Switching from a brand name medication to a generic is OK in most situations, according to The University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey; however, epileptics should check with their primary care physicians before taking or receiving any generic substitutions. For this population, even subtle changes in medication can cause the patient to suffer more seizures. A return of seizures can result in a loss of driving privileges and could impair employment or school.

Generic drugs have clear benefits, such as less expensive prices than brand names, especially for epileptics who often are faced with taking medication every day of their lives. But doctors at The University Hospital say beware. One example why is the anti-seizure drug Keppra.

Beginning in 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved generic versions of the drug to be marketed to the public. Generic drugs have the same active ingredient, but often the inactive ingredients differ. And even with similar active ingredients, the way the medicine is processed can differ. Those slight differences can cause huge problems for epileptics.

Some studies suggest as many as 59 percent of people who switched from brand name Keppra to a generic equivalent suffered from reoccurring seizures. Forty-nine percent said they suffered from serious side effects such as vomiting and weakness and even psychotic episodes.

Such studies have spurred the Epilepsy Foundation to launch an awareness campaign urging epileptics to first discuss whether they should switch to generics with their primary care physicians. The group is also petitioning insurance companies to not automatically require a switch to generic medication for patients using anti-seizure medication.



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...

Switching from Keppra to generic can make you sick

Switching from brand name Keppra to generic Keppra (levetiracetam) to treat her epileptic seizures made...

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...

A positive manner

Several years ago my brother and sister -in-law were in a terrible car accident. My sister in-law was paralyzed from her neck down. Beasley Allen handled the case for my brother to see to it that my sister-in-law received the proper and necessary care she needed. I appreciate the attorneys and staff of Beasley Allen in handling this matter quickly and in a positive manner. Good job Beasley Allen!!

—Joan