Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am on the prescription med Lexapro. Here in Mexico it has been a little pricey to fill the scrip, costing me about 1,000 pesos for a month's supply of 10 mg tablets. So I have been researching ways to cut my costs. As it happens, Lexapro goes out of patent protection in the U.S. this week, on March 14; one company cut a deal to launch a generic version two weeks early, so there is already a generic available in American pharmacies, and there will be ten or a dozen FDA-approved generic versions available by the end of the year.

My online research indicated that there were already generic versions floating around in Mexico. However, I visited two pharmacies here in Culiacan, Wal-Mart and Farmacon, and both told me there was no generic available. This struck me as odd, but I just went ahead and got my usual box of genuine Lexapro. I am not sure if I was being given the run-around or not.

Is there a different type of pharmacy or pharmacy chain I should be checking - the Farmacias Similares I see downtown here, for example? ("The same, only cheaper!") Should I be concerned about the quality of an international, non-FDA-approved generic version should I find one? The genuine Lexapro has been a life-saving med for me; I don't want to tamper with success unnecessarily, but I do want to save money.

I would guess that with FDA-approved generic versions becoming available in the States, those might show up here, too, although I am not sure what the time lag would be.

I hope to get this situation resolved soon, as it would represent a considerable savings to me - savings that are already available to U.S. consumers as of this week.

(By the way, despite all the ballyhoo about how cheap it is to live in Mexico, I am finding it surprisingly expensive in many ways. I earn an excellent wage at a university job, 26,000 pesos/month, but it gets eaten up swiftly. Of course, the current exchange rate, that favors retirees who can get a lot of pesos for each American dollar, hurts me as a peso earner who has to pay some bills such as storage and existing debts in dollars. My Mexican bank's wire transfer fees are astronomical.)

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
Not an answer to your question about generic, but you were asking if there is a different pharmacy or pharmacy chain you could try. Check all the supermarkets; the cheapest I found Lexapro was at the pharmacy in the Comercial supermarket. Also, In my town, there are quite a few small discount pharmacies that sell brand name drugs—I'm not referring to similars or generics. Maybe in your area, too.
 

·
Super Moderator
Guadalajara, México
Joined
·
7,049 Posts
Not an answer to your question about generic, but you were asking if there is a different pharmacy or pharmacy chain you could try. Check all the supermarkets; the cheapest I found Lexapro was at the pharmacy in the Comercial supermarket. Also, In my town, there are quite a few small discount pharmacies that sell brand name drugs—I'm not referring to similars or generics. Maybe in your area, too.
There is a section of Guadalajara where people on street corners sell drugs, no not those kind, but regular drug store pharmaceuticals. The same thing might be true in other places. I suspect their prices would be pretty good if they have what you need. I don't know about quality control, but if the packages were the same as I got somewhere else and didn't show signs of being tampered with, and if I needed medication regularly, I might try them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
Tundra, do you know that the medicine sold in that part of town is stolen from the public health system? Eg: IMSS, ISSTE, SEGURO POPULAR
 
G

·
I think the MX equivalent is called "Citox" made by Sun Pharma de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., using the active ingredient Escitalopram (same spelling in both English and Spanish). Be sure to check the dosage in the pills you buy, as I found 20mg in their description.

Not sure if these pills can be divided or not, as some medicines have a coating to carry the medicine past your stomach before dissolving with delivery in your gut. Ask the pharmacist (not the clerks) if this is the case.

As for "non-FDA" approved, you should know that the MX pharmaceutical industry is just about as regulated as the US market is. MX has their own set of strict guidelines in place. As far as stolen medicines, the problem of fake medicines is a much bigger problem. The bad guys even make their own hologram seals to make the packaging look "real". It's a great supplemental revenue source to the bad guys, and the people taking them may not be getting what they thought they were buying.
 
G

·
So, I have too much time on my hands and called the local Farmacia Guadalajara. Their prices are usually about 10-20% higher than other local farmacias, but carry more name brand items.

They sell Citox in 20mg (but not 10mg) - after discount, their price is 370 pesos for 14 tablets of the 20mg presentation. The joven on the telephone said they could be divided into two, but I have no way of knowing if he was a farmacista or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, it's not as if the 20 mg dose would harm me, but I'd rather not mess with the dosage. If the pills can be split in two - I have a pill cutter - then 14 for 370 pesos would represent a month's supply for about a third of what I am paying. The genuine Lexapro 20 mg can be split easily; my doctor in the states prescribed them for me, in fact, so I could save a little money. (20 mg tablets cost a little more than 10 mg, but not twice as much.)

That brand name Citox is helpful. I'll look into this further.

The best situation of all would be if one of the upcoming U.S. generic versions materialized here, but I don't know if that will happen given that there is a Mexican competitor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
WalMart should have a PDR that will cross reference Lexapro to an approved Mexican repalcement. Ask them to look.
My Spanish is not that great, but I had a request written down, and neither the Wal-Mart clerk nor the Farmacon clerk was the least bit helpful. Neither checked with a supervisor, either. That's why I suspected I was being given a run-around.

But I'll keep looking until I find a place that is helpful. I've had to do that with restaurants, too; I shop around until I find ones that treat me well, linguistic difficulties or not, and then I go back to those consistently (and tip well). They do exist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Citox can be easily cut with a pill cutter. I have found it cheapest at Mega stores in the Guadalajara area. I have also used the Farmacia Similares for a lexapro generic that worked just fine for me and was cheaper than Citox. I forget the name of it but I may be able to ask at the Farmacia tomorrow.
 
G

·
The generic version of Citox in Mexico is called "citalopram", but looks as if it only comes in 20mg also. Check at Farmacia Similares or another generic farmacia for this product. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The generic version of Citox in Mexico is called "citalopram", but looks as if it only comes in 20mg also. Check at Farmacia Similares or another generic farmacia for this product. Good luck.
I'd probably stick with the Citox in that case, because citalopram (= Celexa) is a different active ingredient than escitalopram (= Lexapro).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
For what it is worth, in the US I take a generic citalopram. My doc has me on 30 mg/day and he tells me to split the a 20mg pill to accomplish this, so cutting it seems to be OK according to him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,498 Posts
If you can find the names of the generics in Spanish, that is what you should be asking for.

One was supplied above, "citalopram".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I am on the prescription med Lexapro. Here in Mexico it has been a little pricey to fill the scrip, costing me about 1,000 pesos for a month's supply of 10 mg tablets. So I have been researching ways to cut my costs. As it happens, Lexapro goes out of patent protection in the U.S. this week, on March 14; one company cut a deal to launch a generic version two weeks early, so there is already a generic available in American pharmacies, and there will be ten or a dozen FDA-approved generic versions available by the end of the year.

My online research indicated that there were already generic versions floating around in Mexico. However, I visited two pharmacies here in Culiacan, Wal-Mart and Farmacon, and both told me there was no generic available. This struck me as odd, but I just went ahead and got my usual box of genuine Lexapro. I am not sure if I was being given the run-around or not.

Is there a different type of pharmacy or pharmacy chain I should be checking - the Farmacias Similares I see downtown here, for example? ("The same, only cheaper!") Should I be concerned about the quality of an international, non-FDA-approved generic version should I find one? The genuine Lexapro has been a life-saving med for me; I don't want to tamper with success unnecessarily, but I do want to save money.

I would guess that with FDA-approved generic versions becoming available in the States, those might show up here, too, although I am not sure what the time lag would be.

I hope to get this situation resolved soon, as it would represent a considerable savings to me - savings that are already available to U.S. consumers as of this week.

(By the way, despite all the ballyhoo about how cheap it is to live in Mexico, I am finding it surprisingly expensive in many ways. I earn an excellent wage at a university job, 26,000 pesos/month, but it gets eaten up swiftly. Of course, the current exchange rate, that favors retirees who can get a lot of pesos for each American dollar, hurts me as a peso earner who has to pay some bills such as storage and existing debts in dollars. My Mexican bank's wire transfer fees are astronomical.)

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
I know nothing about Culiacan or Sinaloa.
Here in Zacatecas, Zac. Farmacias Similares (a national chain) has most generics, now even generic Crestor and Viagra, and pretty much the lowest prices especially if you shop on the weekly 25% off day. There is a network of farmacias that supposedly stocks or can get any med, brand or generic, available in Mexico, Farmacias Especializadas Farmacias Especializadas - Inicio.

I was having to buy two expensive brand name meds here, and after shopping around found found that one local farmacia had the best prices by quite a bit. It's worth shopping around or asking acquaintances. Neither Walmart nor Sams Club cannot be depended on to have the lowest prices or anything close to them, but that is gong to depend on when and what you are looking for.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top