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postfetalphase

Birth Control: Generic vs. Brand. The truth?

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I have heard so much trash talked about generic birth control, but it's hard to sort out statistics of exactly how much worse the generic is than the brand. I figured that most likely there are some misconceptions surrounding generic birth control that color peoples' perspective on them. Yeah you hear horror stories, but people are much more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones in general, I've found. The stories of people switching from brand to generic and experiencing an improvement are few and far between... how accurately are generics represented by a google search?

I found this page and I found it very useful....

http://ask.metafilter.com/46806/Generic-Birth-Control-Pill

There is a higher distribution of pro-generic on that page than you will find doing a random google search. It helps you see things from "the other side".

I found this quote from that page particularly helpful... it was said by someone who claimed to have worked for both generic and brand-name companies:

Many, but not all, generic contraceptives are made by the same brand-name manufacturer. The generic company is a "division" of the brand-name company.

Brand-name oral contraceptives come in prettier, bulkier, and more (expensive) plastic packaging than generics. The brand name drug companies will argue that they need to recover the price of R&D.

From my experience in both the brand and generic worlds, the extra prices charged are for the 3 inch-thick carpet pad and flying first class that the brand companies employees are accustomed to. Generic companies are leaner with their overhead, and therefore pass on the savings to their customers. I think that's a good thing for patients.

Given a chance, I always purchase generics. To me, it's a waste of my hard-earned money not to.

However, if you have been taking a medication for a long time (brand or generic) and switch to the other formulation for whatever reason, it is no guarantee the new formulation will work exactly as before.

As mentioned above, it may be due to the fillers in the formulation. But it's definitely not due to cheaper or inferior fillers. Brand and generic companies frequently buy their ingredients (again, all FDA-approved) from the same suppliers.

Edited by postfetalphase
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I've been on so many birth control pills, it's ridiculous. Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, LoEstrin 24 Fe, Microgestin Fe and Microgestin (the inactive pills in the Fe pills just have iron in them, which is great for me, since I'm anemic, but I'm pretty sure the active pills are formulated the same), and now Junel.

If I had to rate my experiences with the pills I've been on, I'd have to say that LoEstrin 24 Fe (which is brand-name) was the best, but I think that had more to do with the fact that it had 24 active pills and four inactive pills instead of 21/7, and not getting a period was awesome.

Microgestin (with or without the Fe) and Junel have both been fine. I was on Microgestin for a year and a half, and my pharmacy recently switched me to Junel, because it's apparently the exact same thing. I was expecting to gain weight or break out when they switched me over, but it's been totally fine. (Both Microgestin and Junel are generics of LoEstrin, by the way.)

The worst experiences I had were with the Ortho Tri-Cyclens. I was on Ortho Tri-Cyclen for a year or two, and then I used Ortho Lo on and off for, like, four years. The first few years were okay, but then my period started getting all wonky. Like, really long and terrible. I'd bleed for two weeks, stop bleeding, then bleed for two more weeks. And they weren't light periods or spotting. They were, like, full-on, heavy periods.

That's why I ended up switching to the LoEstrin. Aside from having iron in the inactive pills, it was supposed to shorten my periods, and, after dealing with bleeding pretty much non-stop for, like, years, a "shorter, lighter period" sounded like heaven. And it was, as I said, pretty awesome.

But anyway, right now I'm on the generics because I don't have health coverage and can't afford the LoEstrin 24 Fe, and, because the generics are regular 21/7 pills, I still get a period every month (and yeah, sometimes they're still a little wonky), but for now, the generics are fine. Much better than the brand-name Ortho pills.

Still, once I can afford them, I'd like to switch back to the LoEstrin 24 Fe (although if they could make a Microgestin 24 Fe generic for cheaper, I'd so be all over that).

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interesting.

i'd like to ask your opinion about something then.

i've taken my first BC, ocella for two months now. there's been no improvement in my skin. it has probably gotten worse. in other areas i'm pretty content with it and from all the info and reviews i've been reading that maybe it's because it's ocella and not yasmin.

basically from this info. if i were to switch to yasmin chances are that i pretty much wouldn't really see major results in terms of acne?

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A new generic Yaz just came out last month. It's called Gianvi...I went to pick up Yaz today and they filled it with Gianvi instead. I'm afraid to give it to my daughter because it's so new. She's doing pretty well with her skin and I don't want to jinx it. What do you think?

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A new generic Yaz just came out last month. It's called Gianvi...I went to pick up Yaz today and they filled it with Gianvi instead. I'm afraid to give it to my daughter because it's so new. She's doing pretty well with her skin and I don't want to jinx it. What do you think?

a little late but...

honestly in my opinion its hard to tell.

my two cents. if she's doing great and Yaz and you have absolutely no problem with paying what your paying now instead of the lower price go with Yaz. however if you want to save the money and your daughter doesn't mind taking the risk go with the generic. if there's a problem switch back.

a lot of pharmacies when filling you prescriptions if the doctor says may use substitute they'll give you the generic. however, i found out from my pharmacist that that's just the doctor authorizing that you can use either. it then still is your choice which one you want and if you don't want the generic you have every single right not to get the generic and the pharmacy needs to respect and follow that.

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I would seriously FLIP if a pharmacy gave me a generic instead of brand without asking me first! I don't understand why pharmacies are just putting the generic instead of the brand without asking!

Boston50, I've heard a lot of bad things about generic, that they are not the same thing and the body could be sensitive to the inactive ingredients. I agree with Special, if you daughter is doing fine on Yaz and you don't mind paying what you are paying then stick with Yaz.

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I would seriously FLIP if a pharmacy gave me a generic instead of brand without asking me first! I don't understand why pharmacies are just putting the generic instead of the brand without asking!

Boston50, I've heard a lot of bad things about generic, that they are not the same thing and the body could be sensitive to the inactive ingredients. I agree with Special, if you daughter is doing fine on Yaz and you don't mind paying what you are paying then stick with Yaz.

that happened to me, and my mom doesn't seem to see a problem with it, nor did she seem to notice when she went to pick it up. i've read too many horror stories for me to switch from yaz to the generic, especially because i'm not on it for birth control, but rather on it to control my cramps, the heaviness, and pmdd. additionally, my acne has gotten better since i've been on it. i'm absolutely furious that my pharmacy would just give me a generic without asking.

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I would seriously FLIP if a pharmacy gave me a generic instead of brand without asking me first! I don't understand why pharmacies are just putting the generic instead of the brand without asking!

Boston50, I've heard a lot of bad things about generic, that they are not the same thing and the body could be sensitive to the inactive ingredients. I agree with Special, if you daughter is doing fine on Yaz and you don't mind paying what you are paying then stick with Yaz.

that happened to me, and my mom doesn't seem to see a problem with it, nor did she seem to notice when she went to pick it up. i've read too many horror stories for me to switch from yaz to the generic, especially because i'm not on it for birth control, but rather on it to control my cramps, the heaviness, and pmdd. additionally, my acne has gotten better since i've been on it. i'm absolutely furious that my pharmacy would just give me a generic without asking.

I was mad because my pharmacy had switch me without telling me....I didn't notice until I got home and took it out of the bag. And Cvs just refused to let me have Yaz instead of the generic so I tried it and in two weeks I ended up with 31 huge painful pimples everywhere....stopped taking it and they all cleared in less then two weeks....its been a week now since I started back on Yaz (thanks to Walgreens) and my skin is still doing good =]

I'll NEVER take the risk of the generics again, but I had a bad experience with the generic Ortho-Tri Cyclens too...never tired the actually Ortho just the generic...so I couldn't say if it was just the generic or the pill in general.

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My experience with switching from Yasmin to generic Ocella was fairly disastrous. I was very clear on Yasmin, but when I switched to the generic I started getting a lot of breakouts.

I just started Yasmin again after being completely off of BCP's for the last 8 months (during which time my skin has severely broken out in cysts/nodules/whiteheads) and there is NO WAY I will ever use the generic again.

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I used Yaz for several years; back in July the pharmacy switched me to the generic version. I asked a million questions (that's how I am) and decided that it was okay to switch over after speaking to the pharmacist...BIG MISTAKE! After two full cycles I started feeling so sick that I didn't even feel right in my own body. I had to go to the ER one night which then led me into my doctor's office, bloodwork lab, neurologist. It was all so crazy to me since I am not one to go to the doctors or not feel well. I went off of birth control in September and recently went back on this past Sunday (ortho tri cyclen). I'm hoping all is well with this one!

I have heard so much trash talked about generic birth control, but it's hard to sort out statistics of exactly how much worse the generic is than the brand. I figured that most likely there are some misconceptions surrounding generic birth control that color peoples' perspective on them. Yeah you hear horror stories, but people are much more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones in general, I've found. The stories of people switching from brand to generic and experiencing an improvement are few and far between... how accurately are generics represented by a google search?

I found this page and I found it very useful....

There is a higher distribution of pro-generic on that page than you will find doing a random google search. It helps you see things from "the other side".

I found this quote from that page particularly helpful... it was said by someone who claimed to have worked for both generic and brand-name companies:

Many, but not all, generic contraceptives are made by the same brand-name manufacturer. The generic company is a "division" of the brand-name company.

Brand-name oral contraceptives come in prettier, bulkier, and more (expensive) plastic packaging than generics. The brand name drug companies will argue that they need to recover the price of R&D.

From my experience in both the brand and generic worlds, the extra prices charged are for the 3 inch-thick carpet pad and flying first class that the brand companies employees are accustomed to. Generic companies are leaner with their overhead, and therefore pass on the savings to their customers. I think that's a good thing for patients.

Given a chance, I always purchase generics. To me, it's a waste of my hard-earned money not to.

However, if you have been taking a medication for a long time (brand or generic) and switch to the other formulation for whatever reason, it is no guarantee the new formulation will work exactly as before.

As mentioned above, it may be due to the fillers in the formulation. But it's definitely not due to cheaper or inferior fillers. Brand and generic companies frequently buy their ingredients (again, all FDA-approved) from the same suppliers.

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You people need to stop blaming the pharmacists. They are required BY LAW to give the generic equivalent unless YOUR DOCTOR marked the brand name only box...

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A new generic Yaz just came out last month. It's called Gianvi...I went to pick up Yaz today and they filled it with Gianvi instead. I'm afraid to give it to my daughter because it's so new. She's doing pretty well with her skin and I don't want to jinx it. What do you think?

A new generic Yaz just came out last month. It's called Gianvi...I went to pick up Yaz today and they filled it with Gianvi instead. I'm afraid to give it to my daughter because it's so new. She's doing pretty well with her skin and I don't want to jinx it. What do you think?

a little late but...

honestly in my opinion its hard to tell.

my two cents. if she's doing great and Yaz and you have absolutely no problem with paying what your paying now instead of the lower price go with Yaz. however if you want to save the money and your daughter doesn't mind taking the risk go with the generic. if there's a problem switch back.

a lot of pharmacies when filling you prescriptions if the doctor says may use substitute they'll give you the generic. however, i found out from my pharmacist that that's just the doctor authorizing that you can use either. it then still is your choice which one you want and if you don't want the generic you have every single right not to get the generic and the pharmacy needs to respect and follow that.

Here's my story. I was on Yaz from February 2008 until about March of this year and I'm now taking the generic. I did experience pharmacists just giving me Gianvi without informing me. I told them I wanted the brand name and they gave it to me - so just insist on it and if it's not given to you, call your doctor. Anyway, I feared taking the generic because I take Yaz, not necessarily for acne (though it has helped to a degree, but for a hormonal disorder called PMDD. You may have heard it mentioned in their ads. Because of this, I was really hesitant to switch - PMDD really helps improve my mood and focus and other symptoms.

After reading a few posts all over the internet, I totally agree with the OP. People are far more apt to write about bad experiences and talk about things from an emotional point of view rather than a logical one. Often times we don't know anything about these posters either. Are they teenagers? Sorry, but I'm not going to give much merit to their reviews - just not. Is this someone who didn't give it a chance? Is it someone who is negative all the time? Who knows what these people are like. So I was thinking about it - aren't the active ingredients the same??? From some reports I read, there should be no difference between brand names and generic, at least not between Yaz and Gianvi and most complaints about differences are psychological - meaning people psych themselves out. The word "generic" has a bad connotation - inferior, cheap, second-best, but again, the active ingredients are the same. And as for Gianvi not claiming to help with mild to moderate acne and PMDD, this was because of (I believe) Bayer's patents. They wouldn't allow other generics and there was this whole legal ordeal about a generic version even being sold and making the same claims.

I can say for myself, my skin is actually clearing up consistently now and I am on Gianvi. As soon as I started it, I didn't allow myself to think of it negatively. A few months later, PMDD is still in check (and trust me there's no better indication it's working than having PMDD symptoms), my cycle is exactly the same, skin didn't get worse. It has my seal of approval and that's my two cents!

Edited by NessaVéneanár
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