Switching from brand name Keppra to generic Keppra (levetiracetam) to treat her epileptic seizures made Tracy Michele sick. “When I was taking Keppra I was a little drowsy in the beginning, but then it went away after about three weeks,” she wrote on Daily Strength’s discussion board at www.dailystrength.org. “I was switched to generic and I now have bad headaches and sleep too much and even have anorexia.” The 5-foot 7-inch woman tops the scales at 107 pounds but says all she sees when she looks in the mirror now is “a woman who is very overweight.”

Switching formulations of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) is not recommended in patients who have their seizures controlled with a medication, even if the medication they are switching to is a generic version of one they are currently taking. Subtle differences in the inactive ingredients among generics and brand name medications can result in hash side effects, especially on neurological patients.

The issue has become a bigger problem with the introduction of more generic medications among AEDs. Keppra was a breakthrough AED when it first hit the market, but in 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began approving generic versions of the drugs.

Many patients who had their seizures under control with brand name Keppra found their seizures returned after switching to the generic. Many suffered new side effects and bothersome complications, including headaches and anxiety.

Managing seizures through medications or other treatments can be difficult process, which is why the Epilepsy Foundation recommends patients not switch their seizure medication ­ even to a generic ­ without first discussing their options with a healthcare professional.



We're here to help!

We live by our creed of "helping those who need it most" and have helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved. If you feel you have a case or just have questions please contact us for a free consultation. There is no risk and no fees unless we win for you.

Fields marked    may be required for submission.
  1. I'm an attorney

Generic drug savings may come at a price

Think generic medications are just the same as their brand name equivalents? Think again. Generics may...

New iPhone app helps epileptics monior seizures,...

People living with epilepsy can now keep a diary of their seizures on their iPhone, thanks to the new...

Experimental SmartWatch offers peace of mind to...

A fully functional prototype of a wristwatch-style device that can detect myoclonic and grand mal...

Free toolkit available to parents of children...

Parents of children diagnosed with epilepsy have the daunting responsibility of helping their child...

Approval of GlaxoSmithKline, Valeant new epilepsy drug...

Despite a "thumbs-up" from a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel on GlaxoSmithKline and...

FDA panel recommends approval of new anti-epileptic...

A  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory board has given a "thumbs-up" to GlaxoSmithKline's...

The extra mile

I can't thank Beasley Allen enough for their excellent and hard work. At every point, they went the extra mile.

—Kay