Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 348860

Shown: posts 1 to 20 of 20. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Serzone dropped in US, now what?

Posted by cateb on May 20, 2004, at 11:46:41

I'd like to hear from others for whom Serzone has been successful. Are you going to hope that the generics stay in the market, despite rumblings that they need to go, too, or is your PDoc helping you do something else? If so, how fast are you titrating down? What are the other similar meds? How are you going to titrate up on those?

Thanks for providing some comparative notes. After eight years of being medication-resistant, Serzone was the one that finally brought some relief.

c.

 

Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?

Posted by HappyGirl on May 21, 2004, at 23:22:29

In reply to Serzone dropped in US, now what?, posted by cateb on May 20, 2004, at 11:46:41

Hi:
I too am very much concerned over Serzone discontinuation. However, in my guess, Generic form of Serzone, "Nefadozone" will stay in the market although a Brand Name, Serzone will no longer in the market starting June 14, 2004.
The reason why its manufacturer, BMS did this is, in my guess, ... most of Serzone takers already changed to Generic, 'Nefadozone' for price and quality reasons.
For instance, I've been already switched to Nefadozone at the beginning of this year when my pdoc. told me so. Actually, I'm quite happy about this, Generic form of Serzone, 'Nefadozone.'
In regard to 'similar med.' .... probably, 'Desryl/Trazodone' is the best. However, you don't need to worry about this, since there is still 'no' rumour to take 'Nefadozone' off the market.
H.G.

 

Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what? HappyGirl

Posted by cateb on May 22, 2004, at 6:10:10

In reply to Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?, posted by HappyGirl on May 21, 2004, at 23:22:29

tx for your post; relieved that generic will stay around for while anyway. I read there were calls for it to be pulled as well. I'll post again when i've reached my PDoc, report what she says.

 

Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?

Posted by hawaiistaci on May 22, 2004, at 22:04:52

In reply to Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what? HappyGirl, posted by cateb on May 22, 2004, at 6:10:10

I don't mean to cause panic but I read at yahoo news that Serzone and the generic are being pulled. I hope not, since it works for some people, but I just wanted to toss in my 2 cents.

 

Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?

Posted by HappyGirl on May 23, 2004, at 0:38:04

In reply to Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?, posted by hawaiistaci on May 22, 2004, at 22:04:52

Hi:
Read the following paragraph:

>>> The latest in depression, bipolar, and mental health.

Serzone to be Taken Off US Market (May 19, 2004)

Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced it will take Serzone off the market in the US, effective June 14. Serzone has been linked to a remote risk of liver failure, involving 20 deaths worldwide. The drug has been pulled from Europe and Canada and will be withdrawn from New Zealand and Australia.

"The drug is still available in generic form."

Serzone patients are advised to contact their prescribing physicians immediately. >>>
H.G.


 

Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling off

Posted by HappyGirl on May 23, 2004, at 1:23:49

In reply to Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?, posted by HappyGirl on May 23, 2004, at 0:38:04

Hi:
In 'Google' site, I also read the following article below;

>>> ..... the company is not ordering a recall of the drug and will merely stop shipping after June 14, patients will be able to fill (or refill) prescriptions for many more months because the drug will still be available in channels of commerce including wholesalers and retail pharmacies. <<<<
H.G.

 

Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling

Posted by MissAmy on May 23, 2004, at 2:57:21

In reply to Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling off, posted by HappyGirl on May 23, 2004, at 1:23:49

might as start weaning now and get it over with--takes awhile to wean off--sometimes 6 months for some people. i am aiming for three months.

 

Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling

Posted by HappyGirl on May 23, 2004, at 8:53:51

In reply to Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling, posted by MissAmy on May 23, 2004, at 2:57:21

Hi:
In that case of 'discontinuation' of Nefadozone, I have 'back-up' plan to dosage *Up* Wellbutrin SR, from 100 mg. to 250 mg. and along with as substitute for 'Serzone,' 'Trazodone.' For that reason, my pdoc. did NOT inform me in advance, although I knew about this news in my hindsight.

Hence, I do not need to worry about this 'hyper,'.... taking off this drug, ... however it's all because of 'citizen consumer group's interference' that causes a terrible havoc to some of Serzone takers who are otherwise 'not' able to take any of ADs.

Luckily, in my case, other form of AD such as WB or similar meds. to get by.

I am truly sorry to read/hear of this 'devasting news' taking Serzone off the market.
H.G.

 

Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling

Posted by cateb on May 23, 2004, at 20:21:00

In reply to Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling, posted by MissAmy on May 23, 2004, at 2:57:21

yeah, I'm always looking for an excuse to go of my meds, this is perfect! Better in summer than winter, when the tectonic plate shifts are at their worst. Best, all.

 

Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling

Posted by Tony P on May 25, 2004, at 7:43:45

In reply to Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling, posted by MissAmy on May 23, 2004, at 2:57:21

> might as start weaning now and get it over with--takes awhile to wean off--sometimes 6 months for some people. i am aiming for three months.

I have weaned from Serzone in a matter of days more than once after several years on it -- had to do it quickly this last time because I was caught by surprise when it was pulled very suddenly and thoroughly in Canada, including generics. Luckily I had just enough left to go down from 400-500 mg/day over about two weeks - no discomfort at all, at least in going down to 100 mg/day. I was on a small dose of Valium and Imovane/Zopiclone for sleep, and overlapped the Serzone withdrawal with Lamictal startup, which may have helped. Oddly enough, I found it harder to stop Serzone earlier in my use of it - in the first year, I got quite uncomfortable if I even missed a dose by a couple of hours.

HOWEVER, it just occurred to me, after checking my drug diary, that I had a huge anxiety attack 2-3 days after going from 100 mg/day Serzone to none. Doesn't quite make sense that the Serzone would have caused it, as it has a short half-life -- I would have expected problems much earlier. At the time I put it down to ramping the Lamictal up from 50 to 100 mg/day, which was about the same time I stopped the Serzone. I guess I'll never know now which it was.

I will rant about WHY it has been pulled in a separate post.

Tony P

 

Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling HappyGirl

Posted by Tony P on May 25, 2004, at 9:18:02

In reply to Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling, posted by HappyGirl on May 23, 2004, at 8:53:51

> Hi:
> In that case of 'discontinuation' of Nefadozone, I have 'back-up' plan to dosage *Up* Wellbutrin SR, from 100 mg. to 250 mg. and along with as substitute for 'Serzone,' 'Trazodone.'
> [snipped...]
> Hence, I do not need to worry about this 'hyper,' ... taking off this drug, ... however it's all because of 'citizen consumer group's interference' that causes a terrible havoc to some of Serzone takers who are otherwise 'not' able to take any of ADs.
>
> Luckily, in my case, other form of AD such as WB or similar meds. to get by. I am truly sorry to read/hear of this 'devasting news' taking Serzone off the market.
> H.G.
>
---------------
Serzone was for many years the perfect A/D for me: SSRI's were all wrong, Remeron was intolerable and Wellbutrin at usual dose (300 mg/day) was nearly disastrous. When I added Serzone to my Wellbutrin, hoping to calm the WB side efects, it was even worse - I got Serotonin Syndrome or maybe NE overload, extreme anxiety and low fever -- I stayed up all night posting on Psycho-babble to stay sane! Trazadone is very similar chemically to Serzone but much less effective as an A/D by all accounts, and I would worry that it might give you a similar bad reaction with Wellbutrin, although I know some people are OK with the combo.

I was however later able to combine fairly high doses of Serzone (400-500 mg/day) with a low dose of Wellbutrin (100 mg/day or less); maybe starting the Serzone before the Wellbutrin worked, where the other way around didn't. Again, same caution may apply to Trazadone, but as usual YMMV.

But don't count on Trazadone staying available for ever -- for me, with a borderline liver, it caused far worse liver problems than Serzone (which didn't cause any). I'm surprised they didn't drop them both.

Tony P.

*** RANT FOLLOWS (skip if you have high blood pressure ;-)

I was very angry that Serzone got so completely pulled (even though it was OK personally as my pdoc had already decided to switch me to Lamictal). There is absolutely nothing on the market, even Trazadone, with the same benefit profile and low side effects as Serzone. Why couldn't they just put a warning on it and leave it to the MDs to do their job and evaluate their patients individually? If aspirin were being evaluated by the FDA today, it would probably be rejected because of the number of ulcers it causes! And Tylenol can cause serious, even fatal, liver damage in doses as low as 6 extra-strength a day when combined with regular/heavy drinking. It's safe up to a fair bit higher dosage without alcohol but it's a threshhold effect - one or two pills over the limit and your liver is in BIG trouble. Tylenol's still around, in fact it's in more OTC remedies every day it seems.

Yes, I am sure that it's the company lawyers and their fear of advocacy groups and group lawsuits that is driving some of these drug withdrawals, rather than medical prudence.

Another case in point a few years ago was the decongestant phenylpropanolamine, mainly used in Dimetapp in combination with another decongestant and an antihistamine. Dimetapp had been around for decades with no problems, then it was pulled because a handful of young women who were also taking large doses of diet pills had strokes. I don't mean to minimize the seriousness of the stroke problem, but I am sure the diet pills or the combination were the real culprit -- significantly, many of the diet pills have now been pulled, justifiably IMHO, or are not readily available.

Anyway, in Canada at least, Dimetapp disappeared for about two years -- and again there was no real substitute! It was the only decongestant I could take, everything else had pseudoephedrine in it, which gives me the shakes and keeps me from sleeping if I take it after 6 PM.

When Dimetapp finally reappeared, it was at half the antihistamine dose with half the phenylephrine decongestant and no phenylpropanolamine, i.e. 1/4 the decongestant content -- AND for the same price - great marketing ploy! Moreover, the tablets are only available in combo with Tylenol, which I need like a hole in my liver, and the "daytime" formula contains - guess what - pseudoephedrine. Luckily they have now come out with an "extra strength" liquid form with phenylephrine which brings it up almost to its original strength. Expensive, but I keep it around for the times when my one-a-day new-style antihistamine isn't enough.

When I'm feeling sufficiently paranoid, it seems that everything I've used for years and that works best for me disappears from the market, from medications to candies to shampoo! And now I can't even find an "unscented" deodorant that is actually scent-free....

END OF RANT (apologies to Dr. Bob if this should have gone to P-B Social).

Tony P.

 

Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling

Posted by Noa on May 25, 2004, at 16:40:27

In reply to Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling HappyGirl, posted by Tony P on May 25, 2004, at 9:18:02

Yes, I'm annoyed that they pulled it. It is a good med for me--been on it for a number of years now.

As for those of you who are weaning off of it because of the manufacturer's decision, why not take the generic?

 

Nefadozone/Serzone Generic Issue

Posted by HappyGirl on May 26, 2004, at 0:22:09

In reply to Re: Addendum:Serzone still available after pulling, posted by Noa on May 25, 2004, at 16:40:27

Hi:
In 'Google,' I read that Citizen Adovocate asking Nefadozone should also be taken off the market, but in my guess, Nefadozone will stay on the market for awhile as seeing this 'Generic' came to the market NOT long ago, .... around the fall of last year, 2003 or a bit earlier.
Anyhow, its maker, Mylan Laboratories Inc. has also some consideration over this issue. If there is substantial profit of making/selling Nefadozone, they may NOT take Nefadozone off the market. On the otherhand, Citizen Consumer's group will NEVER quit harass over this med. Generic form, Nefadozone since they want both Serzone and Nefadozone to disappear from the market. There are more than 'ten' topics/articles regarding Serzone, in 'Google' search and VERY good ones to read about this issue.
For me, .... recalling back when Serzone was first rxed by my pdoc., he said Serzone is not 'addictive,' unlike other ADs. .... easily getting off Serzone without any withdrawal syndome. However, I started concern over after having read many of posts saying NOT easy to get Serzone/nefadozone off your system.

In the meantime, I do not need to worry about this terribly,... 'taking Serzone off the market' since I am already on Nefadozone and for this, I have no complain about.
However, if there is any romour about Nefadozone's fate, ... then I need to discuss over this with my pdoc. at my next appt., next month whether I should taper it off gradually or what else I should be done. Until then, I can NOT afford myself too much stressed out over this issue, 'discontinuation.'
BTW, I e-mailed both Mylan and FDA asking NOT discontinue Nefadozone.
H.G.

 

Re: Nefadozone/Serzone Generic Issue HappyGirl

Posted by Noa on May 26, 2004, at 8:22:37

In reply to Nefadozone/Serzone Generic Issue, posted by HappyGirl on May 26, 2004, at 0:22:09

HG,

Thanks for the insights and I will look at some of the articles. I'm in similar situation as you--I have no problems with Serzone.

>BTW, I e-mailed both Mylan and FDA asking NOT discontinue Nefadozone.

This is a good idea--thanks.

 

Re: Nefadozone/Serzone Generic Issue//Noa

Posted by HappyGirl on May 27, 2004, at 0:35:34

In reply to Re: Nefadozone/Serzone Generic Issue HappyGirl, posted by Noa on May 26, 2004, at 8:22:37

Hi;
In 'Google,' those different articles(more than ten) regarding 'Serzone discontinuation' made me VERY annoyed and quite disappointed because the citizen consumer group has been doing only one side, without any concern over current Serzone takers.
Then, I wonder this, ... are they/consumer group is a part of those lawyers who has been working on 'sue' cases?
Since I have NO concrete idea the depth/truth behind this, discontinuation of Serzone, ... I do my best to defend one of my 'beloved' meds. Nefadozone by expressing my personal experience. For that done, I must be NO regret in case same bad fate might happen on Nefadozone in future.
As we all know WELL, med./med. combo is 'life-line' for us. Then, taking any med. off the makret is serious consiquence for us, ... probably our pdocs. as well.
H.G.

 

Re: Nefadozone/Serzone Generic Issue//Noa

Posted by Tony C. on May 27, 2004, at 7:27:35

In reply to Re: Nefadozone/Serzone Generic Issue//Noa, posted by HappyGirl on May 27, 2004, at 0:35:34

I would like to tell you all, that I had a CRIPPLING, vegatative, suicidal tendency depression 7 years ago, positively DEVASTATING to me and my family. I tried TONS of Anti Depressants, NOTHING brought relief or helped pull me out of it EXCEPT the Serzone. Now after 7 years of doing GREAT with perfectly fine Liver tests so far, BMS pulls it off the Market, The Public Citizens group wants to pressure the Generic Companies now, and is suing the FDA to force a ban on the Drug. I get extremely upset when I read Dr. Wolfe of the Consumer Group saying it is not effective than any other drug, and that people like myself should switch. I mean CMON !!! it IS EFFECTIVE, for me and MANY others, this is abominable to think that these groups may succeed in ruining mine, or others stability and possibly life. NO MATTER WHAT THE DEAL, US LONG TERM USERS WHO ONLY RESPONDED TO THIS MEDICINE SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE THE OPTION FROM OUR DOCTOR, AND SOME COMPANY TO PROVIDE US THIS MEDICATION, AS IT WAS A LIFE SAVER. I am tired of the Consumer groups and lawyers not asking our Doctors or us people that actually take this medicine if we think it works. Withdrawal is NOT easy, ESPECIALLY after you have been on it religiously for 7 years, and being told to switch back to a market of drugs that did not help you in the first place, is not promising either. There is no need for this, us Serzone users who like this medication, at least need to petition someone to always make it available to us, we understand the liver risk, as does our Doctors. I mean Acetaminophen is WAY MORE Hepa Toxic than Serzone. Who is standing up for us Serzoners who know this was our ONLY Hope ? Serzone should be classified an Orphan Drug by the Government or something, (made available always to users, long term or that a Doctor decides this is patients only hope, cause depression is life threatining) because should the Consumer group succeed in getting it yanked, and I have a feeling they will or pressuring Generic companies to recall it. This is our Health People, we know this helps us. We need to stand up for what we know is right for US.

Tony C.

 

Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?

Posted by Noa on May 29, 2004, at 13:24:48

In reply to Serzone dropped in US, now what?, posted by cateb on May 20, 2004, at 11:46:41

OK, so I wasn't ready to really react until now but now I've had my first "reality check" with this Serzone situation.

I decided to refil my scrip a bit earlier than I usually do (I usually wait until the last minute) just in case there were any hassles with getting it filled. When I dropped off my scrip at the pharmacy, they told me they only have one bottle of 60 pills left (I take 2x 250 strength) and they were not able to reorder ANY more in any strength because the distributor is out of it.

I guess I had deluded myself into thinking that because it was not actually recalled there would still be supplies in the pipelines. But that was probably naive of me. I bet there were stocks out there but people went and bought them all up. I don't know.

So, I asked about the nefazadone generic from Mylan labs (thank you Happy Girl for letting me know which company makes it!) and they said that right now they had none in stock (they hadn't ever stocked the generic)and that it is available from the distributor only in different strengths than the 250's.

I called my pdoc, who got on the phone immediately, which I appreciate. He said next time I come in, he would write the scrip for 5x 100 which is one of the strengths the generic comes in. He said he doesn't know if the generic will stay around--hasn't heard anything. He says he is still prescribing the med and would continue as long as it is availalbe, and is even ready to start new patients on it because he has found no safety problems in his patients.

I went back into the store and talked to the pharmacist again to leave my script but just have it partially filled with the 60 Serzone they had available, and discussed the generic for next time. They looked up the distributor again and said that the distributor doesn't even have the 100's which means I would have to either get two different strengths to combine, or perhaps might be able to cut and paste, so to speak, to get the right amount. OK, that's not a big deal. However, the pharacist also said that they aren't certain from week to week what the supply lines will be like for the generic, as there is a huge sudden demand on it since the announcement about Serzone.

I must admit, before I was annoyed but had thought that it would be fine for a while and wasn't really feeling worried yet about this. But after this pharmacy encounter, now I'm worried. I don't want to have to stop Serzone--it works for me and I've had no health problems from it. I've been stable for a few years now and I don't want to risk losing that by having to go through a major med upheaval.

 

Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?//Noa

Posted by HappyGirl on May 30, 2004, at 18:16:17

In reply to Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?, posted by Noa on May 29, 2004, at 13:24:48

Hi Noa:
Did you look at Mylan site very carefully? There are several different 'strengh' of Nefadozone available, including 250 mg. Try to look at the following site, below.

http://www.mylan.com/product_guide/generics/index.php

It's VERY STRANGE that your pdoc. saying ONLY 100 mg. strength available at Mylan. I, too heavily depend on Serzone/Nefadozone, 150 mg. twice a day, sometime, three times a day according my moods.
I was VERY shocked and surprised to read your post, ... 'Nefadozone/Serzone craze/demand,' but we should be well-prepared for this to happen, sooner or later.

In my case, I order 'three months' supply' through my insurance Co. My next re-fill is just one day's away, 31st of May, 'tomorrow.' I usually submit my re-fill through Internet and it goes very smooth without any hassles. Even I can submit e-mail through their web-site whenever there is/are questions to ask. It's very practical and convenient. I highly recommend you this practice, ... to order med. through your Insurance Co. My mail-order pharmacy is located in Texas, which has a contract with my Health Insurance Co. It's one of the biggest mail-order pharmacies in USA.

Also, regarding Local pharmacy, ... Once I too had a problem of filling one of meds. In my recollection, however I trusted the pharmacist's words and went back to him for the rest of med without any trouble.

Also, it's very common for any pharmacies to run out some of drugs, particulaly 'heart' related medications. Now, Serzone must be one of most demanding meds on the market. Hopefully, NO black-markets to pop-up due to 'high' demand on Serzone/Nefadozone.

In my case, after this, unpleasant experience at Local pharmacy, I started to order all of my meds. through mail-order, ... normally three months' supply. But, I also did order just one month's supply because my pdoc. mistakenly wrote one month' instead three months'. I usually receive within ten days, ... 14 days at latest for all of my orders.

In my suggestion, try to call your Insurance Co. to find out 'how to get' Nefadozone if this, shortage of Nefadozone continues at local pharmacies. Or, you might be better to ask Mylan Lab. directly about location on Nefadozone. Because, sometimes you may need to travel some distance to find one, ... rather a long wait to get one.

BTW, I usually keep all of my 'precious' med. at least, three months' ample supply just 'in case.' Then, I still have plenty of Nefadozne inside one of my dressers. Probably, it lasts until end of this summer, 'Labor' Day.
H.G.

 

Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?//Noa

Posted by Noa on May 31, 2004, at 8:55:39

In reply to Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?//Noa, posted by HappyGirl on May 30, 2004, at 18:16:17

HG,

Thanks for pointing out several things--the 250 strength on the web site, and also reminding me about the insurance mail order option and calling the insurance company about this. Good ideas.

It wasn't my pdoc who said it only came in 100's. The pharmacy had told me that the distributor only sold certain strengths, including hte 100's which I could get to add up to 500. My pdoc only said that he would write it for 100's cuz I mentioned the strengths available.

ANyway, I will call my insurance company soon.

Thanks.

 

Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?//Noa

Posted by HappyGirl on May 31, 2004, at 10:43:02

In reply to Re: Serzone dropped in US, now what?//Noa, posted by Noa on May 31, 2004, at 8:55:39

Hi Noa:
I just called Mail-Order Co. before coming here and spoke about 'Serzone/Nefadozone' shortage. Because, your post concerned me a great deal.

According to Mail-order, they said they have a stock of Nefadozone currently. However, if there is a 'problem,' they will call me immediately, for that I truly appreciate. Because, I need this 're-fill,' although as mentioned in my previous post, I have 'ample' supply of Nefadozone that will last around until Labor-day. However, since I take two or three 150 mg. of Nefadozone, depending on my moods, ... then I need to ascertain on my 're-fill.'

Regarding Mail-Order, I've been on since 2000 and quite content with their service. Because, Local pharmacies that are mostly located at the 'Grocery stores' in my region where I reside, then they have 'frequent shortage' of the med., not mine but for my family. The best place to look for Serzone/Nefadozone is to be through 'Mail-Order.' In case of 'high' demand, it may have some delay, but they take a pride on their business to send me the med. within 10 to 14 days.

I am glad that you are considering about 'Mail-Order' through your Insurance Co.
H.G.


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