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calvinnme

Drastic reaction to generic Metformin versus the brand

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calvinnme

Has anybody ever heard of what I am about to describe? I was diagnosed in 2006 and started on, at that time, brand Fortamet 1000 ER one day 500 ER the next. It worked quite well and there were no stomach problems at all. The only side effect I noticed was that I was extremely nervous for about the first month, heart pounding but no high BP. The endo even put me on valium for awhile. Instead of the 1000/500 alternate dose I asked if I could just take 750 mg ER a day. Dr. OK'd that and I went to 750 mg. These pills looked different, and I am suspecting they were generic metformin. Because in a few days I began to become exhausted all of the time. Plus my body temperature was constantly cold. I had my thyroid checked and it was fine. Nobody could find the problem. Meanwhile, I had turned into a zombie. So one night I noticed that the only time I felt close to normal was right before I took my Fortamet/Metformin. So I decided to go back to the 100/500 alternate Fortamet ER. Within a couple of weeks I was fine again. I don't have the old bottle from years ago but I am guessing it was generic metformin. Well recently our company went to a generic only policy. This means I have to pay the difference between the brand and generic metformin ER. It is expensive to the tune of thousands of dollars a year. So I tried an experiment since I don't know  that the 750s were generic. I had the doctor write a script for a small number of generic metformin. I took some the first day, no difference. But, gradually, over a week, the coldness reappeared, the exhaustion reappeared, the brain fog reappeared, the dark circles under my eyes reappeared. So I terminated the experiment, went back to brand, and in a week I was alright again, just like before. So  it appears I have two choices. Keep my job and go broke from taking brand Fortamet, or take generic and lose my job and my insurance with it as I become too unwell to work. Any suggestions? Has anybody ever heard of this before? I have tried arguing with the insurance company over medical necessity, so has my doctor. They will not budge. Is there a copay card for such an old drug as Fortamet 1000? Who is the manufacturer of the brand? And why is such an old drug that has really not changed since the 1950s so expensive? Thank you for your patience in reading this, thanks if you can come up for any reasons for this reaction, thanks if you can come up with any solutions.

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kooka

I agree. Ask for a different manufacturer. I take 1000x2 generic an everyone I know takes some dose of it but never heard of a allergic reaction to it before.

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dowling gram

It may not be the drug that caused your reaction. Generic drugs by law must contain the same medical ingredients as the name brand but all pills contain fillers and other things that make it a pill and they can differ greatly.

 

I have a friend who can take Tylenol but not the generic acetaminophen of certain manufacturers. There is something in the non medical ingredients that she is allergic to. Listen to the advice of those here and ask for a different generic manufacturer

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calvinnme

I would not say it is an allergic reaction, it is more like it is gradually draining the cortisol from my body. Like I said, it takes days maybe up to a week to cause the problem. That is why initially it was hard to find the cause/effect relationship. No allergy I've ever heard of takes a week or kicks in gradually.

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Rbubbaray

I have no stomach issues sofar , and just started again a week ago 500 mgs , but fatigue and anxiety YES , Plus i have panic disorder to begin with , I thought I was alone until i put in goggle about anxiety feelings on Metformin , and got tons of results . I told my doctor I am willing to try it again and let it build in my system hoping to build a immune thing to my side effects , because he wants me to go from 500 mg , then  week later 2.. 500mg , then 4 a day ..totaling 2000 per day . If i feel like crap from these , and i am lucky to not be working at the time , and i can not perform , then i am sorry to say to myself , diabetes will have to take control , because panic attacks and tiredness and losing focus , is no answer to any fix ..

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Hammer

You might want to change to using insulin to keep your BG levels down.  There are usually no side effects from using insulin, and when used properly, it gives the person excellent control of their BG levels.

 

Your experiences with using generic drugs is typical, the generic drugs are garbage when compared to the name brand drugs, but the insurance companies don't care if those generic drugs kill you, all they care about is saving money.

 

I relate those generic drugs to making a cake....while I am not a cook, this is what I mean by that.  The name brand drugs, like a good cake, are made with various elements, and those elements are added in a certain order.  For example, the cake might require that you add a cup of milk to two cups of flour, along with a cup of sugar and two eggs.  You mix this into a bowl, then add a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract.  You mix this all up in the bowl, pour it into a cake pan and bake it for 40 minutes at 400°F.  In a separate bowl, you mix a cup of sugar, one half cup of milk, and one half cup of cocoa powder with an egg, and stir it all up until creamy....this is the icing for the cake.  Once the cake has been removed from the oven, you let it cool for 30 minutes, then apply the icing.

 

The generic cake would dump all of the ingredients into one bowl, the icing ingredients included, cook the whole mess for an hour, then serve it.  The generic mess would have all of the same ingredients in it that the original cake had, but would it taste the same?  No, it would not, but this is what those generic drugs do...include everything that the name brand drugs contain, but the way they are made differs from the name brand drug.  To me, generics are garbage and should be outlawed, as they are NOT the same as the name brand drugs.

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jwags

I have always used the generic, but do fine different brands of generic work differently. I have recently been charting my temperature and it is always between 96.1-97.6. I never thought of linking it with the metformin.

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Hammer

I have always used the generic, but do fine different brands of generic work differently. I have recently been charting my temperature and it is always between 96.1-97.6. I never thought of linking it with the metformin.

When you find that different generics work differently, it makes a person realize that each generic is not made the exact same way as the name brand, because if they were, they would work the same as the name brand.

 

Now if generics are different, then imagine what is going to happen when the patent wears off of Lantus this year, and the generics start flooding the market?  You learn how much Lantus you need to take by adjusting your dose until you achieve the glucose levels you want.  If you did that with a generic, found the correct dose you needed to take, then the next batch of the generic Lantus came from a different manufacturer, the dose could kill you.  One unit of the name brand Lantus will always be the same, but one unit from one generic manufacturer may not be the same as one unit from a different manufacturer, or the generics may not be absorbed at the same rate as each other, meaning that you might get too much insulin delivered too fast into your blood stream.

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unchienne

I agree with some of the others that you should at least try another generic. I get my metformin from Publix as it's free there. Was fine and dandy when it came in an oval capsule looking pill. Then they recently switched to a tablet. I had no problems. Thought generic was all the same. However, the new ones aren't decreasing my sugars like the tablets. I still have some left, so I switched from one to another for a week and there is definitely a difference despite no change in physical activity or food intake. I know that the generics for over-the-counter meds (like allergy meds and such) can be hit or miss...I learned that this spring. I had no idea about the prescription stuff. Went into it with no bias.

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davef

There has been a growing trend in Ireland by the Health Dept to push Doctors to prescribe generic medicines so as to save costs, the party line is that the generics do the same job as the brands. I see the issue being that while it is correct that a generic metformin will have the same active ingredient (metformin) and so will lower BG, what isn't considered is the potential for differing or differing severity of side effects. I was originally prescribed Glucophage when I was first diagnosed and luckily didn't go through the common "settling in" gastric issues and only occasionally had "metformin moments", I was able to take the Glucophage on an empty stomach. Last year I was switch to generic metformin and had a noticable increase in gastric issues, so asked Doc to prescribe Glucophage and add note that is wasn't to be subsituted with generic. The gastric issues went away.

 

My feeling is that naturally generics must have the same active ingredient but the inactive ingredients are not neccessarily the same and while the overall effect of the medication will be the same, the side effects caused by "inactive" ingredients can vary and this aspect of generics is not considered in the push to reduce costs.

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Fraser

Yes you are correct, even the active ingredient can disperse in the body differently and at a different time frame.

Source of in formation (former) son in law a chemical engineer for a major pharma company responsible for the design and manufacturing process of pills, not the actual drug. Even the coatings are different.

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