Epilepsy Talk

Can I Substitute Generic Drugs for My Anti-Seizure Medications? | July 24, 2020

The controversy about generic drugs continues…

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a generic drug as being “identical, or bioequivalent, to a brand name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use.”

The FDA states that generic epilepsy drugs are just as beneficial as brand name drugs and there is no medical concern when substituting a generic medication for a brand name.

However, many doctors who specialize in treating patients with epilepsy have noted differences in those treated with generic medications compared to those treated with brand name ones.

To read more go to: http://www.rscdiagnosticservices.com/blog/generic-drugs-vs-brand-name-anti-seizure-medications

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  1. Not only can there be a difference between generic and brand name but also between different manufacturers of generics there can be a huge difference..

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Zolt — July 24, 2020 @ 1:00 PM

    • Also, there can be a difference between different manufacturers of “brand-name drugs”.

      According to an Epilepsy Foundation report, more than 1000 consumers surveyed, reported an increased risk of seizures and side effects when:

      1. They switched from one manufacturer’s formulation of an anti-epileptic drug to another…

      2. They switched between different manufacturers’ versions of the same generic drug…

      3. They switched from a generic to a brand-name drug…

      4. Or they switched from a brand-name drug to a generic.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 24, 2020 @ 2:05 PM

      • Problem is what one country may have (the brand name medications we used to get) we can no longer get now for some reason. That makes thing VERY VERY DIFFICULT!!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — July 29, 2020 @ 11:17 AM

  2. I only remember once trying to replace the real thing with a generic. I don’t remember what drug it was but I know I never tried it again.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Ed Lugge — July 24, 2020 @ 1:13 PM

    • Oftentimes, the unknown “filler” is what doesn’t agree with you.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 24, 2020 @ 2:09 PM

      • THAT SEEMS TO BE EXACTLY MY PROBLEM!! Which has FINALLY been realized by all medical doctors at all levels, but only after I made sure to tell them and they received my file

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — July 29, 2020 @ 11:18 AM

  3. I had problems with the generic brand of Keppra.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Corina M Perry — July 24, 2020 @ 1:51 PM

    • Corina, I agree with you that the generic version of Keppra had been my nightmare leading into hallucinating rage of total disorientation & lost mind, until I became aware that I’m wrecking the peace of my family everytime my rage threatened the stability of my family, forcing me to confront my Nuerologist to come up with better alternative.
      Thanks God, going back to the brand name has made a whole lot differences more than staying with the cheaper generic prescription intended & pushed to make a whole lot of money for the insurance company & benefit corrupt doctors at the expense of uninformed gullible patients.
      It has been excruciating journey to know the effects & find out the mistry behind the switch to generics, jeopardizing the state of mind.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — July 27, 2020 @ 5:13 PM

      • THANK YOU GERRIE!! 😊🙏🏼🦅😇💕

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — July 29, 2020 @ 11:19 AM

      • After my incident with toperimate and knowing from some very close people about KEPPRA not only would my family say “NO!!!!!!!”, but so did I!! It took me 42 years to FINALLY MELLOW OUT I am NOT ABOUT TO TAKE ANY CHANCES!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — July 29, 2020 @ 11:21 AM

      • You’re very welcome, Kathy.
        It just impossible to believe that the “medicines” that were meant to cure our medical hardships can turn out to be more fatal than the medical hardships we’re trying to live with.
        Thanks to generic Keppra, some of us had learned the hard way that some prescriptions are NOT made to remedy our medical hardships. a bitter reality to swallow.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — July 29, 2020 @ 3:17 PM

  4. But you were ok with the name-brand of Keppra Corina?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 24, 2020 @ 2:10 PM

  5. Research I have done on this issue stated that the active ingredients or their effect could vary as much as 20% more or 20% less than the name-brand med, a gamble I’ve have never chosen to try.

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by Andy — July 24, 2020 @ 2:36 PM

  6. Only the brand version of Keppra doesn’t cause me heightened side effects. Can’t tolerate generic version!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Lisa — July 24, 2020 @ 3:10 PM

  7. Question for epilepsy advocates: Shouldn’t pharmacists be required to tell a patient who is taking an ongoing script when the manufacturer for said prescription has changed for the current refill? From a patient’s POV, It’s only fair warning!

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by Lisa — July 24, 2020 @ 3:16 PM

    • Yes. There’s also a “No Substitutions” form you can fill out and have signed by your doc.

      Prevent Medication Changes… https://epilepsytalk.com/2011/09/14/prevent-medication-changes/

      But, it’s easier just to have “No Substitutions” on your original script from the doctor.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 24, 2020 @ 3:21 PM


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — July 29, 2020 @ 11:22 AM

    • If I had been warned prior to ever changing any medications I would have told the pharmacist ASAP!!!!!!! But it already is in my file with the pharmacy and I was the one who had to backtrack to catch it MYSELF FIRST!! AND THEN I TOLD THE PHARMACIST AND MY DOCTOR!!!!!!! Even they seen it in the files AFTER THE FACT!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — August 10, 2020 @ 10:36 PM

  8. How disgusting of these manufacturers. Shame on all of them, and all who profit off of people’s illnesses and desperation to feel better.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Hetty Eliot — July 24, 2020 @ 8:33 PM

  9. I also wonder if many of us pile up add-on drugs because generics aren’t working well enough.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Hetty Eliot — July 24, 2020 @ 11:24 PM

  10. Defiantly a difference. If you start out on brand and change to generic the compound ingredients are required to be the same. Even the dyes (or color) can make a difference.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by betdam — July 26, 2020 @ 11:57 AM

  11. I had a few instances of this. I moved after high school but stayed with the same chain. The generic Tegretol they had was a different company. I noticed within a few days there was a problem. Family had to drive about 12 miles to get them at the previous pharmacy.

    Dilantin was another for me. I had to be on brand name. Generic’s levels would decay faster, or not hold at levels brand name would.

    I want to say the FDA standard is +/- 20% with generics compared to brand name drug.

    So YES if you notice issues when manufacturer is changed talk to your doctor, but more importantly pharmacy and see if they can obtain the previous or another manufacturer of your medication.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Travis — July 27, 2020 @ 10:54 AM

  12. Throughout my decades-long use of many different antiseizure meds and due to various financial situations, I’ve been on both generic and brand name meds. Sure, the generics are known to contain additives, etc. But believe me, they ALL have had horrible side-effects, ok? Losing hair, forgetting names or hallucinating are not sane way to live lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by skolly9 — July 29, 2020 @ 7:21 PM

    • Yes Skolly, There’s a whole lot of neurological, psychological, physical, emotional, social & financial price to pay for taking those chemical compounds “medicine”, made to “remedy” our medical difficulties.
      Knowing all the side effects of the medicines, life becomes about living with the lesser evil or accepting your fate.
      And for many of us, coping with the side effects of the medicines ends up being a better alternative than having to languish with uncontrolled seizures.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — July 29, 2020 @ 10:04 PM

      • Granted but if it is already in your file for decades it should be known now! Because sometimes those negative effect of the different additives may cause more problems down the line.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — August 10, 2020 @ 10:41 PM

  13. Re: pharmacist substituting generic for Dr. prescribed drug. I experienced horrible seizures when my Lamictal was changed to the generic. Pharmacist did not advise. My neurologist (to put it professionally) had to vehemently debate with my insurance company as to why I needed the Brand name. The company didn’t want to pay for it. I recommend one takes the same path and have your doctor pursue the change for you. I was very fortunate. Keep your eyes on the bottle!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Roy A. — July 30, 2020 @ 11:31 AM

  14. I always do better with generic and liquid forms than the brand pills/capsules. I get the rare and unlisted side effects more and faster with the brands. I currently take Briviact Oral Solution and Zonisamide Compound.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by trekkie80sgirl — August 5, 2020 @ 10:14 PM

  15. That’s really interesting. I didn’t even KNOW that epilepsy meds were available in liquid form. (Goes to show how much I know!) And that the generic forms are more user-friendly for you. That’s interesting, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 5, 2020 @ 10:19 PM

    • Yes they have shops that can turn your medication into a liquid type. I believe their called “hypothocary pharmacies”

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — August 10, 2020 @ 10:43 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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