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I apologize in advance for this rant, but hopefully it may be beneficially to another person.

I have been taking a generic Welbutrin SR for almost 4 years now (bupropion HCL made by Mylan), for the mental illness usual suspects (depression, anxiety, also PTSD). Overall, I've done great on this medication, and aside from one time when I decided to go off it (during a very stressful time in my life, logically), I have been pretty overall stable, while still paying a reasonable copay. Thanks Mylan!


HOWEVER, boy and I recently moved across the country, and our new insurance/pharmacy gave me a different generic made by Watson. I have been on it a month now and HOLY FUCK it's like when I went off my meds completely last time. I have spent the last week doing the following:

-Crying for no reason. Today I cried watching How I Met your Mother. And it wasn't because of how much Ted just fucking sucks as a character.

-Eating nothing or just eating chocolate chip cookies.

-Stressing about a project for my old job I have to finish (they are not even paying me), but not actually doing anything about it.


-Stressing about being unemployed, being marginally productive on that. I did manage to apply to 1 job and found a list of new ones to apply to. Also I obsessed over my CV and cover letter way more than necessary.

-Laying on my couch binge watching god knows what feeling sorry for myself.

-Drinking too much, then picking fights with the boy (angrydrunkwitch)

So today, I finally started doing some internet snooping about different generic Welbutrins. While I didn't find much about the SR formulations, turns out Watson's XL formulation was ruled by the FDA in October to not be bioequivalent, and they have to pull it off the shelves. So that's just great. I emailed my doctor to ask to be switched to the name brand (since Watson does not have my confidence for any formulation right now given this development and my symptoms), and SHE'S OUT OF OFFICE till the 19th, of course. I am not sure I can take another week feeling totally nuts. Fortunately another doctor in the office emailed me last week to say they were covering for her and sent me some test results, so I emailed that woman. Hopefully this story has a happy ending in the next couple of days.


I used to spend a lot of time on depression forums, and a LOT of people have complained about various generics not matching up to the name brand, only to be told by their doctor that they're wrong. It took YEARS for the FDA to order a retest of the generic welbutrin XLs. This is bullshit, and stand in doctor better not give me any bullshit about switching or I'm gonna flip and ask, "Do you even Pubmed?"

ETA: Since people seem surprised this has anything to do with my doctor and not my pharmacy and I don't want to type this a bunch, I have Kaiser insurance. So my doctor, hospital, pharmacy, any specialists I see and insurance company are all owned by Kaiser. I can only get Rx's filled at THEIR pharmacy. But this is actually the best insurance I've ever had. Kaiser's philosophy about keeping costs down is "What if we give everyone good healthcare so they don't get as sick?" instead of "What if we deny their claims and let them die?" Kaiser is almost like socialized medicine in that they put a huge emphasis on preventative care and making it affordable. Everything there is super efficient (thus the ability to email my doctor and get test results by email), and the pharmacy will even mail your meds at a cheaper copay so they don't have to deal with you. So I have no complaints with them, just this particular generic manufacturer that is their supplier.


UPDATE: Even though she is out of the office, my fabulous, wonderful primary care doctor has emailed me to tell me she called name brand Welbutrin into the pharmacy for me from wherever she is. In less than 24 hours. I LOVE KAISER GUYS! Also she has sent over an Rx for high dose Vitamin D because it was extremely low in my recent bloodwork (second time this has happened). Side note: did you know Vit D deficiency is highly correlated with depression? There has yet to be any causal link established, but I believe I've read that it's also associated with increased fatigue and other things that make me feel rotten when I am depressed. So I am off to the pharmacy, with the hope that armed with real medicine and some vitamins, next week will be better. Thank you all for your supportive comments!

UPDATE2: SPOKE TOO SOON. FUCK KAISER GUYS. They will NOT cover any non generics. You want to know what a 3 month supply of GSK name brand Welbutrin costs?? $900 MOTHERFUCKING DOLLARS. 900 OF THEM. Needless to say, I didn't get that. Currently waiting to hear from the pharmacist about whether they will "approve" another manufacturer generic. And they're going to be closed till Tuesday. Also emailing my doctor and calling customer service line to tell them THEY FUCKING SUCK A BAG OF DICKS.


FINAL UPDATE/EPILOGUE: The pharmacy hotline at Kaiser is stocked with well-meaning, professional people with no actual power. The lady I spoke to called all 5 pharmacies on the East Bay, but none of them have any pills other than the Watson ones. The only option I have with them is to wait until my special ordered generics from another manufacturer (Sandoz - haven't had them before). This can take 5 business days, so at the absolute earliest if I'm lucky, they come in on Tuesday.

BUT the boy is brilliant and reminded me that I might have refills on my old Rx that I had filled at the CVS in Philly, prescribed by my old therapist. In fact, I did! I was able to transfer my Rx to the CVS here (which also uses the Mylan generic), but since my old insurance expired last week (BOOOOO), and Kaiser only pays for things at their pharmacies (DOUBLE BOOOOO), I had to pay out of pocket. For 1 month with no insurance, it was $70; I asked for 2 weeks to get me through and paid $35. While I don't think this is sustainable in the long run, I have meds for now that I know work. Thank you all for your supportive comments and dealing with me updating this so much. I appreciate all of your helpful suggestions. You guys are awesome.


TL;DR: All generics are not the same. If it's not working for you, don't let those fuckers tell you they work just fine and you're crazy, especially if it's a drug for mental issues. Fuck. That.

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