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katrinasurvivor

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
Update

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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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i just went through this myself. the Walgreens by me has started using Apotex (75mg IR), and they felt effective for the first few days, then not so much. the Rite-Aid near work which i've been going to for a while has the Heritage generic. i've never had a specific problem or side-effect, but i hadn't thought to experiment with other generics.

finally... the CVS near me had a stock of Mylan. pharmacist seemed to confirm that they've switched over to Heritage as their supplier. so, guess i'll try out the Mylan for a month!

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Sleepystupid,

How did the Heritage work out for you?  I was on the Sandoz and CVS does not have it because there's a shortage.  It's on back order.  I was forced to get mine filled with the Heritage.  I have OCD so i'm obsessing about the Heritage.  I feel like my heart is beating faster, I'm having intrusive thoughts, afraid of going crazy, feel like I might be dizzy, you name it.  I'm not sure if it's all in my head or if it's real.  On Saturday I have two glasses of wine with dinner (that's the only time I drink).  I've never had any issue with the Sandoz and the wine but now I'm paranoid I'll have some kind of problem like a seizure, hallucinations, etc..  I'm reading too much on the internet!!  

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I have been taking bupropion 150 sr by Dr. Reddy twice a day for the past 4 months.  My doctor slowly worked me up to this dose.  Started with 100 sr, then 150 sr, to 200 sr, and finally 150 sr x2 daily. Each different dose was a different generic. Since it is the first time on bupropion for me, I really didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. The bupropion is working really well for me.  However, since taking the dr reddy generic (4 months) I’ve had side effects that just never went away.   And I struggled with them every day.  Strong dizziness, headache, extreme fatigue, bad sleep, like I was awake all night, and very painful muscles and joints. I’m also on Paxil. I suspected the bupropion was causing these symptoms. So first I went from 150 twice a day to taking 150 dr reddy in the morning and 100 at night.  The 100 dose was leftover from when I was starting out and it is the Solco brand.  This knocked the symptoms down quite well but after 4 days I started feeling blah, so I went back up to the 150x2 of Dr Reddy brand. Symptoms came back strongly, yet I did feel better and less blah. Ok, so I know the 300 dose is what I needed and my symptoms were not from it being too strong a dose. Next thing I tried was a different generic ..150 sr by  Mylan. This Mylan was also leftover from last summer. Bingo! After a day or two, all those bad symptoms went away. I feel more stable on the Mylan with zero side effects.  Called CVS and requested Mylan. I am told they discontinued the 150sr. 😣 And that is where I’m at now.  I was offered Teva or Solco. I will try the Solco first.  Another thing I thought would be to do 200 sr in morning and 100sr at night as the pharmacist said Mylan  still makes those 2 doses and also the 300xl. Will discuss this with my doctor next week at appointment. Anyone have trouble with the Dr. Reddy generic?

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Posted (edited)
On 3/16/2019 at 1:39 PM, para_life said:

Sleepystupid,

How did the Heritage work out for you?  I was on the Sandoz and CVS does not have it because there's a shortage.  It's on back order.  I was forced to get mine filled with the Heritage.  I have OCD so i'm obsessing about the Heritage.  I feel like my heart is beating faster, I'm having intrusive thoughts, afraid of going crazy, feel like I might be dizzy, you name it.  I'm not sure if it's all in my head or if it's real.  On Saturday I have two glasses of wine with dinner (that's the only time I drink).  I've never had any issue with the Sandoz and the wine but now I'm paranoid I'll have some kind of problem like a seizure, hallucinations, etc..  I'm reading too much on the internet!!  

to be honest, the Heritage is fine (been back on it after that month of Mylan). Have never tried Sandoz but willing to give it a shot if it comes around. i think thus far my experience has been: Heritage > Mylan > Apotex.

i'm not sure about all those side-effects, sounds like self-induced paranoia,  but i can say that the Heritage brand seems to be a little "speedy" for sure. i used to drink 2 cups of coffee a day, but i've recently quit the afternoon cup because it feels overwhelming with the bup. only other obvious side-effect is ringing in my ears, but i've gotten used to it.

Edited by sleepystupid

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Sleepystupid,

Thank you so much for answering my post.  I've been on the Heritage for about 3 weeks now.  I was on 150mg a day of the Sandoz but because the Heritage is "speedier" as you say, I had to go to 75mg per day of the Heritage.  I'm very sensitive to any kind of medication so I did have side-effects but they got better after about a week.  I'm still having some irritability, increased anxiety and muscle cramps in my legs but I'm much better.  I notice I have a lot more motivation on the Heritage.  I am wondering if the Sandoz wasn't effective for me for some reason.  I'm going to stick with the Heritage because it's made in the US unlike Sandoz that is made in Canada.  Just about every pharmacy I spoke to carries it and I'm not going to go back to the Sandoz even if it does come back in supply.

 

Have a great weekend!

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