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Generic vs. name brand meds for epilepsy

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Old 08-05-2009, 05:33 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Generic vs. name brand meds for epilepsy

I have epilepsy and my doctor has me on the name brand meds. There are generics for both prescriptions I am on, but he said he has seen a couple people have breakthrough seizures when they switch to the generic brand. Does anyone have experience with that? We are paying a lot of money right now with the name brand meds and I would really like to switch over, but I do not want to have seizures just to pay less each month.

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Old 08-06-2009, 07:31 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2009
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bhbc1 HB User
Re: Generic vs. name brand meds for epilepsy

if possible stay on name brand, my daughter was switched to generic and had 2 seizures within 3 weeks of each other, we finally realized that it was because of switching, we are back on name brand and she hasnt had a seizure since, and that has been since november.

Old 08-07-2009, 02:23 PM   #3
Travis from MN
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Re: Generic vs. name brand meds for epilepsy

It really depends on what medication. With some I had issues. Other generics worked fine. Currently I am on generic's for 2 out of 3 of my medications without problems.

Main thing is IF (highly stressed) if you notice any reaction or problems to WRITE DOWN NOTES, and contact the doctors. You may have to stop and switch back to your previous (brand?) medication THAT WORKED if you can.

Sometimes it's the inert contents of the medications that cause the reactions. This being the binding agents, not the medication (drug) itself that we react to. It could also be due to the +/- % that is allowed in generics. That range is (don't quote me on this) something like +/- 20% of said amount. So your 100mg could be 120, or 80mg... makes you think.

Compared to the other generics I had to deal with over the last 20+ years, the two transitions all happened at the same time.

On my coverage (with brand name) I maxed out to catastrophic (around 4500) in about 4 months with the cost of meds. After that, they covered 100%. On generics (now) It takes 8 months or more to reach 100% coverage.


Old 08-12-2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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lamb HB User
Re: Generic vs. name brand meds for epilepsy

Hi, Some people do and some don't. Lamictal controlls my GMs & I switched to the generic form & it works too. But some ppl I know need to take the brand name or their szs start up.

Old 09-22-2009, 06:42 PM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2009
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ewells1014 HB User
Re: Generic vs. name brand meds for epilepsy

When I was first diagnosed with complex partial seizures (many years ago) my neurologist put me on Tegretol and said absolutely do not take generic. I've since switched to Lamictal (great stuff!) and my current neurologist said generics are fine, but you have to watch where it comes from. Depending on which medication you're on, there can be anywhere from 1 - 10 manufacturers of the generic form. The FDA says that by law, it has to be at least 85% as effective as name brand. The problem could be when you have it refilled, it could come from the ABC company and is 95% as effective as name brand. The next month, your pharmacy gets a better deal on the medication from the XYZ company, but their generic formula contains only 85% active ingredients. Obviously you'd have less of the medication in your system, so it could lead to seizures. There is only one manufacturer that makes the name brand form of the medications, so you're guaranteed to get a constant dose of the medication when you get name brand. If you want to switch to generic, just make sure it's coming from the same generic manufacturer every time you have it filled, and your levels shouldn't fluctuate.

Originally Posted by lamb View Post
Hi, Some people do and some don't. Lamictal controlls my GMs & I switched to the generic form & it works too. But some ppl I know need to take the brand name or their szs start up.

Old 09-23-2009, 08:02 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 2
awgale67 HB User
Re: Generic vs. name brand meds for epilepsy

Hello travis, you seem like you know your stuff. May I ask you a question? How do I switch from one seizure medication to the other. I that dropping one to the other like a hot patato is a no no.

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