Okay, so I was just trying to look up the fancy pharmaceutical name for Portia [was bored, like to do nerdy shit, etc.], which my doctor started me on a couple of weeks ago.  I was led to this Drugs.com page.

That page has one of the brand names listed as Alesse.  Which I was on for a few months and bled the whole time, and I asked my GP for a different brand.  Did he give me the exact same pill that didn't work for me, just under a different name?  If he did, I am pissed.

Here's my last post, outlining all I've been through with this awful doctor; there's more details there.

Note: Please don't tell me to just get a new GP.  There's a shortage of doctors in my area; no one's taking new patients.  I only got in to this guy's clinic years ago because my mother was his patient and begged him.

ETA: I've also just called and left a message about his horrid treatment of me and lack of knowledge.  Hoping to get a callback so I can file a formal complaint.  I also have an appointment to see him on Wednesday.

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11 Responses to a different brand

  1. NywNo says:

    It looks like it, I’m on another medicine page and it has this:

    “Brand Names: Alesse, Aviane, Enpresse, Lessina, Levlen, Levlite, Levora, Lutera, Lybrel, Nordette, Portia, Sronyx, Tri-Levlen, Triphasil-21, Triphasil-28, Trivora-28

    Generic Name: ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Pronunciation: ETH in ill ess tra DYE ol and LEE vo nor JESS trel)”

    That sucks!! 🙁 You could potentially go back and bring this up and ask to be on a different brand entirely and show him the list but I don’t know how far that would get you. I hope you’re able to change the medicine though.

  2. 642ova says:

    yeah, but they’re way different doses — many many bcp contain estradiol (estrogen) and use levonorgestrel as their type of progestin, but alesse is super different than triphasil — monophasic vs triphasic, low dose vs moderate dose. they’re super different things, all they have in common is ingredients.

  3. Eneita says:

    Technically same medication, but different binding agents. When I was on Ortho Cyclen (sprintec), I had no issue with the generic, but an issue with the brand name. Different binding inert ingredients. It’s entirely possible the different binders could make it so you’re not bleeding 24/7. Hope this helps.

  4. SreWoman says:

    this is right on point. so essentially, it is not necessarily the same bc pill

    many patients that come into my office can not take the generic for suicidal tendencies, so they take the name brand anti-depressant and they feel and act much better.

  5. Hteall says:

    It’s certainly not a useful thing for him to have done, to give you the generic — but it’s not impossible that you could have different reactions to the generic. Some people do indeed have different side effects between the name brand and the generic — or between generics, etc. Some people do better on the name brand, some on a given generic.

    Are you still bleeding or is this one seeming to handle matters?

    If you’re still bleeding, I’d go back and point out that Portia is a generic of Alesse and you want a different progesterone.

    Good luck!

  6. Nwooeva says:

    I’m not bleeding, no. I’m two weeks into the pack and it was around week three that Alesse started making me spot and bleed.

  7. Hteall says:

    I’d give it this pack and the next, before you decide this isn’t going to work — and I also bow to nightmer about the dosages being different. Crossing fingers!!

  8. Remoma says:

    I looked up the formulations (here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_contraceptive_formulations) and double-checked them on the manufacturers sites, and it looks like no, they’re not the same. They use the same estrogen and progestin (so it might also not work for you because of that), but both are in higher concentrations (which he might have thought would stop the bleeding).

  9. Nwooeva says:

    Thank you!

    He did say he was raising the estrogen because he thought that would stop it.

  10. 642ova says:

    Alesse is a different pill than Portia; Portia is a generic form of Nordette, a monophasic moderate dose OCP using estradiol and LNG (levonorgestrel), while Alesse is a monophasic low dose OCP using estradiol and LNG. It’s reasonable to think that your body will react differently to this different dosage/formulation. Portia is a great monophasic to stack on – the moderate dose often helps suppress uterine lining, which assists in suppressing menstruation. I think the doctor you’ve been describing sounds … um, not awesome? but this is actually a decent call. I hope it works out well for you!

  11. TneNope says:

    If you want to try a different monophasic pill, I recommend Microgynon 30 – I’ve been on it for 4 years, have always stacked, and never had a problem with breakthrough bleeding. When I do stop taking them and have a withdrawal bleed, I bleed very lightly for 3 days with no cramping or PMS symptoms. It’s also helped even out my moods. (of course, I have no expert knowledge of the Pill, I just lucked out that the first one I was prescribed worked out perfectly.) One other thought – my GP has a Practice Nurse who can prescribe the pill without my Dr being involved (I have the same problem with having a GP I have no confidence in). Is that an option where you are?

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