Thursday, 5 November 2015

Is your SSRI the real deal? And can you be sure?

I've been busy this week researching about SSRI's and have been contacted by several people who have had a sudden and unexplained relapse. For those that have read my book 'I blame the hormones' you will know that it is often a case of trying to find the antidepressant that suits you, which can be tiresome and depressing in itself. One type may not agree with you, and its often a case of trial and error with this amazing medication. Once you have found the correct one, with the correct dosage, the effect can be miraculous and life transforming. You can also use them in conjunction with hormonal therapies for PMDD, and this double barrelled approach is often favoured by many women in the fight against hormonal mood disorders.

Why then do so many people have a sudden relapse? And why do so many have to increase the dose needed to maintain equilibrium?

Trawling through the numerous blogs and forums associated with depression and mood disorders, I was amazed to read that in the UK, our antidepressants are often the generic type and not the original brand at all. This means that they are a cheaper version of the original brand and often imported from a different source. Indeed many have noticed that each time they have received their new batch of SSRI's it seems to come form a different manufacturer every time. This then has a different effect on the system and can create a jolt of the same side effects that hit when they first started taking the drug.

There are scattered reports of people experiencing a return of side effects when they use a generic ,as different manufacturers can use different binding agents and non-active ingredients. This can affect the releasing rate into the system and result in the jitters, nervousness, anxiety and a return of depressive symptoms. Not realising that we are using a generic can cause unnecessary suffering and despite the chemists insistence that the drug is the same, the forums tell a different story entirely, with numerous people finding the transition difficult. In the UK the National health service routinely uses generics as a cheaper option, importing them rather than using the branded version which can be up to five times as expensive. It is worth then sticking to the same brand of generic, than chopping and changing manufacturer which can result in a possible relapse. Check the box every time to make sure that its the same generic that you are using.

Anti-depressant medication can be a powerful tool in the war against depression and I have used them over many years for this clinical condition, but please be aware if you have a sudden return of symptoms that you maybe using a version that isn't quite what it seems. In case your worried, the most often used are,

PROZAC-SERAFEM (fluoxetine)

ZOLOFT (sertraline)
PAXIL (paroxetine)

CELEXA (citalopram)

Anything else that uses another manufacturer is probably a cheaper version and is therefore a generic. To be sure of anything, always check with your doctor particularly if you relapse suddenly and without cause.

Blessings as usual, Suzi. AKA Caroline Church.

I Blame the Hormones is available on Kindle, Smartphone, PC, tablet or I-phone and can be ordered from Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree; i only realised when i had a relapse lasting 18mths, feeling constantly suicidal and couldn't work. i looked back over what had changed and the only thing had changed was my branded effexor to the generic venlafaxine. went back to gp's and asked for effexor. He told me that generics and branded are the same and it's just a placebo and that cos "it's branded you thing it works better" Within 2 days of being on the branded version, i noticed a big difference. unfortunately the gp's are reluctant to prescribe branded version due to cost so had to go back on generics. Mood started sliding downward again. so have had to get private prescription for branded as gp will not prescribe due to local policy guidelines. They need to realise one size doesn't fit all,,, that everyone reacts differently to meds.