I was on lexapro for my fibromyalgia, to improve my sleep quality (at a slightly lower dose than is normally used for depression).
When I switched from a decent private insurance to medicare, I couldn't afford most of my medications. I switched to amitriptyline (a much older antidepressant that has a side effect of sleepiness).
The amitriptyline not only worked better as a sleep aid (because sleepiness was a pro, not a con), it also helped elevate my mood and outlook. It worked BETTER than the lexapro.
I've had several medications replaced with cheaper alternatives, and most have worked as well or better than the more expensive version I had been taking.
Health care and insurance costs in this country could be slashed, if doctors would just prescribe the cheapest drug that was effective (or at least offered patients the choice, to try a cheaper medication first). Instead, they prescribe what they perceive as the newest and best. And patients often don't ask about the cost, because they also think that newest and most expensive means it works better (which has NOT been my experience).
Some of the "improvements" in drugs are very small. For example I have one med that I now have to take twice a day instead of the newer version of the med which I only had to take once a day. That's the only difference between my old medication and the new one. I save more than $100, just by being willing to take two pills a day instead of one.
Maybe there are some people who consider the convenience of one pill instead of two worth the $100 per month, but shouldn't patients be informed of and given the choice?
My doctor is very willing to work with us on price. He has the Walmart and Sam's club $4 list in his blackberry and even if he prescribes a new med, he'll check there first to see if there's a med on the list that will work. For example when hubby had an ear infection, he checked the $4 list for the antibiotic.
I've only had one case of the cheaper version working not quite as well as the original, and I still haven't decided whether the difference is big enough to justify the $40 additional expense.
Last edited by kaplods : 08-02-2010 at 05:19 PM.