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Problem With Bc Pills

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Sorry for the long post!

I've been on Yasmin, and later the generic Ocella, for almost ten years. I've never had any problems with the pills, they fix my erratic cycle and PMS symptoms, and I'm happy that they're gluten free. I've tried other pills and none of them work as well for me.

Yesterday I went to pick up a refill and the pharmacy had changed generics to Syeda. I didn't know that pharmacies can just switch out generics without informing the customer, because generics only have to have the same active ingredient but can have completely different inactive ingredients. Ocella and Yasmin have identical ingredients, but I wasn't sure about this one.

So I took the pills home, and went online to look up Syeda. The first thing I find is a forum where people who had been on Yasmin/Ocella for years are complaining about unpleasant side effects with Syeda and Zarah, which is another new generic. I looked up the inactive ingredients for Syeda, and they are very different from Yasmin/Ocella. I can't find any information about Syeda or Zarah being gluten free, except for a post on this site which never gave any answers, and revealed that the company was being extremely difficult about answering the question.

So I went back to the pharmacy and explained that I didn't want to risk taking a generic that may or may not be gluten free. The pharmacist was a total b-word about it, but the assistant was very helpful. She called around to all of their other stores until she found a store that still had a couple of packs of Ocella, and is having them shipped to my store for pick up today. Hooray! That takes care of one month.

I called around to other pharmacies in the area, and all of them have switched from Ocella to either Syeda or Zarah (there are still a few left to call that aren't open on Sundays). Apparently the inactive ingredients in the new generics are cheaper, which is why everyone is making the switch - more profit for the pharmacy.

My questions are:

Where can I get Ocella?? Does anyone know of any large chain drug stores that still carry it as the Yasmin generic? I tried Kroger, WalMart, and Walgreens with no luck.

If the other generics won't disclose if their products have gluten or not, can I ask the insurance company to cover more of the cost of Yasmin? They covered almost all of the cost of Yasmin before Ocella came out, but where there is a generic I have to go with that to get the savings. I don't think it's right for the insurance company to force me to go with a generic that may harm me. I have Caremark prescription insurance.

This is the first time that celiacs has caused a major frustration in my life, and it took a lot to not start crying in the pharmacy (especially when the pharmacist was shooting dagger eyes at me). Why can't the FDA force pharmaceutical companies to disclose allergy/intolerance information?

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Whew! The last pharmacy on my list still carries Ocella. They're a local compounding pharmacy, and hopefully they're small enough to let me know ahead of time if they switch to a new generic.

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