Brand Substitutes

Pharmacists tend to ask if a substitute or generic brand is ok for a prescription. While I’m generally for that as it tends to save money, I’d recommend against saying yes when it comes to depression-related medication. As you know, getting the dosage right is tricky enough. From my past personal experience, substitutes didn’t work or at least worked differently, thus messing with my head – so basically, once you get to something that works for you (whichever brand that might be), don’t risk messing with it for the sake of saving a few dollars. You can also ask your doctor to put a tick in the “no substitutes” box on the prescription, then the pharmacist won’t even go there.

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4 thoughts on “Brand Substitutes”

  1. Definitely second this one. I remember reading a while back that while the active ingredient(s) are the same for generics this certainly isn’t guaranteed for the so-called inactive ingredients. This difference can effect things such as the absorption rate of the medication which can produce very different results with SSRIs.

  2. I categorically agree with this post. While I was on medication my Doctor pointed out numerous cases he had see where this was true. He recommended I take the name brand but didn’t tick the box and left the risk/reward part up to me.

  3. I’ve found a lot of good discussion on generics vs brand names over at

    Its a consumer psych med/MH site.

  4. I have had this experience with many medications. While some of the premium you pay is the brand, some of it is the quality control, or the choice of buffers, or other cost-cutting measures that can impact effectiveness or side-effects.

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