Pharmacy Switched Brands on me

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 7/14/2010 11:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been taking percocet 5/325 for almost 2 years now for chronic ankle pain (chunk of cartalige gone in ankle - 2 failed surgerys - currently awaiting cat scan with dye that the insurance denied). Anyway I've used the same pharmacy and it's been the same brand all this time. After having to wait an extra 4 days this month to get my script since PM was on vacation last week, I finally got it yesterday and filled it only to find they had switched brands. Well this different brand made me feel very different. Basically I felt sick and couldn't sleep last night as if I'd drank 5 cups of coffee and I don't do caffiene. So I called the pharmacy just now and explained that I don't think I can tolerate it. She said that's the only brand they're getting now but they could order me the old brand but I would have to call doc, go back to doc to get another script, call insurance, blah, blah, blah. What a hassle. I told them if you're gonna switch brands you should you inform your customer before you fill their prescription and then we're stuck with it. She said they don't need to.. I then asked if there's any different ingrediants that would make me feel different. She says no. So now I'm not sure if it's just anxiety on my part of getting a differrent brand and having to wait an extra 4 days this month to fill it.
I feel it's time for me to just get off of them and deal with the pain. I just can't take the stress that goes with all this anymore.
Anyone else have their brand switched and react differently to it?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/14/2010 2:15 PM (GMT -6)   

My meds get switched around from time to time (different brands). All I know is that - yes, some brands of medication do react differently w/ people - due to the binders and other junk in them. Whether that's what happening to you - I don't know. Have you taken it today? How did you feel? I'd probably try it another time or two to see how it works.

The other thing.. had you run out of meds for a couple of days? (I know your doc was on vacation....and you had to stretch your meds, I'm guessing). Sometimes, even w/ a med that you are used to taking, if you haven't used it for a few days - I've found it can take a few days for my system to readjust to taking it. Just a thought.

Let us know how you are doing today. Take care --Tina
Main Health Issues: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibro; Chronic Pain (back issues, migraines, carpal tunnel, among other things); Chronic Hypertension; Hypothyroidism and Hypoadrenalism; Mixed Sleep Apnea (on BiPap); Depression/Anxiety; Vitamin D Deficiency.

MAJOR surprise - Pregnant, w/ twin little girls (after six boys). Due Sept, 2010. Praying they are healthy. YES, you can have chronic pain AND have a successful pregnancy - not easy, but it can be done. :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 7/14/2010 2:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Tina. Yes I figured I may as well give it another try and I do feel better today. I was able to stretch out my meds when I learned they were on vacation last week. I guess I'll chalk it up to anxiety. I do get very stressed at times and have high aniexity. I have told dr's in the past that I have aniexty but they just shrug their shoulders and I don't push the issue.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 7/14/2010 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm thinking it could probably be due to having to go 4 days without them, so your body has to get use to them again...atleast that's what I'm thinking. Also it could be just in your mind (not saying your crazy or anything lol) but I know sometimes when we're use to something, and we try somethign diffrent, our minds trick us into thinking something is wrong with it. I think we all do something like this one time or the other...OR your body is just use to the old formulation....

But also...diffrent brands of medications can sometimes effect us diffrently...I know they have to have the same main ingredient, but they can put anything else in it, maybe it's dissolving more quickly then the other brand, or something is in it that your body doesnt like very well....either way, I would call your prescribing doctor, tell them what's going on, ask them if you can bring in the remaining pills for them to see and dispose of, and get a new prescription. I know your insurance deal can be a pain, but generic percocets are not that much, so maybe you can pay out of pocket, or just call your insurance and see what they say, maybe it's something simple they just need to put into your file.

But if I where you, I wouldn't just sit back and accept it til your next refill, you are prescribed the medicaiton for your pain,and that's what it should do, and if it's causing some uncomfortable side effects, then you have all rights to get the other percocets back. I would think it wouldn't be a big deal to the doctor as long as you bring in the bottle of meds you have now to show them that you are not scamming more percocets out of them. I know with my pills, they dissolve under my tongue, and sometimes they'll either be VERY soft that they just crumble to crumbs in hte bottle, and sometimes they're as hard as a rock...I think depending on how old they are, what tempatures they've gone through all have a big factor in it, and when they're like that, I feel a diffrence in the way they work....


Carmen~*~*~Chronic Pain Moderator

DX-Chronic Pain due to two freak car accidents, Pancreatic Divisum, Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Depression w/anxiety, Migraines, and Kids!!!

Meds- Suboxone 16mg for pain, Cymbalta 60mg, prilosec, Zyrtec, ProAir inhaler, and the best medication is my puppy, kitty, and 5 guinea pigs!!!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4619
   Posted 7/14/2010 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Even my pharmacist agrees that some meds(the generics) can act differently. Some are stronger, etc. If the med is a generic you can just have the pahrmacy order the old one. I've done it! There is no reason to need a new prescription, unless you need a brand name.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 7/15/2010 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey tb48 . yes that did happen to me , generally you need to get the doctor to write on the prescription ''requires brand name/medically necessary '' and the pharmacy will comply . At least its like that in NYC . Good luck . Mikel

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9607
   Posted 7/15/2010 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Here in Texas the Doctor has to check the box "dispence as written" or they can fill it with any generic..
Sorry that happened to you and sure hope your feeling better soon, keep us posted...sorry about the typos
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4619
   Posted 7/16/2010 5:00 PM (GMT -6)   
My little hometown pharmacy will order a specific generic brand if the patient just asks for it. They don't have to do it, but they are nice. In a little place like this they know their patients by name.

I have also gotten them to find different types of pills - tablet instead of capsule. They'll even cut all my tablets for me if I ned a half dose!

Bigger and cheaper isn't always better!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 7/16/2010 10:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Update: Yesterday at day 3 I still couldn't tolerate the new brand. Pain on left side of head and tingling and palpatations. Felt like I was having a stroke or something. Scared the heck out of me. Could no longer take it so I called my PM doctor. She said I can bring in my unused meds for them to dispose and they'd give me a new script. I then called the pharmacy and told them this and they said they'd order the other brand that I'd been taking all along. So I brought my meds to my PM today for disposal, they gave me the new script, I went to my pharmacy and they had my brand. They called my insurance to cancel the other one and filled my script. I'm so glad I decided to call my dr. because I wouldn't have been able to take the new brand another day. The pharmacist even agreed that different brands can affect people in different ways. From what research I did I found the new brand that I couldn't tolerate can actually be up to 20% stronger than what I'd been taking although no one would admit to that.
I guess I'm lucky to have such a good PM Dr. I've been with the same one for a year and a half now and never had any issues until now and they took care of it without any problems.
Thanks for all your replies on this matter.
Bless all of you fellow CP sufferers!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 7/22/2010 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
My doc said the main active ingredient is the same but some brands may differ in terms of how they absorb...whether it's quicker or not so much.
Basically if you've been on one brand for the longest time and then all of a sudden may feel "off" for a while (happened to me). Then you may stop taking it cause you don't like them (and while waiting to get a new scrip, whatever) and then that in itself can cause a whole different set of problems.
I get mine from the same pharmacy regularly, however they recently changed brands on me.... I think they absorbed quicker, I guess I don't know, but i definitely felt different... my body can just tell. Anyways after about a week I got used to them, and all good now. That's just the way it goes when this happens.
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