British Lung Foundation
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Problems with generic cabocisteine

The last twice I have been dispenseda generic carbocisteine made by Arrow Generics (blue and cream capsules). I find the shell is to hard and they can split as I push them out of the blister pack. I have told the pharmacist who has said others have complained as well. Is anyone else having the same problem? Mucodyne is no longer protected and in Hertfordshire we now have to have the generic.


6 Replies

I have had these a couple of times..i dont like them i find them hard to swallow.Prefer the all yellow ones made by Aventis.


Yes alanjudy, I've had this problem a few times with the blue/cream capsules. I thought I was being too 'enthusiastic' when pushing them out :)


I raised the issue of generics with our practice manager at our patient/practice meeting this week. He said that in light of the huge savings the NHS has to make over the next year or two, use of generics will become more and more common. There will be far less proactive testing for example too - all in the name of economy, yet all likely to end up as false economies. As interventions take place at a far later stage in a patients decline, they will become far more difficult and costly to treat, to say nothing of the increased cost to the patients help.

One of our members currently using a generic drug stated that she felt it really wasn't working as well as her previous medication and asked if this was all just 'in her head'. The reply came that while the actual drug content of generics had to be the same, economies were often made in the mixers/fillers/coatings added to the drug in making the tablet, capsule, or medicine concerned. This sometimes resulted - for example -in a capsule not dissolving as quickly or as effectively. That said, overall generics can make huge savings while working perfectly well in many cases. It will be interesting to look back a few years from now to see how many changes have noticeably impacted on our treatments or those of our friends and families. P.


Hiya all, as a pharmacy dispenser maybe I can help,

Carbocisteine is the generic name and hence the cheapest. Mucodyne is a brand and more expensive. It maybe pennies, it may be a lot, I shall check next week in work.

Firstly, what you get depends on what your GP prescribes. If they write Carbocisteine on your prescription, the pharmacist has the choice to give you that or a brand like Mucodyne. However, please note if the pharmacist gives you the brand mucodyne, they are doing so at a loss as they will not be paid for it. They will only get paid as per the prescription, for carbocisteine. Hence why most pharmacists will give you the generic.

However, if your GP writes mucodyne on your prescription you MUST have mucodyne only. The pricing authority will pay them for the mucodyne and if they give you the cheaper carbocisteine then it is fraud (a few exceptions apply) and simply not allowed.

So a few tips to all;

Build a great relationship where possible with your Surgery.

Build a great relationship with your pharmacy and it is best to use the same one as you will get to know each other, they will get to know your medical history and

please don't underestimate the knowledge and assistance a good pharmacist can provide.

Also, my dad now has Mucodyne syrup instead of the capsules. He says he finds it better. Don't be afraid to request a change of the form of medicine, ie, from tablets to capsules if it is easier to swallow or to medicine form. You can get virtually anything on prescription today (apart from Brad Pitt) so please ask your surgery. And trust me, a thankyou card, Christmas card and even a box of chocs to the surgery staff will go a long way in them remembering you and helping you more. And your pharmacy dispensers lol!!!!!

Hope that helps, feel free to ask anything ok.


My doctor has recently changed my Mucodyne 375 mg caps for the generic Carbocisteine, probably encouraged by the government.

I now wake up in the middle of the night with my nasal passages blocked, dry mouth and troubled breathing, after nine years of Mucodyne working flawlessly.

She has prescribed a nasal spray to be taken before bed (which I do not use as I am already on 8 tablets and 3 inhalers) so where is the saving ?


I use the blue yellow arrow make as I am allergic to the bright orange ones and yellow ones yes I found if you press the capsule out with yellow side the break so I always make sure I press with blue this month I being given teva brand but unfortunately they are yellow so will have to take them back I can only use pale yellow pale blue on whatever brand


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