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I’ve experienced HUGE differences between various generic brands of methylphenidate – and I only take the instant release (IR). It is amazing how different they are. It’s also very hard to get a pharmacy to stick with a particular generic – or even tell you which they have in stock. I will probably switch to the brand name.
Details: I don’t take Concerta, but just IR methylphenidate. I was taking the Actavis generic 10mg for years with great results. I tried switching pharmacies once and got a different generic and it felt like a placebo – Copharma? Back on Actavis all good. Then the pharmacy switched to KVK and it was much less effective. I asked the pharmacy to change back, but they say they have no control over what is sent to them. I got used to it, but always wondered if maybe I was over-reacting. It seemed I needed maybe 25-50% more drug and it never worked as well. Suddenly, they changed back to Actavis and all was good for a few month – much better. Then it was back to KVK, then it was random – KVK for a month, then Actavis, then KVK, and now an IR from Mallinckdodt, which is causing headaches and feels like it does nothing.
I am amazed at the differences. I hate to blame the medicine, but I’ve missed some deadlines at work and hate not being able to predict how I will feel or how I will function at work or home.
All this is just for the IR. From what I’ve read, the extended release versions are even more problematic, as they can have different effects when the drug is in your system – but the chemical release mechanisms are totally different as well. A few years ago the FDA ruled they were not equivalent.
I did find after a few months on the KVK, it was better – so if I could consistently get that at 1/2 the price of the brand, I probably would – but this constant changing is intolerable, so brand name for me if I can get that to work.