Concerta Generics – Do They Work?

My son has ADHD. He was diagnosed when he was in Kindergarten. I know there is a lot of stigma (still) around ADHD and a lot of people don’t understand it; or they ignorantly think a parent is being lazy with their kids and that’s why they are the way they are; or my personal favorite, we parents claim our kids are ADHD just so they can get medications to make them calmer. Oh how I wish all of those things were true. Well, maybe not the lazy part. I don’t like being called lazy! Any parent with a child with ADHD knows how important it is when you find a medication that works. The worst thing is when it either stops working, or you can no longer take it for insurance purposes. This happened to us recently when we realized that not all Concerta generics are created equally.

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Concerta Generics – Do They Work the Same?

For years, my son took Concerta. Our insurance paid for the name brand, and that’s what he took. Then, if I understand the history correctly, Concerta worked a deal out with another company to make authorized Concerta generics. He was switched to that with no problems at all. From all of my research, the authorized Concerta generic was basically the EXACT same thing as name brand Concerta. However, everything started to seem like it was going downhill and the medication was no longer working. What happened? How could something that was working, not work anymore? And how can it happen seemingly overnight?

One day I picked up his prescription and the pharmacist let me know that the pill may look different because they switched manufacturers. To be honest, I didn’t think anything of it. I told her thank you and went about my day. Fast forward several months. As I said, things started going downhill. I talked with his doctor and we agreed to try a different medication. This is something NO parent of a child with ADHD wants to do, especially during the school year, but we had no choice. I’d love to say this med change worked, but it didn’t. What the heck happened with his Concerta?

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Not All Generics Are 100% the Same

While the Concerta generics are chemically the same as the name brand drug, they lack the time release delivery system that is unique to Concerta. Remember how I told you Concerta worked out a deal with another company to make an authorized generic? Well, that authorized generic utilized the time release delivery system that is unique to Concerta. So, for my son, it worked just the same as the name brand Concerta. The other Concerta generics…not so much. When the pharmacy switched to the other manufacturer, my son went from having the time release delivery system he needed to literally metabolizing the medication by mid-morning. Ability to focus, went downhill; impulse control, went downhill; everything that was working so well for him, suddenly failed him.

Unfortunately, we are back to trying another medication, however this new medication is in the same family as Concerta. I was not willing to give Adderall a try again after our horrible experience with it. Today is our first day with the new medication. So far so good. Why couldn’t we just get name brand Concerta? With our insurance, if there is a generic available, but we choose the name brand, we have to pay $100 just to have that name brand and then whatever the cost of the medication is. So in this instance, if we wanted name brand Concerta, it was going to cost us $285 a month. Since that is pure insanity, we will give something else a try first, before we commit to that price!

What to do When Generics Don’t Work

After doing a ton of research and finding out that the Janssen/Actavis contract Concerta had for the authorized generic ran out, I began to find out more and more about these so called “Concerta generics”. As soon as that contract ran out, three new generics popped up. Those three manufacturers of the new generics to be on the look for (that do not have ANY good reviews) are:

  1. Trigen Laboratories
  2. Mylan (same company that jacked up the prices of the Epi-pen and were sued)
  3. Impax Laboratories

The manufacturer of the Concerta generic that my son was switched to was by Mylan. Be sure to do your research. Some pharmacies may still have some stock of the Janssen/Actavis Concerta left over, but eventually you will be switched to a different generic as they will no longer be able to get the authorized Concerta generic back. One way to know if your Concerta has the time release delivery system (OROS) that is unique to Concerta is that the pill will be stamped with “Alza”.

We are crossing our fingers that this new medication works for him. Hopefully this article helps you. If your child’s medication seems like it hasn’t been working AND you were switched to a new generic, consider filling out the FDA MedWatch Voluntary Report form online.

10 Year NovaSure Endometrial Ablation Update

When my OB/GYN mentioned the option to have the NovaSure Endometrial Ablation procedure, it was a no brainer for me. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, I was done having kids. The other thing I knew was that I could not keep living the way I was living. At the time, I had two small children and being incapable of getting off the couch for 8-10 days a month (sometimes even longer) because my periods were too heavy and painful, was not working. I was 27 years old when I had it and one of the things the doctor mentioned could happen, is that my periods could potentially return before I hit menopause. It’s been almost 10 years so I thought it would be good to give you a 10 year NovaSure update!

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10 year novasure

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A few years after I had the NovaSure procedure, I thought that it failed. However, it wasn’t until a couple years later that I learned what was going on. At that time, I was put on Metformin because I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Unfortunately, the Metformin caused me to start my period again. Fortunately for me, I was able to change my diet and exercise, lose weight, and no longer be diagnosed as diabetic OR take Metformin. Since then, everything went back to the way it was supposed to be.

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10 year NovaSure Update

This August will mark 10 years since I’ve had the NovaSure Endometrial Ablation. I am currently 37 years old and still many years (I think?!?) away from menopause. As of today, I am happy to report that my periods have not returned. Every once in awhile I will have a little spotting around the time that I would have normally gotten my period, but that only happens every other month or so. Totally not a big deal at all. Making the decision to have the NovaSure procedure was definitely the right decision for me! Will things stay good for me until I finally hit menopause? Who knows! Your guess is as good as mine. What I can say is, 10 years later, I am very happy I went through with it.

If you are having trouble with your periods and you think the NovaSure procedure is right for you, be sure to bring it up to your doctor. Mention my 10 year NovaSure update. But above all, do your research. Not all procedures are right for everyone.

Irritated Eyes Need Cliradex Light

Over the last 25 years, I have almost exclusively worn contacts. I’ve been lucky in that I can count on one hand how many eye infections I’ve had. It’s always impressed my eye doctor that I’ve had so few infections. However, the one thing that I have been noticing lately is how itchy and dry my eyes seem to be. Rubbing our irritated eyes is usually the first thing we do. Unfortunately, that leaves us with red eyes that seem to itch all the more. Adding Cliradex Light to your daily eye health routine can really help alleviate the irritated eyes you’re experiencing.

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What is Cliradex Light?

Cliradex Light is a 100 percent natural, 100 percent organic, 100 percent vegan foam that contains a 4-Terpineol (T40) formula that has been extracted from tea tree oil. This foam is alcohol, fragrance, and preservative free and contains no parabens or sulfates. So you get maximum benefits without any damage to your skin. This is particularly important, as our eyelids and the skin surrounding them can be rather sensitive. Using Cliradex Light daily is great preventative care for your ocular heath.

irritated eyes
Find Relief From These Irritated Eyes Issues

It is recommended that you use Cliradex Light twice a day. Applying the Cliradex Light foam to your eyelids and surrounding skin can help the following issues:

  • Swollen or red eyelids
  • Mild ocular pain or irritation
  • Occasional crusty eyelids
  • Dry or itchy eyes

The T40 found in Cliradex Light does not cause irritation and is a non-toxic/non-sensitizing component of tea tree oil.

My Thoughts on Cliradex Light

I was sent a bottle of Cliradex Light to try out. Initially I was a little skeptical. Like I said, I’ve worn contacts for over 25 years with very few issues. Aside from dealing with occasional dry or itchy eyes. I didn’t really see a need for something like this. Boy was I wrong!

After using the product for a week, I began noticing that my eyes weren’t as dry as they normally were by the end of the day. The biggest change I noticed was how my eyes were when i woke up in the morning. I didn’t know I was waking up with crusty eyes, but once I started using the Cliradex Light foam daily, I realized that I wasn’t waking up with crusty eyes! Adding this foam to my daily routine has been really easy. I simply take my shower as normal. With a clean face and hands, I put a very small amount of the foam on my fingers (trust me, you only need a tiny bit; the foam expands) and rub it on my closed eyelids until it is fully absorbed. It really doesn’t get easier than that!

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to eye health, I want the best products available. We only have one set of eyes! Adding this product to my daily routine has really helped me. Give it a try and see if it can help alleviate some of your irritated eyes symptoms.

When Your Gallbladder Fails You

Back in October, I started getting the worst pain I’ve ever felt. It started in my upper right abdomen and radiated to my back and into my shoulder. Of course I Googled and once I talked myself out of it being a heart attack, I realized it was my gallbladder. So, as you can imagine, I began Googling everything possible about when your gallbladder fails! And lets be really honest here, I was freaking out that I would’t be able to do the Keto diet any longer.

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What to Do if You Suspect a Gallbladder Attack

First of all, I can tell you what not to do…don’t go to Urgent Care. They can’t really help you there. If you are having a gallbladder attack, you need to go to the ER. I sat at Urgent Care for hours only to have an x-ray done that didn’t really tell them anything. Unfortunately, I continued to have pain off and on and worst of all, I was nauseous every single day. I woke up with a bitter, metallic taste in my mouth every morning and getting out of bed took a lot of effort.

How Did I Finally Get Help?

My primary care doctor ordered an ultrasound for me. The ultrasound came back clear. According to the ultrasound, there was nothing wrong with my gallbladder. However, after a lot of research on my part, I found that it’s not abnormal for the ultrasound to come back like that. There could be things that the ultrasound is not able to pick up that is actually there. My primary care doctor suspected I was dealing with an ulcer or acid reflux. I argued because, again, after all my research, it did not seem like an ulcer or acid reflux at all. In the end, I was referred to a GI doctor. That ended up being a HUGE blessing!

Within a few minutes of meeting with the GI doctor, I knew I was going to get results. He listened to exactly what I was telling him and started making a plan. The first thing he recommended I do was have an endoscopy done to definitely rule out an ulcer or acid reflux. The second thing he recommended was a HIDA scan. The HIDA scan will show any problems with gallbladder, liver, or bile ducts.

When the Gallbladder Fails

My endoscopy came back fine. No ulcers and no acid reflux. But I already knew that! The HIDA scan came back with low gallbladder ejection fraction (less than 20%…normal is over 35%). My GI doctor called me the next day and immediately referred me to a surgeon. I met with the surgeon and she told me that she felt comfortable, based on my different tests, that removing my gallbladder would be the right thing for me. Of course, I agreed. It had been over 3.5 months at this point and I was about to lose my mind.

Surgery to Remove the Gallbladder

My surgery was on January 5, 2018. Strangely enough, I was not nervous at all. That is not like me at all. I was oddly calm. The goal was to have the surgery done laparoscopic, unless an issue pops up and they have to switch to general surgery (I think that’s what they called it). Thankfully, my surgeon was able to do it laparoscopic! Apparently I caused a little hiccup in the OR when my blood pressure suddenly dropped WAY too low during surgery. They had to give me a shot of epinephrine to speed it back up. The only problem with that was, when I woke up, I ended up spending more time in recovery because they couldn’t get my heart rate to calm back down. After several bags of fluids and lots of trips to the bathroom, it finally calmed down enough for me to go home.

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Did Surgery Work?

When your gallbladder fails like this and you have surgery to remove it, there is always that chance that it doesn’t help your symptoms. While I was terrified of that happening, the idea of living another day with the nausea and pain was just too much. The very next day after my surgery, I woke up with ZERO nausea! I haven’t been nauseous yet. Yes it’s not been a full two weeks yet, but I’ve been able to eat fine and I don’t feel sick anymore. So I am cautiously optimistic that it worked! One of the things the surgeon (and friends that have had their gallbladder removed) told me was that I could end up with diarrhea for a few months after I eat. Thankfully that has not happened either! I feel like a new person!

I know doctors don’t necessarily like when patients Google everything, but if there is one thing I learned, it’s that if you don’t agree with a diagnosis or your treatment, stand up for yourself. Push for tests that you want done. Speak up to be heard. I went in to my appointment with my GI doc with an outline on my phone of everything I had been through. When it came time to give him my history, I pulled out my phone and read the outline.

Oh and my worries about the Keto diet…I have been eating according to the Keto diet for the last week and no issues at all!

Have you had your gallbladder removed?

Curing Sleep Apnea and Living Healthier

Almost two years ago, my husband and I made the decision to take charge of our life and make some drastic changes. You see, I weighed 250 pounds, the highest I’ve ever been and my husband weighed well over 300 pounds. We were unhealthy. He had sleep apnea. While the snoring was annoying, listening to him stop breathing during the night was even worse. After having a sleep study and getting a CPAP machine, we knew it was time to do something drastic. We were in a very unhealthy, downward spiral. Curing sleep apnea was not something we ever expected.

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What did we do?

I had heard a lot about the Keto diet from my friend Summer (The Dirty Floor Diaries…check her out. She’s awesome). If you aren’t familiar with the Keto diet, it’s a low carb diet where you eat high fat and moderate protein. As you can imagine, the idea of eating full fat was terrifying to me. Especially since I was already fat. In my mind, all I kept thinking was, “well…I’m already fat. What’s a few more pounds going to hurt if this doesn’t work?“. Imagine my surprise when this lifestyle change actually worked!

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curing sleep apnea

How did the Keto diet help us?

As you can see, we lost quite a bit of weight on the Keto diet. I lost close to 90 pounds and my husband lost 125 pounds! Besides the weight loss and the dramatic transformation, we had the following amazing things happened, as a result to make the Keto lifestyle our new normal:

  • Dropped MANTY clothes sizes
  • No longer Type 2 Diabetic
  • Lowered LDL cholesterol
  • Raised HDL cholesterol
  • Lowered triglycerides from 300 to 65 <–for real!
  • No more brain fog
  • More energy
  • Cured sleep apnea

Curing Sleep Apnea

The way I understand sleep apnea, there are two main causes…being overweight or something to do with the way your brain functions. Prior to us starting the Keto diet, my husband had a sleep study done. He was snoring like crazy and I couldn’t even begin to count how many times he stopped breathing during the night. It was terrifying. After the sleep study, he got a CPAP machine and let me tell you, he slept better and I slept better. It was controlling his sleep apnea very well!

A few weeks ago, he went to have a repeat sleep study done. His doctor felt it was a good idea since he had lost a tremendous amount of weight. We just got the results back yesterday. He no longer has sleep apnea AT ALL! Curing sleep apnea was a direct result of taking charge of our health with the Keto diet. To be honest, the idea of curing sleep apnea was not

Getting started with the Keto diet can seem very overwhelming. I get it. Believe me…I do! If you are interested in more information and would like to see some sample recipes I personally love, then check out the following links:

How to Start the Keto Diet

Keto Diet Success Tips and Tricks

Keto Diet Long term 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Fat Bomb

Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

Chorizo Chicken Soup Recipe

If you have some health concerns that your doctor says could possibly be helped with a lifestyle change, then seriously check out Keto as one of your options. If you have any questions please contact me. I will do my best to answer your question or point you in the right direction, if I can!

*Please note, I am not a doctor. While the Keto diet did help us with some of our health concerns, it may not be the best lifestyle change for you. As always, before changing your diet, please consult with your doctor.