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Need Emergency Help Regarding Generic Medication
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12 posts in this topic

Thanks to our health insurance company, my daughter with celiac may have to switch to a generic seizure medication. The insurance company messed up and now she is due to run out of her meds tomorrow morning! I called CVS to find out which manufacturer they use for the generic of topamax (topiramate). I called the company and they said they do not use the term gluten free; they don't do end-of-line testing. They state that "we do not add gluten". The starches they use are corn, rice, or potato. Alcohols are synthetic. So now I'm not sure what to do. We are hoping to get a prior authorization through today so she can continue with the name brand; without prior authorization the insurance will not cover the name brand at all now. The name brand is super expensive; the insurance is paying $1600 per month. There is no way we can pay out of pocket for the name brand.

Would you consider this generic safe? There are 17 different manufacturers of topiramate, but Mylan is the company used by CVS. What do you do about generics? Do you research to find out all manufacturers and then call every one of them and then find a pharmacy that will use whoever will verify they're gluten free?

Paula

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I may have answered my own question. I decided to call the manufacturer of the name brand to ask them about their gluten-free status. They will only say that they do not use and wheat, rye, barley, spelt, etc. in their manufacturing process. They do not test at the end. So I guess that the generic is equivalent to the name brand as far as gluten-free goes. I'm not sure of its efficacy for seizure control since every patient is different.

Paula

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Thanks to our health insurance company, my daughter with celiac may have to switch to a generic seizure medication. The insurance company messed up and now she is due to run out of her meds tomorrow morning! I called CVS to find out which manufacturer they use for the generic of topamax (topiramate). I called the company and they said they do not use the term gluten free; they don't do end-of-line testing. They state that "we do not add gluten". The starches they use are corn, rice, or potato. Alcohols are synthetic. So now I'm not sure what to do. We are hoping to get a prior authorization through today so she can continue with the name brand; without prior authorization the insurance will not cover the name brand at all now. The name brand is super expensive; the insurance is paying $1600 per month. There is no way we can pay out of pocket for the name brand.

Would you consider this generic safe? There are 17 different manufacturers of topiramate, but Mylan is the company used by CVS. What do you do about generics? Do you research to find out all manufacturers and then call every one of them and then find a pharmacy that will use whoever will verify they're gluten free?

Paula

Hi Paula, I would feel very comfortable using the generic. I take a Mylan med daily for my blood pressure.

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There statement is what we here call a CYA statement (Cover your A :ph34r::ph34r: ). They don't add anything that has gluten. Because they don't test for it, they feel legally unable to say its gluten-free. I would take it if I needed it .

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Thanks. I do feel better about using a generic, at least as far as celiac is concerned. I'm still nervous to switch her to a generic due to having such excellent seizure control with the name brand. I'd really hate to lose control. But there's not much more I can do now; we're at the mercy of the insurance company. I should find out later today or tomorrow morning which medication she'll be taking.

Paula

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i take 2 mylan medications and one more med that may or may not be from mylan. did they happen to say that ALL their meds are made without gluten ingredients? i am trying to locate my phone to call, but can't find it (cell phone.) i have been feeling "off" for the past month or two and was blaming it on thyroid. but i am feeling some mild gluten-y symptoms and am worried it is the meds.

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Some generics are more different from brand names, some are more similar. They do all contain the same active ingredient, but the binders may end up causing them slightly different affectivities. More likely, a switch (either way) will bring up side effects that sthe other one didn't. I happily switched to generic topomax when I was still on it. (But they made the generic available all of two months before I got off of it. :) )

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I take two prescriptons by mylan also and I got the same response. I haven't had any problems with them. Good luck.

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Thank you. I only asked about topiramate, so I don't know about any other meds made by Mylan. In the end, we got the prior authorization for name-brand topamax and were able to fill it late this afternoon. I now have to seriously consider if we want to try the generic in the near future. The price for the name-brand went up again (my copay is still the same though). The pills are just over $10 per pill and Alison takes 6 pills per day. That price is utterly ridiculous! Unfortunately, the generic is often not exactly the same as the name brand when it comes to seizures, so it's a tough decision.

Paula

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I have taken the very medication for years and have had no problems what so ever. I took the name brand before it went generic and thankful when it did cost was a lot less.

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Does anyone know if this information is still accurate? I was just prescribed topiramate (long story, migraines, mini-stroke, jerk neurologist), and my pharmacist and I are both looking for a manufacturer we can use.

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There are many generic manufacturers of topiramate. You will want to ask your pharmacy what brand they will fill your prescription with and then call the company to ask if is gluten free. If you're doing a ramp up period, you'll want to remember to check both doses, both the smaller dose and the regular dose you'll be taking since the information for them can be different.

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