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Mylan not making bupropion anymore! Help me find an alternative.

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I was first prescribed Wellbutrin over 20 years ago, and it was the only drug that helped my terrible suicidal depression.  This was not my first depressive episode, but it was the worst.  They had tried every drug on the market and nothing worked.  I even had shock treatments, which didn't work, either.  Wellbutrin had just come on the market and when they tried it, it was almost miraculous.  The depression dissipated and I've been on it ever since (I suffer from major depressive disorder).  When generic Wellbutrin became available, I started taking Mylan bupropion and there was a smooth transition.  No problems.  Suddenly, last year, the stores of Mylan started to dry up.  I found out, to my dismay, that Mylan had decided to stop making all of their bupropion products in June of 2018.  I've managed to stockpile some from various sources, but I've been trying other generics to find one that worked for me.  I never expected it to be such an ordeal and I'm feeling hopeless.  I was first given Solco, which made me nauseated, gave me headaches and drove my blood pressure sky high.  My doctor tried to tell me that I was "anticipating" a problem and that it was a "self-fulfilling" prophecy.  He was so wrong.  I was busy and focused on other things and was confounded by why I was suddenly so nauseated and miserable and didn't even think to check my blood pressure until I began to suspect, after several weeks, that the new generic bupropion might be the problem.  I had enough Mylan that I was able to go back on it, but it took a month for my blood pressure to normalize.  Then I tried Watson.  At first, I thought it would be okay, but quickly discovered that it's sustained release properties were a joke.  It would take me up very quickly and drop me like a lead balloon 8 hours later.  I couldn't stay awake in the afternoon.  But the worst thing was that after about a week, I became extremely depressed again.  I went back on Mylan until I stabilized again, then I tried Sandoz.  At first I thought I had found the magic bullet.  It is genuinely sustained release.  I'm on a high dose (400mg SR daily) and I did have some issues with nausea and tinnitus, but figured I could work around those things.  I didn't become depressed, but after exactly a month on Sandoz, I became extremely constipated.  I was forced to take a lot of laxatives.  I didn't want to believe that it was the Sandoz.  After several weeks, my husband suggested that it might be the Sandoz, but I was still reluctant to accept it.  I didn't want to try another generic bupropion.  So I toughed it out for another 2 months on Sandoz, but finally, the combination of nausea, tinnitus, and especially the constipation drove me back on Mylan.  I've been on Mylan now for 2 weeks, but I'm still having constipation issues.  I hope that it will get better after I've been back on Mylan longer.  I've been lucky, my mail-order pharmacy has been able to supply me with Mylan, but I know that will run out eventually.  I've been buying the other generics out-of-pocket in order to try them because my insurance company wouldn't pay for both the Mylan and the other generic at the same time.  I want to keep getting Mylan as long as they will send it to me, but  I have to find another generic that I can tolerate and that will work for me.  I'm terrified that I will go back into the awful depression that I've experienced before.   I've been reading hundreds of accounts of people's experiences with different generics of bupropion.  I know that what works for some won't necessarily work for another.  I've read some good things about Anchen, and wondered if I should try it next.  My doctor is prepared to go through the authorization process for the brand name, but I know the insurance company will fight it.  Can anyone help or advise me? 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Katrinasurvivor (I have a 14 yo cat that was a Hurricane Katrina rescue.  I adopted her at the Orlando Humane Society - now part of Pet Alliance - she was chipped, declawed, spayed, and obviously had always been well-cared for.  A chipped cat wouldn't be adopted out unless the owners surrendered her.  I've often wondered what happened to her owners.  Anyway...),

I understand the panic of not having medication that works.  I've been on a combo of Wellbutrin/bupropion and Zoloft/sertraline for 15 years; I'd been on Zoloft with other combinations another 15.  I didn't realize Mylan wasn't making bupropion any longer.  Just checked my bottle and I have Solco.  No side effects thus far.  I'm sorry you're going through this.

Update - I still had the Wellbutrin bottle from my previous Dr. which was filled June 2, 2018.  The manufacturer for it was Cipla.  Same pharmacy.  Waned to add that name since I don't think it's one you've tried.


Edited by Teril

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According to the FDA's NDC directory, they seem to be still making it. It could be that they're just back-ordered.

The NDC (national drug code) is 0378-3413-01 for a bottle of 100 tablets of 200 mg SR, and 0378-3413-05 for a bottle of 500. You can give the pharmacy these codes and ask them to order from Mylan, and hopefully their wholesaler will be able to supply you with Mylan. If not, you can try another pharmacy.

If all else fails, you could try another formulation of bupropion.

Have you ever tried the XL formulation of bupropion? You could try taking a 300 mg XL tablet in the morning + a 150 mg SR tablet at noon (this is what I've done before), or 3 tablets of 150 mg XL... There's also the possibility of adding instant release bupropion on top of either SR or XL bupropion. I've done 300 mg XL + 100 mg IR in the AM + noon for 500 mg.

There's a brand of bupropion called Forfivo XL that only makes a 450 mg pill in the XL formulation.

There's also bupropion hydrobromide, which is branded Aplenzin. The dosing is different (150 mg = 174 mg, 300 mg = 348 mg, 450 mg = 522 mg), and not many insurance companies cover it... Supposedly the HBr formulation is smoother and more stable than the HCl formulation.

Edited by mikl_pls

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