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Va Meds, Generic Or Name Brand?


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  • HadIt.com Elder

Is there a way one can tell if the meds I get from thw Va are generic or name brand? Some of my med bottles are sealed, but I'm just not sure.

thanks,

Cg

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What do you mean by "sealed"? There should still be the med name on the bottle. Type the name of the med into WebMD and see what comes up....that will tell you if it's the generic or brand name and also usually give all other possible names of that med.

Also.......and very important.....go to Google or your favorite search engine and type in "drug drug interactions"....go to one of those websites and follow the directions. List all the meds the VA gives you as well as everything else you take. The VA usually fails to tell you the potential interactions of medicaitons...I've had some bad experiences with medication interactions thanks to the VA.

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I have looked them up on RXLIST.com and www.drugs.com/pill_identification.html

for more information.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The only time you can be sure that the med is brand is if it comes in the brand name bottle. What I want to know is if my med was made in USA or some foreign country.

Maybe someone could do a FOIA and ask VA to identify how much of our medicine is foreign generic?

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I have found http://www.onlinedrugtest.info/reference/ as a good reference site on the manufacturer of any meds I'm taking. Using my link below from www.drugs.com will confirm the shape and markings for the pill as well as list the manufacturer and country then you can go to the above site and get more information. You can go to the FDA site and see any current updates on these meds as well. Hope this helps

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i am very leary of meds given to me by the VA. recently i was quite ill after a few doses of buproprion. this shouldn't have made me sick IAW with the drug interaction checker; however, after reading my records and listening to the prescriber (an RN!!)...she used the drug names, Wellbutrin, Buspar, and Buproprion interchangeably!! Two of these have serious drug interactions with another med I'm already on....so who knows what the original script really was or what I was given each time...I do know that I have been given all 3 at one time or another and told they were all the same thing..........so not true!

Oddly enough that RN now no longer is allowed to see pts....other pts of hers have had very serious issues; much worse than mine.........(oh yes, she was "promoted").

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Welbutrin and Bupropion are the same drug. I don't know about the Buspar for I've no history with that drug.

I do, however, have a long history of taking Welbutrin, or the VA dispensed Bupropion (generic).

The VA purchases the drugs the same way that they buy toilet paper-----Bids.

It always made me feel really good.......knowing that the helicopter I flew in, the rifle and ammunition that I carried........all were made by the lowest bidder (my M14 was made by Singer Sewing Machine Company).

Edited by LarryJ
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I'm surprised that the drug interaction checker in the VA software didn't pop a drug interaction. There have been many times at that a doctor went to put a drug order in for me and the computer spit back out that they couldn't because of potential interaction....maybe they just used the override option.

Interesting article from the American Journal about the VAMC overrides of drug interraction checker:

http://www.ajmc.com/Article.cfm?ID=4380

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it probably did, but it was most likely ignored. i'm on another combo now (prescribed by my PCP) that is listed as a severe drug-drug interaction, with "death" being listed as a possibility. how nice.

my PCP claims to be monitoring me closely----he isn't. yet if i stop taking either one of these meds, i also become very, very ill.

stupid VA.

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I'm just glad after years of being a guinea pig to the VA's experiments that I'm down to one. I suffer less if I suffer more, is how its worked for me. The side effects were worse for me than just dealing with the pain, etc. I am fortunate that I have anxiety relating to pain and not other types of psychological issues, but I do have to keep my environment mellow and now that I don't have to force my body to go to work I can stay in when i'm freaking out and the world doesn't push my buttons. My dog helps me by signalling me to lay down~go to bed if I'm getting stressed. My pains are incurable and untreatable so the pain meds haven't worked for me and usually gave me migraines anyway. I feel like I will make it longer in life without all of the chemicals, but thats just what works for me. I hope they don't experiment with you too much and hopefully you will be able to convince them that isn't the best route. I've gone in with clinical trial research and they have gone along with that~One in particular worked great but unfortunately the pill was uncoated and my stomach couldn't handle it for long. (Parkinsons medication for fibromyalgia)

To stay in the tone of this thread ... I have had name brand pills that weren't generic from the VA, but mostly uncoated generic pills were prescribed. The "allowed" medication varies from VAMC to VAMC so what one hospital prescribes another may not. I do believe that they change where they get stuff from because one year I get one drug and a few years later that one you can only get after you go through a few similar ones without success first. That's just allergy meds. I have so many more examples, being a guinea pig for a while.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Drug Interaction Checker at the VA made me laugh for a long time. Would that be the same as records checker at the VARO?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Thanks Purple and all! When a nonVA dr. asked me, I didn't know, I'm concerned.

I thin I'm with Pete and the only way to confirm name brands are name brand bottles.

My meds are in standard white or amber bottle with a stock type number. The white bottles are foil sealed and the amber ones have those pesky 'infinity'' caps. No where on the bottle itself is the familiar name brand label; But the name brand is used on one medicine, so I will have to ask the pharmacy, is this medicine in fact a name brand? Probably is listed on the script handout in code.

As far as drug interactions, so far so good, I have double and triple checked; hoping between thier information and mine alls ok.

May sound paranoid, but dispensed meds should list generic or brand name, drug company and country of origin.

Good food for thought y'all,

Cg

What do you mean by "sealed"? There should still be the med name on the bottle. Type the name of the med into WebMD and see what comes up....that will tell you if it's the generic or brand name and also usually give all other possible names of that med.

Also.......and very important.....go to Google or your favorite search engine and type in "drug drug interactions"....go to one of those websites and follow the directions. List all the meds the VA gives you as well as everything else you take. The VA usually fails to tell you the potential interactions of medicaitons...I've had some bad experiences with medication interactions thanks to the VA.

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  • Moderator
Drug Interaction Checker at the VA made me laugh for a long time. Would that be the same as records checker at the VARO?

I am still laughing Pete. They prescribed me Zomig and it says do not take if you are taking certain BP medicines.

J

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Hello all,

Hopefully this info will also help. There really is no difference between brand and generic. Brand named drug becomes generic when patent expires. When this happens,,, other drug companies can produce the drug thus the "generic" term.

So, when you hear about pharmaceutical companies charging an "arm-n-leg" for new meds,,, that is because they hold the patent. Then after a few years,,, the patent expires,,, the drug gets a new name,,, many pharmaceutical companies reproduce the drug,,, the cost goes down.

THEN,,, a new drug is created,,, cost for med is high,,, wait a few years,,, patent expires,,, many pharm companies reproduce drug,,, cost goes down. Then... (you get the message).

I tell people to not get confused about "Brand Names" and "Generic Names." One can think of it as going to the store and buying Concord Grape Jelly for $5.00 instead of buying Kroger's Grape Jelly for $1.99. Same thing,,, just one is "Brand" and the other is "Generic."

Hope this helps.

Ohhhh, as for bottling, that is "specific for the company." Ummm, one can use the "jelly" example above to get what I mean.

Drug interactions. All pharmacies MUST have the "red warning." VA, CVS, Walmart. It is a FDA safety thing. I admit, many providers have a bad habit of "poor handwriting AND poor spelling." All those years in school did nothing to correct this issue. So, when pharmacist attempts to decipher what was written and inputs the information, if it is wrong,,, RED FLAG appears. Or, if the providers prescribes a med and is counter acts another med,,, when the pharmacist inputs the info,,, "RED FLAG."

As for where meds are made. Once more FDA. FDA is very strict on ensuring that the specific medication meets the standards on strength, effectiveness, etc. for the med.

Okay, hope all this helps.

Doc

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Doc:

That is your opinion and I respect you for putting it there but most Doctors will admit that generic is not always the same as Brand and my point earlier I would not object to generic if I know it was made in USA which at least has better standards than many foreign countries.

Just my opinion I can't prove it but my wife will jump my case when I get her a generic she actually knows from the first or 2nd dose.

Edited by Pete53
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I concur, in most cases the generic can be significantly different and I can tell immediately. I just look up the pill on the pill identifier site I listed and it will say whether it is generic or not, who the manufacturer is and country.

Records checker at the VARO...hehehehe

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