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Keppra Generic Seizure Drug Contributing to More Seizures, Side Effects and Death
phylisfeinerjohnson posted:
This news alert comes from Debbie Nicholson at

"Generic medications seem to be having their share of problems today. Generics are developed to provide low-cost medications to patients and to provide the same qualities as the name brand medication would not to increase the problems of the disease/illness.

The drug Keppra which is a brand name seizure medication was approved in 2009 and was sold.

Patients that were then switched to Levetiracetam are now experiencing on going seizures that did not occur while they were on the drug Keppra.

Generic medications being changed from one another is not uncommon in this day and age. Someone always think they can make one which is equivalent to the brand drug or prior generic and it can be developed in such a way it will be more cost-effective for patients needing the medications.

Drug Substitutions

The University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey specifically states their opinion about AED's (anti-epileptic drug ) medications that basically substitutions of generics may be alright in certain conditions, but epileptics need to check with primary care physician before taking or receiving any generic substitutions.

They also clearly state in no uncertain terms that the difference between brand medication in epilepsy and generic has a major difference. That these drugs could inhibit control of seizures in persons.

Now it is being stated that persons taking this new generic could lose driving privileges due to the fact it can onset more seizures, it will also impair them from employment or school with time lost.

There have been cases indicated of injuries from the drug. It was noted that at least 59% of patients on this medication had more recurring seizures.

Forty nine percent note was more severe side effects such as vomiting and weakness. On top of the usual side effects more intense ones have been documented such as psychotic episodes.

Past Studies Should Have Been An Indicator

In June 2010, the journal Epilepsia had published a study on patients and having their anti seizure medication changed over. It validating the medical groups at large of their apprehensions of generic brand medications not being able to perform as equally as to the brand name medications.

Due to the recent events of this latest generic brand drug the Epilepsy Foundation is now making it one of its top priorities of exchanging brand name medications for generics due to the recent rash of side effects and developments on the latest switch."

Phylis Feiner Johnson

dancer86442 responded:
I would like to add a note to this. IF you start w/ a generic drug & it works for you, then you need to be sure it has the Same Generic Name, when you pick up your meds at the Pharmacy. Pharmacies, sometimes, run out of 1 Generic med & will substitute another Generic, if available.

If you Start w/ a Name Brand (not generic) & it works for you, again, chek your Label to be sure it hasn't been switched for a Generic version.

Problems, like the ones Phylis mentioned, Can occur in either case.

Love Candi
mrsfroggy4 responded:
My son has been taking the generic for Keppra since it came out. That was for about 1 year before it seizures returned. I think I will bring it up with the neurologist when he sees her again. I wonder if our insurance will cover the brand name?

lessismore6 responded:
I was on Keppra for a year and I wasn't experiencing any seizures, so my doctor switched me over to the generic, and for a few months I was good, but then after a year and four months without a seizure I had one. The dosage was off, but five months after that I had an outburst of seizures, two, a month apart. My doctor switched me right back to the name brand, and now I have been seizure free for almost a year. The insurance for my name-brand is not covered though, so I need to switch medications again.
dancer86442 replied to lessismore6's response:
Susan & Less,

My daughter posted an article from from a professional that you guys mite wanna read, too. If you haven't already. :)

I hate to hear that meds need to be changed. But, I read something, at one point, not too long ago. When changing meds, it is Not recommended to try a med you have previously been on. The chances of it working again, for you, are Very Slim. :( So, please keep that in mind when changing your meds. Ask for something other than what you have previously tried. Or chek into 'alternative treatments'. hads More Info. Chek for the URL under Resources. :)

Love Candi

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FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Epilepsy Center