Generic vs/ Brand Name: My son (... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Generic vs/ Brand Name


My son (7) appears very sensitive to meds and dosage. After trying the generic of Ritalin (not the right match), we’re now trying the generic of Addaral XR. I have read that the exact dose of the generic meds can differ slightly (+\- 20%). I am not sure if this is true. Has anyone experienced challenging results with generic but then positive results with the brand name? Thank you!

7 Replies

I’ve heard this from many people throughout my career. Children and adults. (I’m an RN)

I don’t know if the 20% statistic is true?

But I do know some people just don’t respond as well to the generic medicine.

Thanks for sharing with the group in case anyone is experiencing the same thing. Can you tell us more? How do you know it has to do with the generic? Do you try the same drug in name brand and have a totally different experience?

We have so far only tried the generic (Mfg: Actavis) and it seems to be working. My concern is that I have read that our pharmacy can change manufactures with a generic at any time and then there can be subtle changes in the medication. My understanding is that you consistently get the exact same medication when using the brand name.

Hi Amelia,

In regards to generics, I have heard the same, the 20%.

My son is on generic Concerta (methylphenidate hcl).

In doing research, I’ve learned and discovered that there may be issues beyond the +\- %20 of generics.

There are some drugs, such as Concerta specifically (the same formulation as Ritalin, (methylphenidate), that uses proprietary and patented technology to facilitate the release of the drug over an extended period of time.

If there is a brand name medication that has a patented technology that other generics can NOT replicate, it may mean that the drug will not work the same as the true brand drug (the only one that goes through all the vigorous testing needed by the FDA to be approved. The FDA only takes the learned information of the ACTIVE drug used in the brand name drig, but not any specific testing on the new generics themselves.

If the generic Adderall does not need to replicate complicated technology for release, based from the brand name version, then you may be okay.

I personally have NOT seen an overflow of complaint on forums for the generic Adderall, and have seen none through the fda (but my assessment is by no means conclusive!)

To help get a clear picture of what was happening with Concerta, here are two articles:

FDA recalls generic versions of Concerta on the market (after having been on the market for YEARS)

And also here, they have since released NEW generic Concerta medications, changing NOTHING about how they regulate these generics to come into the market to begin with, which gives me sneaking suspicion that the same problems will occur.

Lastly (sorry this post is long!!!)

If you do decide to try out methylphenidate versions of medication for your child again, and Concerta is brought up...

The only Concerta generic you should accept is the ACTAVIS manufactured generic. They have been given temporary rights to the patented technology that Brand name Concerta owns, so it is like taking the brand name itself.

The only pharmacy I have found it at is Walgreens. If you ever do go this route, please call and ask who the manufacturer is of the generic Concerta before filling your prescription, and ask for it specifically.

I’ve read that ACTAVIS contract with the brand Concerta has ended, but the medication is still being made, or is still available, for whatever reason, unbeknownst to me!!!

Hope this very loooonnnnggg post is helpful in any way!!

Best of luck to you,

We are all family through our shared challenges,

All my best,


Thank you Jillian! This is absolutely helpful.

I was actually listening to an ADDitude Magazine podcast recently and the Dr interviewed shared this concern about generic Concerta. It’s ADDitude Magazine podcast #149. Here is info on it:

“William Dodson, M.D., shares ADHD medication treatment guidelines for clinicians. Learn about the different stimulant formulations, how to optimize the dose while minimizing side effects, and which ADHD impairments don't respond to medication.”

Take care,


Well I know what I’ll be listening to at work today ;D thanks for the info!!

Amelia212- This is all great info. to heat but I am unclear what it means to have a sensitive to a generic drug? For example: I use a migraine drug that went generic and the only difference I saw was the cost it over $325 each time I filled it for 9 pills ( I didn't pay that, my insurance did) but I did feel any difference.

Unless a child tried a genetic and it didn't work then the doctor gave then the non genetic and it worked, I would wonder if the chemical make up is different?

Just curious?

Great discussion because most insurances only cover genetic medication, or you pay more out of pocket.

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