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Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

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Old 10-19-2006, 01:51 PM   #1
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bulletinboard25 HB User
Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

Hello everyone -

I know a lot of people have wondered about the difference between brand and generic Xanax (alprazolam).

I hadn't really experienced the difference between the two, because I hadn't ever had the brand name version of Xanax.

Well, this past prescription I decided to pay the extra for the brand name. Wow. In my opinion, the brand name works so much better than the generic. I know they are supposed to be equivalent, but the FDA allows the generic manufacturer to be off by a certain percentage. Also, they can use different fillers, etc.

The reason I decided to try the brand name was because of something I read by a well respected psychiatrist, Wayne C. Jones, in which he said that brand name Xanax was superior to the generic.

I'm not posting this so people go out and pay the extra money for the brand name, because if you haven't ever tried the brand name and the generic is working fine, don't worry about it! This is for the people that don't feel their medicine is working well enough...instead of upping the dose of the generic, why not try requesting the brand name? For me, it was the best thing I could have done.

Last edited by bulletinboard25; 10-19-2006 at 01:51 PM.

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Old 10-19-2006, 03:56 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Vickie306 HB User
Re: Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

I use xanax for esophageal spasms. Several years ago, I was given the generic by the pharmacy without my knowing it. I had to take one a few days later, and OMG, I thought I had been given the wrong scrip. I became so dizzy I could hardly stand and so sick to my stomach. This all happened quickly about 10-15 minutes after the swallowing the pill. On top of did nothing for the spasms which continued!

My husband called the pharmacy and they assured him it was xanax, but the generic form. I was having a problem with it's dispersion rate into my bloodstream the pharmacist said. So they noted my file, and I've never taken the generic again.

Last edited by Vickie306; 10-19-2006 at 03:58 PM.

Old 10-19-2006, 05:48 PM   #3
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Punkdizzle HB User
Re: Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

i didnt know there was still a brand name of the fast act xanax? i know there is for the XR... IMO the best fast act generic xanax seems to be the Greenstone brand.. at least thats the brand i have had the best luck with.. i have had other generics but they dont seem to be as effective.. but again this could be another "everyone is different" thing.. not sure..

Last edited by Punkdizzle; 10-19-2006 at 05:49 PM.

Old 10-19-2006, 07:05 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2006
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hamiltonkrewe HB User
Re: Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

I’m shocked to hear this. I thought our government wasn't allowing or as they say “protecting “ us from buying medicines from other counties for this very reason that they may be of a lesser quality then the original. When I had insurance they would pay for only generic when available. How are you supposed to know what pharmacy carries the best generic of your medicines? Trial and error? This is just wrong. I moved a couple months ago and had a major change in my panic/anxiety it makes me wonder if my prescriptions that I refilled that I thought was exactly the same was actually a lower quality or had fillers I was not tolerating. My new P-doc just changed my prescription to Xanax XR I was able to get a generic of Alprozalam ER at a much lower price but now have to question if it’s the same quality that my doctor wanted me to be on.

Old 10-19-2006, 08:34 PM   #5
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bulletinboard25 HB User
Re: Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

They can be off in the active ingredient by a certain percentage - it's not much, but it can add up over time.

You might notice the difference if you switched from brand to generic, or generic to brand.

The fillers can be different, but the active ingredient has to be close to the same - I forget how much they are allowed to be off, but it's not too much.

Yeah, they still make the brand name Xanax. I only am taking the .5mg pills right now. On the back of the pill it says "Xanax 0.5" - I honestly didn't think there would be such a difference between the two. I could feel the difference because I had taken the generic forever and had taken it two days prior to taking the brand name.

It might be worthwhile to inquire about the brand name - some psych doctors prefer it, like the one I mentioned.

I had to pay $100 for a 3 month supply. I use the mail order option. I'm only taking .5mg T.I.D. so it adds up to #270 I received. $100 for a 3 month supply isn't that bad for the difference I'm seeing in my anxiety level (basically $33 per month...not a big deal at all).

I just thought I'd share this with everyone. I wasn't expecting to feel an immediate and definitive difference between the two, but I did, so I thought I should pass it along to you guys.

Take care.

Last edited by bulletinboard25; 10-19-2006 at 08:35 PM.

Old 10-20-2006, 01:35 PM   #6
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karenmackenzie HB User
Re: Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

Yes there is a difference in generic xanax and brand name. The FDA allows generic medications to have a 20% leeway (variation) on a generic!
And on alprazolam, that is a huge difference. And it's not just the fillers, inactive ingredients, there can be a 20% +/- in the BIOAVAILABITY of the active ingredients. Meaning the amount in the bloodstream of the medication.

I am now taking Sandoz brand of alpraz. and finding it varies with batch to batch and am on a weak one right now. My doctor has already told me that she will give me a prescription for the name brand Xanax when I see her next week. I feel I am having withddrawal symptoms and have been on xanax for over 20 years.

Old 10-20-2006, 02:03 PM   #7
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eloise_girl24 HB User
Re: Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

ive been having some weird side effects on the generic form of xanax too. i dont really like it. it wasn't the "miracle" drug i thought it would be. i feel like when im not on it, my anxiety is worse. i can see why people say its addicting. its almost like it's increasing my anxiety so i have to take more. im trying not to take it but i feel like im already having withdrawl symptoms when im not on it. plus it makes me REALLY sleepy which is not good since ive been taking it during the day and then im disoriented all day. i might try to get on the original xanax.

Old 10-20-2006, 02:43 PM   #8
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bulletinboard25 HB User
Re: Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

So, lets say that you are taking a generic medicine, like I was, and then move to the Brand.

If there is a 20% +/- in bioavailability, that means that if someone is taking 1.5mg over the course of a day, they could, potentially, only get 1.2mg of the active ingredient.

Now let's move up to the people that take 3mg a day. You might only get 2.4mg per day.

To the people that don't switch from brand to generic, there is no way to tell - you are used to what you have been taking. But for the people that switch from generic to brand or brand to generic, the difference might actually be pretty well seen.

I know in my case it was.

Old 10-21-2006, 12:50 PM   #9
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ocdengineer HB User
Re: Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic


Generic or not the active ingredients are identical. I would hesitate to say that either is better than the other because all that matters is that the correct amount gets into your blood stream and this "correct amount" varies from person to person. This drug is meant to be taken regularaly and NOT as needed like some doctors prescribe it. If you are taking it as needed of course you are going to have ups and downs because you are causing your brain to create and then stop creating GABA over and over again which will send you into a rollercoaster ride.

I can't overstate this, Xanax should not be taken as needed, it shoudl be taken regularly and if you feel you don't need it anymore then you taper slowly over a long period of time to let your brain and liver catch up with you.

As far as the active ingredient content, honestly it doesn't matter because you are going to take as much as needed to be effective, so one person may take 2.0 mg per day of the generic and another may be taking 1.5 mg of the name brand and they both may be fine due to the correct blood levels. I personally would recommend the generic since it is cheaper and weaker. With this drug the least you take the better even though it may be something you need for the rest of your life.

Panic and anxiety don't "go away" and there is no "cure" the best you can hope for is remission which could last years, but at some point stress will get the better of you again and it is back on the saddle again. This has been proven time and time again. The best solution for panic and anxiety dissorder sufferers is long term meds with change in life style ie. relaxation techniques, eating better, exercise, CBT, etc.

Anyway, Xanax and the generic are identical regardless of the content, so the only thing that would be potentially different is your final effective dosage.

Good luck,

Old 10-21-2006, 05:01 PM   #10
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bulletinboard25 HB User
Re: Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

Actually, you're incorrect - the whole point of this thread is to point out the generics and brand names aren't identical - fillers can be entirely different, as can any of the other inactive ingredients.

Also, the ACTIVE ingredient doesn't have to be 100% equivalent - the FDA allows a certain percentage +/- in variation between brand/generic.

But I see you're not talking about the active ingredient being different as far as what it actually is...

The main point of this thread was to let people know that they might not actually have to move up to another dose if they are taking generic; they might be able to stay at the same dose if they tried the brand name, instead.

Also, there are times that certain fillers a generic manufacturer uses makes a person sick; if this is the case, a switch to a different generic manufacturer or the brand name might make all the difference in the world.

Last edited by bulletinboard25; 10-21-2006 at 05:11 PM.

Old 10-22-2006, 09:44 AM   #11
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ocdengineer HB User
Re: Xanax: Brand Name vs. Generic

I have done a little research on this discussion and is absolutely NOT true that the content of the generic versus the name brand can vary by up to 20%. In order for a generic drug to be sold legally on the market it must meed FDA standards which require that the active ingredient be identical to the name brand. The fillers may be different and the active ingredient may vary in amount, but not by 20%. The generic drug needs to go through testing in order to prove its efficacy versus the name brand.

The fillers may be different, but the filler is a benign substance that should not cause any effects to the user. Thus, "inactive ingredients". I doubt you will find may people out there who can prove that they were caused discomfort due to an inactive substance in their Xanax or generic.

My point is this. If the generic is working continue to use it, and if the generic is not working, consider uping your dose. The generic is considerably less expensive and can save someone a lot of money if they need to take the drug for extended periods of time like the drug was intended.

I think this thread is counterproductive as it may cause worry over the content of the drugs that people are taking generic or otherwise. Rest assured that the generic is equivalent in its efficacy to the name brand.

If anyone has determined this is not true, consider the placebo effect.

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