Mallinckrodt Cheap Hydrocodone Returns!

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Painfully Frustrated Says:
 
I'm sure they're more than a few of you out there that might be returning to look into basically the same problems with Mallinckrodt Pharm"s Hydrocodone/APAP 7.5/325, commonly referred to as Norco. About 4 years ago, Mallinckrodt dumped a bunch of this product on the US market. I have been taking Norco for about 12 years & have always been at about the same dose and never had any problems until I ran into this brand. I've had Actavis, Watson, & Qualtest brands with relatively no noticeable difference. Then four years ago, I filled my usual prescription and came home to find a different shaped tablet with M366 on the side. Almost immediately after my first dose, first came the stomach ache, then the headache, and eventually the feeling of withdrawal. I went to the web and found thousands of people with the exact same story. I had disagreements with both Pharmacists on-line and at local pharmacies because they insist the difference is "in my head". With one, I finally told him I would be willing to bet anything I could take doses blindfolded and within 30 minutes tell him over and over again what brand I had consumed. I understand this is not what pharmacists are taught in school, but my line of work is telecommunications and I can truly say, I have seen things in that field that text books say cannot happen. Anyway, I felt somewhat relieved when finally a recall of all Mallinckrodt's hydrocodone along with several other drugs came from the government. What I was told by one pharmacist was that Mallinckrodt had been caught light-dosing their medicines so many times, finally they suspended all sales in the US because they had been warned "multiple" times that they had quality control issues. I was just relieved I wouldn't be blindsided with their cheap medicines ever again. Asking a pharmacy, "Have you changed brands" does little good as I twice got this trash after being told they had not. Explanation given was that they fill generic drugs and I had been getting generic drugs all along? Of course, that was the reason for not allowing me to return the unused pills and getting my prescription returned to me. And so, today arrives after over 3 years of never seeing any Mallinckrodt products. I obtained my usual script and went to the pharmacy, got home and looked at these pills and couldn't believe this was happening again. But I thought, they had such problems a couple years back, surely this has been corrected. So I took 2 tablets and within ten minutes got the stomach ache and began to feel like I have a fever. Same as I did 4 years ago along with the countless people who posted their stories and the thousands more who suffered the same but never bothered to write about it. I will tell you, I am quite angry this time. I called the pharmacy and told them the story. They said the usual, all brands are the same and that they would not replace what I have, even if I was willing to pay for it again. So I called the Doctor. He was worried that, no matter the reason, legally it's like I received two prescriptions in one day and "you know what the government looks at", finally telling me to try to get by until next time. So now angry doesn't quite describe what I'm feeling as now getting into the evening of day 1 with these cheap pills, the withdrawal is setting in pretty heavy now. I'm so frustrated, I finally called Mallinckrodt's US Headquarters in St.Louis, MO. Eventually they had me speak to one of their "pharmacy staff" and I got the same tune I heard 4 years ago from every pharmacist. So, I asked a couple questions I never had before. Was your company's version of this product not recalled 4 years ago and finally suspended from the marketplace? Wasn't the reason for the suspension that your product was under-dosed? Have you received other complaints about this product from distributors or end users? To all answers, I was told Mallinckrodt had no comment. Folks, this has been going on for too long. I realize many people out there feel that anyone who takes a medication in this or any similar drug class is automatically considered to be a "junkie" and deserves all the pain and inconvenience one gets. I have seen both sides of this and I will say the people who have never had an injury, been shot or fragged fighting for your country, or had to endure a disease that eats away at your body everyday really should just stay out of the conversation. At least don't condemn the person who had every evaluation and treatment done by a medical doctor, usually many medical doctors, and has arrived at a point where you can't eat or sleep without taking something stronger than a OTC NSAID like Ibuprofen or Naproxen. We all aren't out selling it or driving around in a compromised mental condition. In any case, I know if I'm going through this as I did just 3 or 4 years ago, thousands others are suffering through the same thing and the frustrating thing is the bottom line cause of this is just plain money. The sad part is, in a couple of days I won't feel well enough to do anything. And it will get worse until my 30 days is up. Are there any politicians or members of state pharmaceutical boards reading this that wonder why illegal opiate use has more than tripled in the US in just 5 years? What I'd like to do is try to get enough people who are or have dealt with this issue to start talking and start telling this company we won't use their medications any longer. Surely the group of affected individuals includes some lawyers. Has there been enough history and enough people and enough suffering to talk about a legal suit? If anyone out there questions the validity of this argument, call your local walgreens and ask for a price for say 50 tablets of this medication. After you get your answer ask if they have a "brand" name available in the same. When the second price is almost 10 times the price of the first, ask what brand name they carry. It the same as the generic. I did this less than 6 months ago, $30 for generic, $300 for name brand. Same manufacturer. Bio-equivalent? Really? I invite you to check this out for yourself, and since almost all insurances force you to accept whatever is cheapest with any medication, it ought to upset just about everybody. If anyone is as fed up with this issue and the company.

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Mark Says:
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I had the misfortune of having their 5/325 Percocet about 20 years ago. At that time I was taking 5/325 Roxicet for about 5 years with no issues. There was a shortage of Roxicet and the pharmacy gave me this Mallinckrodt generic 5/325 Percocet and it was like taking a placebo! It was a long suffering 30 days! I always asked the pharmacist before filling my prescription if they were using the Mallinckrodt generic after that. The pharmacist said that they had so many complaints about the Mallinckrodt 5/325 Percocet that they would never carry it again.

It's no surprise to me that Mallinckrodt hydrocodone hcl pill is just as worthless as their Percocet generic. The bad news is the chain pharmacies don't care and the government doesn't care either because addicts can't feel high on them, but the people who actually need the pain relief are the victims of this whole opiate out of control mentally that has ruined the lives of suffering Americans. All they care about are addicts who take this stuff of their own free will and then everyone is outraged at anything and everything except the addicts who did this of their own free will. Personal accountability just flew right out the window, the legitimately suffering Americans are now 3rd class citizens and are the victims. Not some poor me addict!

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Karen Says:
 
I take norco also but the manufacture is ACTAVIS which the do not work they should be investigated I have gotten Norco from Qualatest not sure of the spelling and they work I Understand that Walgreens carries the Actavis for Norco and when I told them they are not working they tell me that the only thing that changed was they took the dye out of them that's a crock cause alot of other ppl complain about them also ever since Actavis took over for Watson other pills aren't the same

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GA Pain Patient Says:
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Sorry but I didn't have time to read your entire post but wanted to let you know I've gone through the same thing with another narcotic. For years they were banned from the US and now they're back. Because they're so cheap the pharmacies are using them everywhere in georgia. It's Rhodes Pharmacuticals. I called and eventually made a report with the FDA. You MUST do this! I also called and got in touch with a top executive of my pharmacy and told them to look RP up and then explain to me why my pharmacist won't order different meds for me since I've told her it's made me sick and doesn't help my pain. Within that week they called me and said they were no longer using that brand of medicine. It's just a shame we have to deal with these cheap meds to begin with.


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Hbear17 Says:
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Yea there is a big Mallicroft factory in Raleigh NC has All fencing n wires around it. It's still there n people work there,packaging up methadone n all sorts other narcotics

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FallenAngel 747 Says:
 
This is not just a single issue, I have had this with a brand of OxyContin (slow release oxycodone). The brand was Longtec 20mg and I had just had it put up from two 10mg Longtec and three 5mg Shortec (oxycodone normal release) which made 35 mg per day which was not quite helping with my 3 year old shattered lower leg. So I was given two Longtec 20mg making 40 mg in all upping my dose by 5 mg. Now Longtec were claiming 12 hour action. After 7 hours I started to go into withdrawal very quickly, and trust me I know what that is, just as you describe. I waited out 5 hours then took another hoping it probably had to build up in my body. A whole week went by, same issue, 7 or 8 hours in, pain and very quick withdrawal setting in (seems to be an issue with oxycodone as opposed to other opiates or opioids). So I phoned the chemist and doctor but was met with the same attitude you describe, I challenged them to tell me why should I be worse off taking 5 mg extra but was not believed... but being my own Guinea pig I knew 8 hours was the limit of these 'supposed' 12 hour slow release tablets. I tried to get around it by chopping them into halfs then quarters and doing away with the time release function altogether but could never cut them accurately. After two months I decided to do a web search, and there it was, many people and actual studies proving what I found out so harshly myself.

I went back to the doctor, flourished my iPad to show him how I had been right all along..... he must have took a dislike to this but I actually have and continue to study drug mechanism of actions in a professional capacity so told him quite plainly.... put me on dihydrocodeine. He offered me two 30mg tablets to which I replied was only 10 to 20% the opiate equivalence depending on which chart you choose to believe. I think he was a bit more taken aback that a patient should have this knowledge....... what he didn't know was my past studies into all sorts of things for organizations that it is not appropriate for me to mention here or to him, and my knowledge of precursors and differing synthesis for the same types of medication. I ended up getting three 30mg per day which I thought was a bit cruel, used a private pharmacy until I changed doctors to have my dose put up to therapeutic levels again. But my point here is there are faults with pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.... I have known this for years so if anyone is ever told that the medication they receive is exactly the same but a different brand.... in most cases it can be true, but differences using cheaper synthesis can affect the quality and even toxicity. Just a footnote.... did you know that paracetamol (Tylenol, acetaminophen) is highly toxic to the liver, so never exceed the maximum dose of 1000 mg 4 times daily and less if renal or liver function is impaired; you are better off with opiates which have next to no toxicity but carry the risk of addiction which I am sure I don't need to say really but there you go.

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Tammy Says:
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I was in pain mang for 14 years finialy got tired of up and down wit pain meds I put myself in a rehab I'm clean now was in for 5 days now I owe 17.000 hospital bill it's all about money not helping people makes me sick

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FallenAngel 747 Says:
 
I had better add this as an edit to previous reply, Oxycodone is a semi synthetic opiate (meaning it's sourced organically but synthethsised further like dihydrocodeine is from codeine. But oxycodone actually comes from the poisonous part of the opium poppy... thebaine. I make no claim as to toxicity of this medication but knowing what I do I prefer to stick to the less synthesised parts of the opium product.... my experience with oxycodone was not good.... also due to differing synthesising methods a drug that's supposedly the same may have been produced with different chemicals and because we are all different, and adding binders, fillers, and quality control into the equation... all these factors can produce different results in different people which is why some people find one make can suit them over another, for example Valium (diazepam) has many synthesising methods but the end result is still diazepam.

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Mireya Says:
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To painfully frustrated person. You are so correct. Equivalent or Generic medications are NOT the same in any way. I have proven that with the Oxycodone pills which name brand is Percocet. Many of us end up taking more medication because it doesn't have the same consistency but leaving us with generic medications because of the outrageously priced brand names. I reached to a conclusion that they do know the difference except that this is for the money and NOT for the well being of humanity. Taking generic mefications carries you to take more medications making them more money and then comes that you need more medication then doctors hesitate to give you or continue to give the prescription because they reach to their own conclusion that the patient is addicted to the medication when you know all along that's not true. If brand name medications were provided, all patients would consume less and could avoid getting sick from the liver or kidneys.

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Frankie Says:
 
So HAPPY to finally see I am not the only "nut case" who's complaining. My story .. Was given Oxycodone/acetomin 5 mg by Rhodes Mfg. I itched to death. Was then given same by Alvogen Mfg .. Had a full blown headache all next day. Today, asked Dr. For Activis Mfg. will see how that works. CVS and Walgreens keep changing manufacturers probably getting the best deal and WE ARE SUFFERING. Might have to resort to drinking as there's no problems there. You can get what you want and unlimited quantities with no problem.

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Mickey Says:
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Am tried of cheap meds. I think I received same norco, but didn't make me sick, just doesn't touch the pain. Same as my soma. All gerniaric

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Bill Says:
 
I'm not surprised.... I used to use Qualitest Endocets and recently my pharmacy switched to Mallinckrodt. After the first day I realized that I was taking almost twice what I should be taking to get any relief from my back issues. I called my doctor and pharmacy immediately and was told by the pharmacy that they couldn't get them anymore because the insurance companies would not pay enough for the extra cost of them! I found only one pharmacy in the entire area that still carried them, but also found out that if your doctor will put the actual name brand of the ones you need on the prescription the insurance company will cover the cost and I can now again get them at my regular pharmacy....go figure! With the Mallinckrodt I might as well have been taking breath mints! No issues aside from no relief.

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Curious80 Says:
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Ok I have an interesting reply to all these messages. If you think there is a difference between brand and generic you would be absolutely....right. I used to be a pharmacist before I became chronically ill. Here is the deal with generic opiates and this does not apply to other types of medication. Also this does happen with more than just Mallinckrodt. But I do agree that company sucks a lot. Anyways, for opiates the FDA allows the generic to be up to 25% less effective than the brand and still be considered a generic for that brand. So the generic companies use cheap original ingredients in order to save money. The brand name companies and actually some of the better generic companies use the best starting ingredients to make the end product. Kind of like making a drink with top shelf vodka vs. the cheap stuff. So as long as the drug is 75% percent effective the FDA will approve the generic version. It is not in your head, it is real, and it is legal. Bs but legal. And surprisingly most pharmacists do not even know this little piece of info. They taught us just like you said genetics are the same and they drilled that into our heads. I just so happen to be an obsessive compulsive type A personality who researches everything. After my pancreas began to fail me and the extreme non stop pain started I began to research pain medicine more than i ever had in a school. You can find this information on the FDA website actually they just don't advertise it. It sucks so much to pay the brand name prices and I actually couldn't afford them myself, but you really are paying for the real true better product. My insurance is kind of cool because of my disability I get to have brand name pain medicine for no cost to me. I wish I could give my insurance to you all. I don't want any of us to feel the pain we do. But just for memory one more time......the generic drugs are allowed to be 25% percent less effective than the brand by law for opiates. Love you all and God bless

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Twin Says:
 
I just went through 8 months of complete aggravation after getting the same medication that had worked for years with no issue and I picked up my Prescription in September 2016 and it didn't feel the same. I asked the pharmacy if they gave me the wrong med. the only change was a new manufacturer. I have been told it is in my head. Finally 8 months later I was switched to a new med. it has been awful. I am very upset that it took this long and no one would listen to me. I an grateful to read these stories.

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Natasha Says:
 
I also was changed to Norco 5/325 mfg. by Mallinckrodt. I have been receiving the Qualtest, Actavis and Watson brands for over three years. My ins. company Kaiser has totally changed to Mallinckrodt... there are many web documents regarding this. I find it interesting that, with their ultimate goal of reducing opioid prescriptions and lowering doses (because of their faulty reasoning that chronic pain patients do not benefit from the use of long term opioid pain management) that they gave me the exact "same" (what is written on the label is the same, but that's where the similarity ends!) prescription, but a generic which obviously is formulated incorrectly. I have bad new side effects such as daily headaches, diarrhea, withdrawals setting in between doses, lactose intolerance, and odd rashes. This is NOT an equivalent medication! I spoke to the pharmacist and my doctor and also made a formal written complaint. Nothing is resolved yet.

I know this is going to be a fruitless battle. Qualtest/Activis/Watson are no longer Kaiser vendors. I am going to try and get my meds changed to something else. It has to be in Kaiser's formulary, which I can't imagine there is anything else that would even work.

My life has been totally disrupted, and no one warned me of anything. I, as the patient, had to figure out all this on my own. Very upset...and in pain. This Mallinckrodt med. takes two hours to have ANY effect, and then the 30-40% relief (of the Qualtest, etc. meds provided) lasts only 45 mins. and then I start withdrawal. This happens 4 times a day. Something is terribly wrong with this situation!

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