Psychiatric Meds: Generic vs Brand Name

If times are tight, the search for ways to find discounts or save money is a common occurrence. Generic medications are often substituted when allowed, primarily due to insurance coverage policy or as a means to reduce co-pay cost out-of-pocket. Many prescribed physical health medications are used long term for chronic health issues or disorders, just as treatment for psychiatric and mental health conditions often involve long term pharmacological treatment. The monetary savings however may not be in the patient’s best interest who may discover generic is not the “right fit” for their needs.

Generic and Brand Name Psych Med Differences

The FDA’s definition of a generic drug is that it is pharmaceutically equivalent to its brand name drug, containing the same active ingredient, same strength, same dosage form as well as delivery of drug (i.e., swallowed, a patch worn, or injected). The generic version must perform approximately the same as the brand name drug. The key word approximately indicates that there will be a small or slight difference in the manufacture of the generic drug, whether it be inert ingredients added, coloring or dye used, as well as the shape or form.  In addition, the pharmacy uses a variety of manufacturers so that while the prescription itself may not change, the medication may appear different from month to month.

Generic Psychiatric Medication Concerns

While the majority who take generic psychiatric medications experience no problems, there are thousands who face increased side effects, exacerbation of their mental health symptoms, behavioral changes, development of allergies or a significant relapse that could require hospitalization. Generic psychiatric medications are supposed to deliver the same amount of active ingredient to receptors in the brain, however differences in the formulation of the product may cause more harm than help. An experienced and practiced psychiatrist is able to work with you on finding a generic medication that will work, as well as modification of the drug, dose or timing so that cost savings can be achieved without loss of mental health gain.

Top 10 Psychiatric Generic – Brand Name Medications

The top 10 prescribed U.S. psychiatric medications are ranked in a study. The medication with the highest ranking is Xanax or alprazolam used for anxiety at almost 48 million prescriptions per year. The psychiatric medication Seroquel or quetiapine, typically used for bipolar disorder or depression is ranked number 10 with over 14 million scripts per year.  The other psychiatric medications ranked in the top 10 of prescribed meds are Celexa/citalopram, Zoloft/sertraline, Ativan/lorazepam, Prozac/fluoxetine HCL, Lexapro/escitalopram, Desyrel/trazodone HCL, Cymbalta/duloxetine, and Valium/diazepam – in total, the top 10 ranking prescriptions exceed 270,000,000 a year. Working with an expert in both generic and brand name psychiatric medication is the best way to ensure you have a successful mental health treatment plan.

Atlanta Psychiatric Medication Doctor

Call Dr. Darvin Hege, the Atlanta psychiatrist of choice for successful medication management of your mental health needs using generic, brand name or a combination of psychiatric medications that work for you.

About Darvin Hege

Dr. Darvin Hege has 25 years of experience dealing with adult patients who have adhd, bipolar disorders, drug addictions, panic attacks, depression, stress, and other mental health disorders. He offers evening and weekend office hours at his Atlanta, GA practice. Call today at 770 458-0007 for an evaluation for relief of your psychiatric disorders and for help deciding the most effective and safest treatment.

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