Different brands of bisporolol...

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I've been taking 1.25mg bisoprolol per day for just over two months. The first 8 weeks were OK after a couple of days getting used to them. Last Monday I started a new brand and have started to experience side effects such as lethargy, tiredness and an occasional feeling of 'unsteadiness'. Could this be because of the change in brands? My original brand was Mylan - no real problems. The new brand is Sandoz.

?I re-ordered my prescription last Friday and went back to the chemist which sold the Mylan. However, when I opened my prescription they had given me Sandoz as well!

?- Does anyone else find that branding makes a difference?

- Is it possible to specify to your chemist which brand you would prefer in order that they could order it for you?

?May thanks.


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  • Posted

    According to my Doctor they do make a difference and he informs me I must ensure I am supplied with the same manufactured brand each and every time...

    I had a right tussle with the supplying chemist who insisted that it made no difference whatsoever what brand was issued as the medicine content  is exactly the same....I know my body and it was telling me otherwise so I persisted to be issued with the same brand each and every time....Chemists won't like you for this for they will obviously try to get away with supplying the cheapest (NHS).....I dont give a fig, I insisted and it worked....I suggest you see your Doctor.....I used to take 7.5mg but I cut them in half and gradually weaned off of them....Bisoprolol caused me more problems than what they were trying to cure.....non of what you described affects me now and my heart rate has gone from 39 to a more acceptable 73 bpm with a much brighter outlook and less aches and pains....good riddance to em....warning, always consult a Doctor before adjusting medications or weaning off of them..

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  • Posted

    I tried only one brand of Bisoprolol, but I did try 4 different versions of Nebivolol (also a Beta blocker).

    Version 1: good protection against arrhytmias, moderate breathing problems, a lot of dizziness, some memory problems

    Version 2: good protection against arrhytmias, huge breathing problems all day long, no dizziness

    Version 3: good protection against arrhytmias, moderate breathing problems, huge dizziness all day long, very cold hands

    Version 4: poor protection from arrhytmias, moderate breathing problems, moderate dizziness

    So, you see, each version had a different strength of breathing problems and dizziness (side effects), while a version 4 was very weak in protecting against arrhytmias.

    So, in my case with Nebivolol, each of 4 versions was different.

    I told this to my doc, and she replied: my husband had similar problems with one other drug, even though companies will say that all drugs are 100% the same.

    In those days, I tried to find more info about brand name drugs and generic drugs (try to do the same on Google).

    The thing is that brand name drugs are usually the best, but it can happen (from person to person) that a generic brand fits you better than the original drug.

    Also, you can try 5 generic drugs and find out that a type 5 fits you the best.

    But also, for some people brand name and generics will be equally as good, or equally as bad.

    Docs will say that these drugs are 100% the same, but if you read some articles, you will find out that they are more like around 90% the same and 10% different.

    When one company invents a drug, they will have the license (patent) for that drug for a certain amount of years.

    The original company don't need to reveal too much infos about how to create that drug, except basic infos (a chemical formula) and which effects (and for how long) will a drug produce.

    Then, other companies will try to replicate that drug, but they will know only a formula of the original drug and they will have to prove that their drug is around as 90% as efficient as the original drug, plus that a drug protects our body for a certain amount of time, and they need to have somewhat similar peak times of action of that drug in our body (similar to effects of an original drug).

    So, each company will use slightly different chemicals and mechanisms to get the final product.

    When the new drug is tested, they test it usually only to see it's strength and whether it is similar to an original drug (and whether it has some strange side effects).

    But on the other hand, I don't believe that they do tests like:

    1. an original drug had dizziness in 5 patients out of 100, and breathing problems in 10 patients out of 100

    2. now, imagine that a generic drug will have: dizziness in 10 patients out of 100 and breathing problems in only 5 patients out of 100

    Or, if this happens, they will probably say: ok, this is quite similar and there are no new major side effects.

    So, it can happen (since the drugs will be created in a slightly different way) that they will both have the same "end product" like lowering blood pressure or lowering heart rate, but it is possible that one version will be 10-20% stronger or weaker, that some versions will work for 12 hours, and others for only 10, or that a peak time of protection of one drug is after 2 hours, while for the other drug it is after 3-4 hours.

    Also, you will have one set of side effects on one drug and a totally different set of side effects on the other drug.

    So, my personal advice is: whenever you are taking some drugs, if you "like" the first version, then remember the manufacturer and stick to that one.

    If you are having sie effects, you can always try a 2nd or 3rd version of the same drug from a different manufacturer to see whether a different version will suit you better.

    Each person is different and each of us have different side effects.

    So, sometimes it is worth to try 2-3 different types of the same drug.

    Also, if you felt way better on the first version, stick to it and ask your doc to prescribe you exactly THAT version each time.


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  • Posted

    Thanks Ivanoff and Bob!

    As it turns out my doctor was great! He re-wrote my prescription specifying the brand of bisoprolol that I wanted. I spoke to a couple of chemists. One said they had the Mylan brand in stock and would hold one back for me. Result! They couldn't order the specific brand for me in future, though, so I spoke to another chemist who said they would. They will also attempt to source specific brands for the Losartan and Doxazosin that I am taking. I hope this all works out to plan!

    ?I think that going forward I will stay loyal to one chemist if it helps with brand choice and consistency. I don't want to flit from one brand to another on the whim of a supplier and having a good ongoing relationship with a chemist who are prepared to 'go the extra mile' for you seems increasingly important given my experiences with BP medication so far.

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    • Posted

      Good news Milco...glad you got a result...I agree with having a good relationship with the chemist and Doctor for that matter, just being able to talk is half the battle.....Keep checking each time you get a new supply...Don't let them back track.....Best wishes...Ivanoff

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  • Posted

    Bad news! The chemist which said they could order the Mylan-branded bisoprolol let me down. When I went to pick up the presecription they said they had been unable to order it (despite earlier telling me that it should be no problem). They offered me a choice of either Sandoz (which I had already tried and didn't like) or Almus. I was so fed up with trying to get hold of the Mylan brand that I gave in and took the Almus. Same problem. Within 40 minutes of taking it my brain turns to mush and I become sluggish and lethargic. On the plus side, the doxazosin and losartan that they provided is fine...

    ?...so I am now thinking that I might ask my doctor to split my prescription in two. One prescription will have the doxazosin and losrtan which I shall present as usual. The other will contain the bisoprolol, which I will hawk round every chemist in Liverpool until I manage to source the Mylan brand. It's a pain, but what else can I do?

    ?Honestly, this whole brands thing is a nightmare. My doctor does his best to help but chemists just shrug their shoulders and think you're being 'picky'.

    ?Will update in a couple of weeks when the next prescription comes around!

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  • Posted

    My Bisoprolol brand is differant again, its by Accord, I was only taking half the dose I was told to and have the same syptoms you describe, my lungs now feel like they hardly work, I have been turned into an old man overnight and all I want to do is sleep.
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    • Posted

      Peter, You should go back to your doctor and thell him about this. There is no use in suffering debilitating side-effects. It is their responsibility to ensure that you have an effective treatment that agrees with your make-up and constitution.

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  • Posted

    Update: After my bad experience with Sandoz bisoprolol I spoke to a different chemist about a month ago and asked them if they stocked, or could order, Mylan branded bisoprolol for me. They said they didn't stock that brand but could order it for me and it would be delivered to them on the same day. Hurrah!

    ?Anyway, I presented them with my prescription and said I would come back in couple of days to pick it up. When I returned they said they hadn't been able to order my brand, but had a couple of alternative brands in stock. One was Sandoz, which I rejected immediately. The other was Almus. With a somewhat heavy heart I said I would give it a try -- yet another brand.

    ?I have been taking it for the last two weeks and really struggling with it. For the first week or so it made me very sluggish and lethargic. After two week's adjustment period it just makes me damned tired! This morning I was checking the foil to see how much I had left and for the first time (I had my glasses on) I noticed the branding written on the foil. You guessed it. It was SANDOZ!!! In an Almus packet.

    ?So having gone to all the trouble of changing chemist and discussing my issue with them at great length I end up back on precisely the brand I was desparate to avoid, hidden inside a different box!! SANDOZ. Arrrrrgggggh!!!!!!!

    ?I am going to order a new bisoprolol prescription online today and will probably just hawk it around various chemists until I find someone who stocks Mylan. It's a pain, but nowhere near as big a pain as feeling tired and fuzzy all the time.

    ?Will update.....

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  • Posted

    Oh my God! Oh my actual God! I have just picked up my latest bisoprolol prescription, so I went to the chemist where I first obtained my favourite Mylan brand and asked what brand of bisoprolol they had in stock. The pharmacist had a quick look and the answer came back 'Sandoz'. Damn! That is the brand I have been taking for the last month and the one that gives me the worst side-effects. (The side-effects have reduced as the month has gone on, but I am still keen to try and source my old brand, Mylan).

    ?Anyway, after I indicated my disappointment, she had another look on a different shelf and found my Mylan brand. Eureka!! Not only that, but they had ten packets of the stuff and said they would put them in a drawer for me -- so I am now sorted for the next ten months!

    ?I suppose the moral of this story is this: if you are keen on one particular brand because you feel it works better, or just has fewer side effects, then go back to the chemist where you first got hold of it. Even though chemists stock different brands over time, you have a better chance of them either stocking or ordering your favourite brand if you go to someone who has stocked that brand in the past rather than just going to random chemists who probably use a different supplier.

    ?Anyway, I will switch tomorrow back to Mylan brand bisoprolol. Fingers crossed that this change-over goes OK and I start to notice fewer side effects. That would be such a result!

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  • Posted

    Hi All,

    New to the forum as I just came across this thread about Bisoprolol and the problem with keeping the same brand.

    Have been on Teva 5mg tablets for many years and can tolerate them, though I did find the odd brand did not agree with me in the early days.

    However this year seems Teva 5mg has disappeared and every time I get a prescription its a different brand.

    Had some Mylan and they were ok, but now have Niche Generics and they nearly knock me out, nausea and giddiness etc.

    Have been round many chemists but seems most are in the same boat, part of a group and they just get the brands they are given.

    Found one helpful independent, but they only had Sandoz in stock, but did ring round 3 different suppliers for Teva or Mylan tablets but none at all.

    So from reading this thread seems I should ask the GP for a new script but seems that would just get me more of the same.

    Have seen mention of Accord and Cardicor, are these the 'original' brands ? (like  the now obsolete Monocor I used to have)  or are they still classed as a generic.

    If they are the former then the GP may be loathed to specify them at it will cost them a lot more.

    ( one chemist said that for the generic bisoprolol they get just 68p per pack back from the NHS)

    Any suggestion of the best way forwards...



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    • Posted

      About the original brand, from my experience, the original brand doesn't need to be "the best".

      I tried a few versions of Bisoprolol and around 5-6 brands of Nebivolol (the newest BB, which should on paper produce less side effects), and with Nebivolol, each brand was different.

      On some you would get huge dizziness and minor breathing problems. 

      On others you would get minor dizziness and extreme breathing problems.

      So, side effects existed on each brand.

      But a strength of a specific side effect was different on each brand, if it makes any sense...

      So, I have found a one which had the mildest side effects for my taste, and it was not an original brand.

      Sandoz was the best for me.

      On the other hand, when I tried the original (Bystolic) and a German original version of that drug, I didn't like them. It was impossible to breathe (in my case).

      What I am trying to say: sometimes "the original" brand is not the answer.

      You will have to find the one brand which suits you the best, regardless if it is the original or generics.

      In some cases, you will like a generic better.

      But then, each generic is also different.

      And on one, you may feel fine, while on the other, you won't be able to get out of bed.

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    • Posted

      Hi George, it can be a nightmare getting the brand that suits you best, as Bob says and I agree that the generic brand isn't always the best.  I used to take Cardicor and had a dreadful 6 years.  I had no idea that different brands produced different side effects.  We are all different and now that I am on Sandoz,I am good.  The Chemists order their drugs and have control (as I understand it) as to what they order and the brands they order too.  My Chemist ensures that she orders Sandoz for me and from what I hear, she cares the same for other patients as well.  I had an appointment with the Cardio Physiologist on Friday and she inferred that they are hearing more and more, that patients are having so many different side effects.  I wonder if it might be worth having a chat with one of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Charities and ask their advice?  I have found them brilliant in the past, particularly when the NHS isn't there for me.  The Arrhythmia Alliance is one that I am familiar with, so give them a go - assuming that you have arrhythmia??  I hope you get sorted and if I think of anything else, I'll let you know.  Regards, Denise.

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