Depakote Heads UP

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by GoingNorth, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The Depakote ER tablets have just been approved to come out in generic. They should be available by the end of the month
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    That's good to know! It will certainly help our budget here.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Our neuro warns us that generics are not always identical to brand. Caution should be exercised when you switch from one to another. There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence of mood problems that emerged when BiPolar (BP) patients switched from brand Lamictal to generic, for example.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Oh nuts. I hate the problems with changing to generics. Add to this that a doctor in Texas just came out with a study showing that Depakote can cause a significant drop in IQ....
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I know that for seizure control, husband's neuro absolutely wants him on the brand because it's a much smaller window of therapeutic benefit, vs. a broad range medication like an antibiotic. I can imagine that some people could be more sensitive to changes in formulation when switching from brand to generic. It's always good to keep an eye on things when you first start a new medication, even if it's the "same" but generic version of what you usually take.

    difficult child 1 takes an immunomodulator and his GI insists that he take brand because generics have shown to not be metabolized as well and therefore there is reduced clinical benefit. Unfortunately, our insurance disagrees and so we are charged nearly full retail for the brand -- which is why I ended up going to Canada for refills now!

    JJJ, I had not heard about that effect! Is it permanent or reversible?
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I take Depakote and have for five years now. I can tell you that the cognitive losses are real and noticeable.

    I "feel" less intelligent than I was before and my memory is much worse. I had to weigh benefits. I can't take lithium and I can't take Lamictal. That leaves me with Depakote and others in that immediate family.

    Surely, ANY time a medication is changed, even from name brand to generic, it MUST be discussed with your doctor. My psychiatrist is comfortable with the generic as it has been used in other countries for many years with equivalent results.

    I suspect it might be different if you are using it for seizures where there is a narrower window for effective dosing.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Our neuro found that many patients experienced break-through seizures when their anti-convulsants were switched from brand to generic so he now insists that his patients stay on brand if they started on brand. Even though my kids take anti-convulsants for mood symptoms, he insists they stay on brand, too, so they don't have break-through mood symptoms.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    difficult child 2 has taken both generic and brand Depakote ER. I haven't really noticed a difference. We're finishing up some brand stuff now (psychiatrist gave it to us... a patient of his couldn't use it and this was back when husband was out of work) and I suspect our next refill on insurance will be generic. I'm going to pay closer attention to the timing and any changes that might pop up after the switch, now that we've talked about this!
  9. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    So far, knock on wood, husband and difficult child have been fine with generics. Really helps the budget.