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A story about not being able to keep my mouth shut http://wp.me/p5nnb-aBO


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The other day I was in line at a local pharmacy because I had been researching the internet for gluten-free aspirin without getting very good answers. I needed to talk to a pharmacist. I don’t tolerate most drugswhether over-the-counter or not. I, in fact, don’t tolerate most dietary supplements. Even stuff that is considered and experienced as extremely benign (and rightly so) by most people can affect me quite negatively. This is common among those with the sort of iatrogenic injury psych drug withdrawal often causes. So when I look into any sort of supplement, drug or even a new food I need to be very careful, do a lot of research and then still very cautiously trial tiny doses to find the appropriate amount for me, which is pretty much always much lower than the recommended usual dose.

So, I wanted some aspirin and my research suggested I try my local (brand-name pharmacy) that was supposed to be gluten-free friendly and would be able to tell me how to find a gluten-free brand of aspirin. I’ve found when you’re dealing with national chains that these sorts of promises are meaningless. Pharmacists have not been terribly helpful in general when it comes to information about gluten in drugs or supplements. The ignorance about the issue is astounding. I wasn’t expecting much.

I got to the pharmacy and got in line behind the one other person there. He was asking about generic drugs. He told the pharmacist he had been taking the pills in his last refill and they didn’t feel right so he had checked the bottle and noticed he’d been given a generic in place of his usual brand name blood pressure medicine. He asked the pharmacist, could it be that it’s not the same? The pharmacist immediately, without even a moment’s hesitation, told the customer that generics were just the same as the brand name. I initially bit my tongue, but he went on and on uttering complete B.S. about the wonders of generic drugs. I had to say something.

So I did.

“Actually,” I said, “there are quite a few well-documented cases of generics being inferior to brand name drugs. I imagine you know what happened with Wellbutrin? That was a nightmare. And you can’t say that generics are exactly the same as brand name drugs because they generally have different inactive ingredients. Some inactive ingredients can change the way a drug is absorbed in the body for some people. Also generics aren’t even required (by the FDA) to have the exact same amount of the active drug and there is some variability that can happen and that leaves folks who are very sensitive to dosage at risk for reacting differently to a generic as well.”

Yes, I managed to spit that all out in one fell-swoop.

You can imagine the dirty look the pharmacist cast upon me at that point. Oh, yeah, very nasty look. The customer looked at me and smiled (actually really beamed at me), but was polite and continued talking to the pharmacist. I knew, at that point, that I could not stay in that line and go back to being silent. Nor could I now hope that the pharmacist might want to help me with my gluten-free aspirin hunt.

I’ve been in pharmacies before dealing with gluten issues and they are woefully misinformed and unclear about such things and they tend to get impatient or simply give up trying to help me. Pretty crazy given celiac disease and gluten intolerance is very common, they really should know how to keep their customers safe, but they often don’t. In any case, he was already impatient with me.

I decided it was a lost cause to be in that pharmacy and so I left. I was kind of laughing at myself at that point. I felt I’d done my duty at the expense of accomplishing the errand I’d set out to do for myself. I wasn’t going to get aspirin there on that day, but I helped a man think about things that might actually allow him to make a more informed choice in the future.

I ended up going to a health food store and finding White Willow Bark which is the plant that aspirin is inspired by. Aspirin is a synthesized version of salicin one of the active elements in Willow Bark. And so Willow Bark  works pretty much just like aspirin but doesn’t have as many of the gastrointestinal issues associated with aspirin because it’s a whole plant/food/medicine. It also seems to have other benefits, also because it’s a whole plant/food/medicine and not just the salicin stripped from the plant. So I feel like I came out seriously ahead of the game with a much better alternative to the aspirin which has all sorts of chemical additives which would have put me at additional risk of an adverse reaction. And I came out ahead because I spoke up and helped educate some guy who was having an issue with a drug that the pharmacist was pretending couldn’t possibly be. I enjoyed that.

FYI on Willow Bark: if you are allergic to aspirin or prone to any of aspirins potential adverse reactions or if you have a sensitivity to salicylates you should not take Willow Bark. Also, for anyone withdrawing from psych drugs, please be careful before introducing any supplements at all as reactions are very common.

original link to post: http://wp.me/p5nnb-aBO

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 


withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.

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Kudos to you big time GiaK for speaking up.   I can't believe that pharmacists didn't realize that generic drugs could be off from the name brand drugs.   Even many MDs, who don't think drugs have side effects, would agree on that.



Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Great job!! This is a blatant lie by pharmacists (and doctors) that I hear so frequently, it's sickening. I learned this early on with Klonopin brand vs. generic and then later when I kept receiving different generics of trazodone for which the brand is no longer produced (Desyrel).

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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What do compounding chemists use? Generics or brand? I have liquid mirtazapine made up by a compound chemist and I notice different reactions to different batches.

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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if there is a generic available I'm sure that is what they'd use. it's cheaper. 

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 


withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I did also have a bad reaction to a generic mirtazapine brand. It did not work the same. Had to chuck the batch away, have the doctor write a new prescription as i "lost the meds somewhere", ops! Had him choose another brand and mark, may not be exchanged, on the prescription!

2010: Mirtazapine 30mg followed by Zopiclone 7.5 mg for sleep post surgery due to pain.
2012-> Tapering Mirtazapine and Zopiclone at different rates unsuccessfully.
2013: Hospitalized 10 days due to complete Insomnia. Forced back up to 45mg Mirtazapine, 7.5 mg Zopiclone and also Theralene 1 ml.
2013-03: Lab showed Vitamin D deficient. Found the vitamin d and insomnia connection. Supplementing vitamin d. Sleep improved by 1-2 hours
2013-04: Dropped mirtazapine to 30 due to severe side effects. Quit Theralene. Zopiclone 7.5.
2013-05 - 2013-11: Mirtazapine taper monthly 25 20 15 11 8 4 2.5 mg
2013-12 Holding M at 2.5. Need to taper Zopiclone due to daytime nausea and vomiting. Taper zopiclone 1/4 red every 5 d. Last Z 2013-12-19
2013-12-31 M:2.5. Reinstated Zopiclone 3.75 due to Insomnia
2014-01-06 M:2.5. Taper Z 1.9 ... 2014-01-14 M:2.5. Z 1 mg.
Jumped of Zopiclone 01-20. Jumped mirtazapine 02-16.

Theralene: 10mg 02-09. 8mg 03-09. 5mg 03-15. 4mg 03-24. 3mg 04-08. Jumped 04-21.
Zopiclone free for 251 days. Mirtazapine free for 224 days.

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Nice one, giaK!

The only way out is through.


Aug 2013 - Augmentin leading to akathisia

Sept-Nov 2013 - Citalopram 20mg, severe reaction, off at 5mg. Valium 4mg, prn

Oct 2013 - 5 zopiclone tablets, 7.5mg

End Nov 2013-end Feb 2014, Seroquel, top dose 150mg, off at 25mg

End Nov 2013-early march 2014, Zoloft 100mg top dose, off at 25mg

End Dec-2013-early April 2014, lorazepam 1mg prn

April 3rd 2014 zoloft 5mg for a few days. 18/4/14 - zoloft, 1mg. Came off at 0.35 mg,14th June 2014

29 June 2014 - 1mg lorazepam, last ever

29 June 2014 - med free

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  • 4 weeks later...

giaK -


thank you for speaking up to the person in line.


I read the article you posted re Wellbutrin generic V brand.  Truly found the following from the article link - very explanatory: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidmaris/2012/10/10/fda-recall-points-to-serious-problems-at-the-fda/

..."The FDA has long been a strong proponent of generic drugs, and generics have saved consumers and the federal government billions of dollars vs. brand-name drugs.  Many consumers incorrectly believe that a brand drug is identical to the generic drug, and even the FDA on its website calls generics “identical.”  Generic drug companies are subject to FDA inspections just like their name brand counterparts, but the drugs themselves do not need to be identical to the brands; they need to be “bioequivalent” and are given leeway on how close to the brand they need to be.   To me, it’s similar to how Cheerios are almost like the store brand of toasted oat cereal – “Cheery-O’s” – very similar, but not the same.  Roughly speaking, “bioequivalent” means they need to show that the drug releases an active ingredient in nearly the same, but not exact, concentration as the brand.

The whole system works if the generics are bioequivalent, and to ensure that they are, most consumers believe that the FDA would test to see if the generics being considered for approval work as promised.  It appears that many approved generic drug versions have not even been subject to independent FDA studies.

But how could the FDA know if a drug is bioequivalent if it doesn’t even test it?  It can’t.

How This is A Safety Issue

The lack of efficacy for a high dose anti-depressant is really a safety issue, not a manufacturing issue..."

atavan PRN ,Paxil approx 20 yrs ago for major depression
Switched to Klonopin PRN through to current
Paxil wore out
Changed to Effexor 
Depakote added
enormous weight gain - flat affect - led to depression - dropped depakote
Dropped Effexor, changed to Paxil 
PDoc added mixed salts amphetamines for ADHD - took for 2 yrs - was ok at first but had to cut as symptoms too intense -  then the crash was too much. STOPPED
Vyvanse started in 2013 (APRIL) - more smooth than IR amphetamine tabs---Have not used vyvanse daily in full amt since May 2013 

Paxil CT withdrawal 10/2012  :wacko:  Klonopin CT WD

Switched Klonopin to Xanax prn  - too strong

WD CT from XANAX after taking for a while - it was awful but can be done if you hold on!

Back to Klonopin PRN - working very hard to avoid taking it at all. 

Effexor 37.5 started 02/2013, 75mg by 03/2013, 150mg by 05/2012 (approx)  :blush:

Effexor 150mg 3/10/2014 Microtaper -3beads  :unsure:

3/11/2014-4beads ,3/12/14 - 5, 3/13/14 -6, 3/15/14 - 7, 3/18 - 8, 3/22 - 10, 3/24 - 12, 4/6 - 13, 4/7 - 14, 4/11 - 16 - on 4/19 ran out of brand took generic. Bad move. Back on brand on 4/20 and updosed 2 beads. 5/1 - 15, 5/6 - 16, 5/9 -17, 55/10 -17, 5/15 -18, 5/21 -19, 5/24 -20, 6/3 - 21, 6/6 -23, 6/13 -24,6/19- 25, 6/21 -26, 6/25 -27

6/28 -28, 6/29 -30, 7/3 -34, 7/8 -35, 7/17 -36, 7/30 -41,7/31 -42, 8/2 -43, 8/3 -44, 8/5 -45, 8/14 -48, 8/26-50, 9/24 -53, 10/24 -55, 12/1 -57, (lost the tally sheet, thus taper info for some of it), 4/19-63, 4/26-64, 4/30-65 Switched to wt reduction - now @ -.068, 7/14 -.070, August 2015 -.074, between Sept & October 10 -.077, Nov. -.078(feeling great), -.090 as of 1/10/16, down to  -.101 since January 2016 (it is now 6/24/16), -.105 as of 8/13/16

Ladies, please don't underestimate the possibility of perimenopause. The symptoms can be similar to, may intensify & in some cases mimic protracted w/d from ssri's & benzo's. 


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