Hydrocodone-acetaminophen 10/325 By Mallinckrodt

Jennifer Says:

My pharmacy changed my meds from the yellow 10-325 v 3601 norco to the 10-325 white m367 mallinckrodt. I've been taking the yellows for years with no problems. Today I started the whites and feeling dizzy, a little weak, kind of panicky. What is different about the two meds that would cause this?

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don Says:

hi i take the 10-325 hydrocodone apap tablet malli and i was takeing the yellow 10-325 witch helped me i have a very bad back and spine problems the whit pills do noting but give me headackes and upset stomack i have been on vicodin for many years now that the drugs store gave me the white pills they do not work but make me sick what can i do?

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Verwon Says:

Hello, Jennifer and Don! How are you both? I am very sorry about the problems that you're having.

There can be slight fluctuations in the amount of the active ingredients, from one generic to another, though as I said they are very slight and don't cause problems for most people. However, if you've been taking one from a specific manufacturer for a very long time, then suddenly switch, it could affect you more than other people that don't take it regularly. From the symptoms you've both described, my guess would be that these white ones are slightly lower than the yellow ones were.

Normally, since the differences are very slight, your body adjusts after about a week or so.

How long have you both been taking them?

This is a narcotic analgesic, so it has the potential to be habit forming and may cause side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth and constipation.

Another alternative would be to speak to your respective doctors about the problem and perhaps try a different medication.

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RhoRhoRho Says:

I have had the same problem in spades. I am in so much pain and they are making it harder and harder to get my medication. Regarding the generic drugs not working, I finally mailed samples of the Amneal Norco (which does nothing; may as well take an M&M) to the manufacturer and contacted the FDA about it. The FDA responded that they are "within legal limits" regarding the amount of the actual active ingredient (Hydrocodone). When I pressed the FDA rep, he explained that manufacturers are allowed to VARY THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT AS MUCH AS TWENTY (20) PERCENT IN EITHER DIRECTION from the brand name! So rather than 10 MG., you could get either 8MG or 12 MG per pill and that is just fine by the FDA!. Unbelievable. If I can help others, the Watson GENERIC (not name brand) works the best, has probably 10 MGs as advertised. Qualitest probably has about 9 MGs; it does take the edge off the pain at least. Amneal is useless. I find it hard to believe that they have even 8 MG. I'd rather take a 5MG Watson any day.

In any case, everyone will try to tell you that "it is in your head" and the generic drugs are all the same. They are NOT. And you are being lied to. Our FDA is shameless for allowing this to take place legally: A VARIATION BY AS MUCH AS 40% OF THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT IN GENERIC DRUGS. It is NOT in your head. Watsons are impossible to come by anymore. If you can get Qualitest, that is the best you can hope for. Sorry.

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Verwon Says:

Hello, RhoRhoRho! How are you? I'm sorry that you have also been having problems.

And yes, that is correct, the generics are allowed to different from the name brand, in the amount of the active ingredients, by as much as plus or minus 20%. For most people, this is an insignificant difference, but for people that are very sensitive to medications, it can cause problems.

Issues can also arise when going from one generic to another, because they aren't required to measure against each other, only against the name brand. Thus, someone could have been taking a generic that had more of the active ingredient in it and then suddenly be switched to one that has less. Using your example, some might be experiencing a sudden jump from 12mgs down to 8mgs.

Are there any other questions or concerns?

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RhoRhoRho Says:

Well, if I was an attorney, I would file suit or try to find some way to challenge this ridiculous FDA policy regarding generic drugs. It is dangerous to allow this much of a difference between generic drugs. Now, they've made it nearly impossible to even get the worst generics regardless of your level of pain or your situation. I'm just appalled and have lost all faith in our healthcare system. Every part of it is broken. And the FDA is at the top of this list of agencies that need reform.

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Verwon Says:

I do understand how you feel, they also keep changing things and making it much more difficult for many people to get the help they need.

I feel bad for everyone and wish there was something that could be done.

How are you feeling?

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RhoRhoRho Says:

I was able to refill my prescription for the Qualitest (yellow tablets) and am getting used to the SIGNIFICANTLY lower dose again. But I am hurting, and I had to drive several miles to find a pharmacy that is still filling opiate prescriptions. I live in greater Los Angeles... so I hope that gives an indication of how ridiculous this is. It was pharmacy #14, which means I contacted 13 other pharmacies first who said they will no longer fill prescriptions of Norco since it was made a class II drug. I don't understand why people in pain are being punished because of the illegal actions of drug addicts. This is so wrong!

I'm trying not to be bitter--but then

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Verwon Says:

Please don't worry about it. You have ever right to be upset, I understand. There have been many people like you posting recently. It is a shame and none of you should have to suffer.

I'm glad you found a place to fill it, though.

Are there any other questions or concerns?

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RhoRhoRho Says:

No, I just hope to help others going through this same frustration. The generic drugs are not the same--and when online forums tell people that "they are all equivalent and it is all in your head", I need to say something. :-)

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Verwon Says:

Yes, far too many people do repeat that same stuff, without knowing the facts.

For anyone interested, the details can be found under the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984.

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blankfrank Says:

The 10 & 325 portions should be pretty equivalent between manufacturers. The inactive portions are quite different. The solubilities of Qualitest and Mallinckrodt are very different. The Malli's dissolve rapidly in hot water, the Quali's take time to dissolve. The absorption rates are therefore different. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME...and the pharmacist treats you like a KooK if you say they are different. I got stuck with Malli's this time. Never again, keep trying & you will find a pharmacy that carries Qualitest or Amneal. The problem with the Mallinckrodt pills is that they give me VERY BAD HEADACHES & make me VERY DIZZY. Sure they relieve pain but you end up with 2 very unpleasant side effects.

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RhoRhoRho Says:

When you say, "The 10 & 325 portions should be pretty equivalent between manufacturers," you are incorrect. (Sorry, but people need to understand what the FDA has done to generic drugs--and this statement is just not true.)

In fact, the active ingredients in a generic drug can vary by as much as FORTY (40) PERCENT from one generic drug to another. So if you have a headache, nausea, shakes, etc. and you have just changed to a different generic after being on the same generic for years, then you could very well be feeling withdrawal symptoms because you are now getting 40% less of the active ingredient(s) than in the past. Alternatively, you could be extremely intoxicated and cause grave harm to yourself or others should the pharmacy give you a generic with 40% MORE of the active ingredient that you are used to taking and you get behind the wheel.

This is a truly shameful policy that the FDA has put into place. My father is on blood thinners--and per his doctor, it is CRITICAL that he get the same generic every time because the huge variation from one generic to another could cause him to either bleed to death or develop a blood clot. A 40% variance between different manufacturers of the same generic drug is unbelievably dangerous, yet it is completely legal for drug companies to do this. (I actually spoke to someone at the FDA who told me all of this--I just really couldn't believe what he was telling me.)

How many lives have been lost because of this harmful and reckless generic drug policy?! How many overdoses (opiates), suicides (antidepressants), and car crashes (any one of a number of sedative or opioid drugs) will it take for them to change it?! Nope. They won't. They just point fingers at the patients and say they are "abusers". No one even TALKS about this when people overdose! But I am absolutely certain that this policy is causing opiate deaths.

This policy has caused me and my family great harm and it wasn't until last year that I learned what was really going on. You cannot trust generic drugs. But sadly, insurance will NOT pay for name brand drugs. And while doctors know all about this, they are loathe to insist on name brands because they are hassled continuously by insurance companies for doing so. And if they write a specific generic on the prescription, you will just be turned away by one pharmacy after another. They will NOT get the generic you need because it costs them too much--and the insurance companies won't reimburse them. So they buy the cheapest possible generic drugs from India. And they don't work.

The U.S. healthcare system is SO broken.

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Marie Says:

Is there a pharmacy in Los Angeles County that has hydrocodone 10-325 (yellow) manufactured by Qualitest? I can not take the white.

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RhoRhoRho Says:

Sorry, I don't know the answer to your question... but I wanted to let you know that there are many different varieties of "white" Norco. The generic "white Norco" manufacturers I'm aware of are Amneal, Tris Pharma, and Malincrodt (sp?). None of these generic drugs have anywhere near 10MG of hydrocodone in them (usually closer to 8 MG). Unless you have little to no tolerance, they will not help with acute or chronic pain. The Qualitest generic (which is yellow) probably has between 9-10MGs, and the Watson generic (White) likely has close to 10MGs. This is because Watson is also the company that makes the brand-name drug, Norco.

Norco has gotten very difficult to find in any pharmacy besides Walgreens. (Walgreens has the white Watson Norco, but my insurance won't cover it--and it costs $95 per prescription if I go outside of my insurance network.) But if you can go to Walgreens--that would be my suggestion. CVS has Malinkrodt--you may as well take sugar pills; and all the little mom-and-pop pharmacies are hit and miss. One month they'll have Qualitest and all is well; the next month, they have Tris Pharma and I'm in complete agony all month long.

I hope this helps a little. I know it is very frustrating to realize that many generic drugs on the market do not work and that as a consumer, you have no recourse but to take these sub-standard, low-quality pills and suffer through the pain. Good luck!

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blankfrank Says:

Unfortunately, I suspect you are correct in your statement implying that the mallinckrodt 10/325 tablets contain less hydrocodone than other brands. They are the only brand I ever tried where there was no constipation associated with taking this medication. However, since pharmacists will INSIST all brands are the same, I choose to focus on the negative side effects of the mallinckrodt tablets. Anyway, one more reason not to use mallinckrodt, even if you have to pay out of pocket at Walgreens. Funny, everyone else takes my insurance.

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BL Says:

If a brand has 10 mg of an active ingredient, the generic can have 8 mg-12 mg of the active ingredient.

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Julia Says:

This doesn't make sence. If a bottle is labeled 10mg, that is what it must have to be approved. They can't call it 10mg of hydrocodone and have it actually be 8 or 12.

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karen Says:

the generics can vary several milligrams, more or less. doesnt seem right but the regulations allow for the variances. thats why some prescriptions work and some dont. some just dont have the prescribed amount.

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R Says:

I have taken Hydrocodone 10-325 for years for chronic pain. It was the yellow oblong tabs.

This time, however, I went to a different pharmacy that uses a different manufacturer.

As soon as I took the new medication, I had an anaphylactic reaction within 20 minutes.

I believe the manufacturer either has a quality control issue or the pharmacy contaminated the product.

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mama bear Says:

I was switched from a yellow pill (pharma unknown) to a white pill a few months ago that is made by Tris pharma inc. I never considered all the problems that I am having being related to the change. Yes, my pain is so much worse, but I am having bouts of high blood pressure (pain and anxiety both cause this) and have had to take xanax to relieve it. I have xanax but usually did not have to take during day, just to sleep. Stomach problems are worse, severe constipation, having headaches. When I googled generic Norco, I have found all kinds of comments about it being of quality. Very interesting comments here. I was unaware of the FDA regulations. However, it crossed my mind that with the big opiate abuse problems, it is not unrealistic to think that ingredients could not be substituted during compounding. Hey, the coast guard lost 4000 lbs of coke during a bust! sure they did! I googled Tris and they have many really bad employee reviews, who say safety and quality assurance are below adequate. That is not good in the pharm business. I am going to have my meds evaluated. I swear I feel like I am being poisoned.

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Maria Says:

Re: sa5150 (# 182) Expand Referenced Message

Go work in a pharmacy and find out.

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sa5150 Says:

Re: sa5150 (# 182) Expand Referenced Message

Everyone needs to read this, and this is just part of it...


Automation and investment in upgrading facilities is an argument made to distract from the real issue, which was never about capacity, technology or training. It is all about profits, because quality comes at a price. There is a cost to destroying a batch of drugs that doesn’t meet release specifications, and no amount of third-party consultancy or employee retraining will address that issue.

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sa5150 Says:

Re: Maria (# 179) Expand Referenced Message

Lies. You get what's cheapest.

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Tina Says:

How long can patient take Norco 10-Acetaminophen 325 without getting addicted? 1 per day

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Maria Says:

Re: madashell (# 176) Expand Referenced Message

Thank you I appreciate your comments. I too am so exhausted from the pain! I've heard the CDC is supposedly letting up a bit on their recommendations for people with chronic pain who are on opioids. I sure do hope this is true!! I'm fortunate enough to have an excellent doctor that still is willing to prescribe me the meds I need but I've noticed he has been trying to get me to chose medical marijuana. I can not use this since I have bad reactions to it. He's also recommended buprenorphine. I wish I knew who we could all complain to since there's so many of us seeing that our meds just stopped helping all of the sudden!! I'm trying to help make my pharmacists aware that yes there really are chronic pain patients who actually need these meds and use them appropriately! They should never lump us all into one category! Yes there are proper who do abuse them but do not punish those who do not!!

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Maria Says:

Re: Katie (# 178) Expand Referenced Message

Well which ones are guaranteed? In my pharmacy, we do not order in any special requests for anyone in any controlled meds. We get whatever our suppliers send to us and have no say on which ones they send. We keep running out of C2 pain meds and C2 stimulants that I suppose we’re lucky with whatever they send to us.

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Katie Says:

Re: RhoRhoRho (# 3) Expand Referenced Message

But how do you go about getting the guaranteed ones then? Ask your pharmacy?

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ThunderHeart Says:

Re: RhoRhoRho (# 3) Expand Referenced Message

Amneal was the worst for me! Pure garbage! I despise that drug company. I complained too. I complained at Walgreens and they went to another manufacturer. Amneal is a crap company based in India where there is no regulation. Makes me sick!! This medicine from Amneal is s***!!

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madashell Says:

Re: Maria (# 174) Expand Referenced Message

Thank you for putting it out there so well, you covered it all. I guess the only thing we can do to change this bull is to stick together and raise hell. How else are we going to get noticed? Or, where to go from here? I'm exhausted most all of the time from the pain, but I'll do what I can. Write letters, make calls, ?? Maria, you'd make a great leader-I'm game! It's the only way to change things as you know.

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T Bear Says:

Re: RhoRhoRho (# 12) Expand Referenced Message

Would love to shake your hand.

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