured by different companies.
I have been on the generic form of Lexapro for 2 years now. I love it.
It really has changed my life for the better and I wish I started taking it much sooner!
But, I will say, that the only times it has ever given me problems is when I pick up my prescription from a different pharmacy. I didn't know that there were different manufacturers of the generic form. All I knew is I felt different. And it wasn't good. Very scary.
I then started to pay attention to what size of my pills, even the way the F looked engraved in the pill.
Once you start taking it and like it, find the manufacturer for the one you prefer and stick with it!
The side effects are horrible.
Hey, I think I can help! I STARTED on the Generic. Did it work for my depression? YES! But I should have stayed on the 10mg, instead of going to 20mg. Try the 10 mg for a whlie to see if it works. It gives you a place to go in dose if you need to go higher in dose later. Now the generics have one difference that was HUGE to me- they have a lactose coating (which again, IS ONLY PRESENT ON THE GENERIC VERSIONS- ALL BRANDS- I tried 2 brands, one that started with a C, like Cambress or Cam-something, and the 2nd one, Brand: Aurobindo when I had a pharmacy change, & each only carried one brand. The first brand "C" brand made me sick for the first 6 months. I figured out if was lactose intolerance, so I had to figure out what was making me sick, and the literature says that people who are close to being lactose intolerant, may find that his medicine makes them lactose intolerant.
one week after my body let me stop taking the generic version of Lactase (the real stuff did not work as well, either in chewable or pill), Target generic helped me the most. Okay so then I got the Aurobindo brand, and that one was even WORSE, I was so sick from just taking it I could not even get out of bed, and I cold not eat anything! I finally went to the "real" version of Lexapro. It took me almost 2 months to stop being affected by dairy. I never before this showed any problems with dairy, so I do not buy that I was "almost" lactose intolerant in the first place! I always had a lot of dairy in my diet, never had an issue, EVER, and as of the last week, well, 6 days ago, I am back to normal once again. Drinking glasses of milk, any cheeses I want. It could be very well because I am ABLE to eat more, but I did gain weight the last month, but also not exercising much because I was sick until a week ago... The regular Lexapro seems to help mu depression better, as I felt like I had no emotions while on the generic, and now I do not feel so "disconnected" while on the brand name Lexapro, Would I go back to the generic, no matter the cost? NO!!! The real works BETTER. But if you start on the generic, your body won't know that it is not working better. If you feel "disconnected" from your feelings, I say try the brand name after a couple of months on the generic escitalopram. I hope this helps!!! I felt no happiness on the generic, not the same with brand name. Not 100% myself, ut much closer than when on the generic. If you can afford the real stuff, do it, if it will be very hard on you, get the generic, IMHO.
I have been on Lexapro Brand name for the past 14 years to treat disabling autonomic dysfunction. Somewhere in the middle of that time span the generic came out so I tried it so I could save money. I did not do well. My hand numbness increased and so did my headaches and heat intolerance. Switched back and poof after about 10 days or so I was back to normal. Managed symptoms and no side effects. Been doing better ever since.
I've never had any issue with generic medications, antidepressant or otherwise... took generic wellbutrin for years... worked as well as the brand ever did. BUT... generic lexapro just plain doesn't work for me. Over the past 6 years I've tried switching twice. No bad side effects... its just plain like I'm not taking anything at all... or at least not taking much of anything. I'm about to try for a third time, the cost of being on brand name is just too high to not try again, I guess. It just doesn't make any sense to me that the generic is any different!! Keep thinking maybe it is in my head, but like I said, over the years I've switched to other generics with no issues... either generic lexapro is different, or I'm really very, very out of touch and suffering a placebo effect; but I truly doubt that...
the difference between brand and generic is just so incredibly stark for me. But sheesh, I start to feel gaslighted with all the "professionals" on here and elsewhere who value whitepapers and what it says on the tin over the experiences of actual people taking the meds. There is something VERY different for me between the two. Wish there wasn't, to the tune of $180 per month that I'd rather spend on groceries!
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