From Generics to Name Brands and Vice Versa?

XxBlaqkxX

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So...was able to get into the neurologist this week...they are thinking of having me at the lowest dose they possibly can and increase it if needed kind of thing. The amount I need of Levetiracetam that I needed in the past was 500mg in the morning and 500mg at night and I didn't have an issue. I was off of medications for 15 months. I'm back on them, but I only feel like I have seizure activity at night (for whatever reason - so I assume this might be more strong evidence that it's probably linked to hormones). Anyway, my neurologist is uncomfortable with me taking 500mg just at night and then nothing in the day, understandably with how this medication works.

So, they decided to do Keppra XR 500mg extended release so that I have a bit in me all day, but I haven't liked what I have read about those capsules not breaking down as easily because they aren't designed that way (thus the extended release). I've also never taken brand name Keppra so I'm a bit nervous about that...I'd rather do 250mg in the morning and 250mg of the generic since I know how my body handles it already and she threw that idea out there, too, so she might be okay with it as long as I okay it with her next visit, especially if things don't go right with the XR.

Anyone made the switch between generics and name brand AED's? Bad experiences? Good experiences?
 

Porkette

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I've gone from generic to brand names many times and I've always found that the brand name drug is
much stronger and it works better in some cases but there was a time when I was on Depakene (Depakote)
and it worked good controlling my seizures but I almost bled to death because the drug ate up most of my
blood platelets.

You mentioned that you only have seizure activity at night, if I may ask does this mean when you go to bed because
if it does you may be having seizures in your sleep like I did. I had a sleep study done along with an e.e.g. and e.k.g.
all at the same time and my Dr. found I had sleep apnea which was causing me to have seizures in my sleep. If you
feel tired in the morning after a good nights sleep this may be what's going on.

Getting back to your med you should speak to your pharmacist I have found they know the most about meds and
dosages than any Drs. I've ever seen. I do agree with you if you feel good the way things are then you should tell
your Dr. and keep it that way. I wish you the best of luck and May God Bless You!

Sue
 

cadsgj

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When I lived in the states, California and Texas, I was given name brand, but moving to Canada I have learned about life getting generics; seizure issues more frequent. For a year or so my neurologist shifted me from one drug to another and got me back to merely a seizure or two per month. If I had had a choice I certainly would have taken name brand, shifting back to my drugs in the states. I do hope you are able to get to the best method of drug use, the best method I believe should be the choice for our meds.
 

XxBlaqkxX

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When I lived in the states, California and Texas, I was given name brand, but moving to Canada I have learned about life getting generics; seizure issues more frequent. For a year or so my neurologist shifted me from one drug to another and got me back to merely a seizure or two per month. If I had had a choice I certainly would have taken name brand, shifting back to my drugs in the states. I do hope you are able to get to the best method of drug use, the best method I believe should be the choice for our meds.
Thanks for your insight =)

I'm largely hesitant because of food allergies, which they should've taken into mind, of course. I am noticing in the ingredients list online it has different types of alcohols in it, which I am not sure the formulation of these alcohols and what exactly they are and I'm going to have to look and it may not be the type of alcohol I would be thinking, but I don't do well with most alcohols...whether it's drinking them or hand sanitizers on my hands, I just break out. I also notice that Keppra XR has talc (which I'm pretty sure Johnson&Johnson was massively sued over in their Baby Powders and had to settle out of court) and as far as Levetiracetam goes...I don't see "talc" in the ingredients unless it's going by some covert name. I also had taken the Keppra generic for like 10 years (then wasn't on it for 15 months) and now back on it, so I'm hesitant about trying a whole new medication. Especially when it has that yucky metallic-y red dye on it in the photos online. I could technically take 250mg in the morning and 250mg at night of what I've been taking, which I might instead want to do because it's like...almost the same thing. She just wants the lowest dose possible to work for me, thus the extended release and it might be worth a try at least...maybe...I don't know xD still a bit worried about it.

Thanks again =)
 

XxBlaqkxX

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I've gone from generic to brand names many times and I've always found that the brand name drug is
much stronger and it works better in some cases but there was a time when I was on Depakene (Depakote)
and it worked good controlling my seizures but I almost bled to death because the drug ate up most of my
blood platelets.

You mentioned that you only have seizure activity at night, if I may ask does this mean when you go to bed because
if it does you may be having seizures in your sleep like I did. I had a sleep study done along with an e.e.g. and e.k.g.
all at the same time and my Dr. found I had sleep apnea which was causing me to have seizures in my sleep. If you
feel tired in the morning after a good nights sleep this may be what's going on.

Getting back to your med you should speak to your pharmacist I have found they know the most about meds and
dosages than any Drs. I've ever seen. I do agree with you if you feel good the way things are then you should tell
your Dr. and keep it that way. I wish you the best of luck and May God Bless You!

Sue
Not sure if I want stronger, but I'll keep that in mind that it tends to be more potent.

Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with Depakote. That's awful =(

If I stay up too late, and forget to take my medication, I might start feeling odd when I'm awake. I aim for like 10 p.m. - 11 p.m. at night each night to take it, but sometimes I feel bizarre if I am up later than then and haven't taken it. Or, if I wake up in the night and realize I haven't taken it or lay down in bed and realize I haven't taken it. If I haven't taken it all night, I may wake up in the morning feeling confused, fatigued, and it may take me a while to snap out of that unless I have something fast acting to help.

I've never done a sleep study, nor has it been recommended, but I really wouldn't want to do it. I hate being alone with doctors and don't want to be alone if I'm going to be sleeping if at all possible (it really bites with all this COVID stuff...they don't want you bringing in a support person anywhere and that makes me nervous). Although, the doctor wants me to go do an EEG again...oh, the joys of being sleep deprived even more so, having to find someone to watch the kids the next day until I can get a nap, having to fight to stay awake through the 1 1/2 hour drive to get there (it's brutal), etc. I hate EEG's...I could totally live without another one.

I've had 2 EKG's in the hospital while I was having seizure activity. They came back okay. All at the same time as everything else would probably paint a clearer picture.

I suppose it makes sense sleep apnea could cause nighttime seizures - lack of oxygen can do a lot of things to the body. I have a hard time believing I have that, though. I don't snore, no pauses in my breathing, etc. (per my husband who stands there for a few minutes while I seem 'awfully tense').

My energy has been great the past 3 days, but before that - I had like no energy for 2 months, but I had impacted wax in my ear and I had issues on an off hearing for a while. Tried cleaning it out (no, I never use q-tips for my ear canals) and nothing came out so I thought I was fine until I had a ton of pain and hard, brown earwax in there. I felt better day 4-5 of the antibiotic and have been great since so I hope that's all it was and it doesn't come back.

I could speak to the pharmacist, but I don't expect a good answer. They're like 8 days behind right now, lots of angry people, super busy, and I figure all they're going to tell me is, "Yes, people do fine switching between brands/generics." I don't expect a different answer from a pharmacist, but then again...I remember when I worked with health insurance and I was the department that answered insurance questions about medications, heard people rant about their pharmacies, and have talked with enough pharmacies to know how much of a pain some of them are lol.

The last time I had a seizure was August of this year and I've had other times where I've felt like the room has been spinning and lost my balance, but marijuana buds to the rescue (it never got worse, felt better in 5-10 minutes). That helps me a ton.

Since it's been so long to get to the neurologist again when I had problems...been about a year, doctors were telling me, "Take your medication again when you feel weird." So I just started taking it at night and I know Keppra is a bit edgy with 12 hour doses instead of covering the whole 24, but don't want to be taking it all the time. I don't like the stuff at all. I might just try the 250mg and 250mg and tell her I feel like that worked better. Might try the XR and give it a shot...but I hate to try and take a new medication, even if it's the same active ingredient. Afraid of reacting to it or having any new problems, especially with kids around the house. Probably will have to try it when my husband is home and awake.
 

Itr786

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I'd always been on branded medication. I was given generic version the once, and I'm almost certain it caused me to have seizures.
I went back and stuck with branded version after that. I learnt my lesson and insisted I was given the grades meds after.
 

XxBlaqkxX

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I'd always been on branded medication. I was given generic version the once, and I'm almost certain it caused me to have seizures.
I went back and stuck with branded version after that. I learnt my lesson and insisted I was given the grades meds after.
It's true that some people simply don't do well with generics. I remember working for a health insurance and we were the prescription medicine division of it and some people were super adamant about "brand names only" and "no generics." So, you're not the only one :p Some people are bothered by filler ingredients in generics more than likely or it's not as strong for them.
 

Nakamova

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I've always been on the generics (partly an insurance requirement). For me it's sometimes felt that when they switch manufacturers of the generics, the amount of active ingredient has changed too, and I've needed to adjust accordingly. I think whenever there's a switch of any kind, your brain may need some time to adjust. If you are sensitive to even small variations in dose or timing, that adjustment might be harder or less successful.
 

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I've also taken name brand & generic versions of many different drugs. My neurologist would start me on a brand new medication, & I'd have to switch to the generic as soon as it came out if I was still using it.
 

CathyAnn31

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I agree with Nak as well. I’ve not had issues with generics either.
 

XxBlaqkxX

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Picked up the stuff today, it's the generic. Glad for that. Still not a fan of the ingredients...think taking up weed might be safer o_o
 

CQ:)

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Over here in Australia your medication isn't through your insurance and doesn't cost as much as the USA.

My old neurologist used to always tick pharmacy brand only for all my seizure meds. But my current neurologist tends to go for the generic brands.

I don't have too many issues with either.

I was on brand name keppra for years then it got switched to generic. I haven't had any issues.
 

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Medication price is a MAJOR factor in the US. I was switched to Zonisamide (generic Zonegran) from Vimpat because of a change in our insurance. They wanted me to start paying for it--that would have been a $1600/month expense!!
 

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Medication price is a MAJOR factor in the US. I was switched to Zonisamide (generic Zonegran) from Vimpat because of a change in our insurance. They wanted me to start paying for it--that would have been a $1600/month expense!!
I heard how much it costs over there
Some meds are under the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme) which means the government covers cost of part of the meds but it’s only certain meds.
All my anti seizure meds are covered by PBS so I’ve only had to pay the gap.

When I was working full time I was paying about $40 a per script for my Anti seizure meds, the cholesterol one was always a lot cheaper about $10 - $15 a month. I think the tegretol was always same price but the Keppra and zonegran were close to $100 full price.

But now I’m working part time I’m able to get a low income health care card, the main thing I use it for is my meds as they now cost me about $6 - $7 per script.
 

XxBlaqkxX

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Over here in Australia your medication isn't through your insurance and doesn't cost as much as the USA.

My old neurologist used to always tick pharmacy brand only for all my seizure meds. But my current neurologist tends to go for the generic brands.

I don't have too many issues with either.

I was on brand name keppra for years then it got switched to generic. I haven't had any issues.
A lot of other countries don't cost as much as the USA when it comes to medications. It's sad how expensive they are here. If I had to, I could probably figure out how to get medication from Mexico, but that would be if things got dire.

I remember back when it was allowed, my mom used to get my Lamictal from a pharmacy in Canada because it's super expensive here and my parents didn't have health insurance for me at that time. Unfortunately, that was no longer an option after a point. Thankfully my co-pay is small and it's affordable at this point in time.

I guess most people don't have problems then since it's the same active ingredient unless it's not as strong or has an ingredient an individual is sensitive to.
 

XxBlaqkxX

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Medication price is a MAJOR factor in the US. I was switched to Zonisamide (generic Zonegran) from Vimpat because of a change in our insurance. They wanted me to start paying for it--that would have been a $1600/month expense!!
Yeah, some of those medications are majorly expensive out there :( I'm thankful mine isn't the most expensive, but I mean...still...fishing out $120/month out of pocket for medication isn't near my idea of fun.

I have health insurance for now, thankfully, so my co-pays are small for my medications right now. It's affordable. I remember my heart sank when I went to pick up my Levetiracetam 500mg quite a few years ago and Walgreens stopped taking my insurance. I think I almost fainted when they said, "That will be $396." I can't remember if that was a 30, 60, or 90 day supply. I remember my husband getting it transferred to CVS for me and it was covered, no problem. The times when I didn't have health insurance were difficult at times, though.

For a long while, when I didn't have health insurance, I used a program in the USA called RxOutreach. They have their own website and they cover most of the AED's. One of my old neurologist's told me about it when I mentioned price was a concern at that time due to lack of health insurance. I'm glad she did. She'd write the 180 day script and I'd only pay $95 out of pocket as opposed to a few hundred. They do have Zonegran on there 25, 50, and 100mg strengths for around $18-$40 for up to 90 capsules. So, if you find yourself in that situation, definitely get a note from your provider if it's required and a script to give it a try.
 

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Most companies that we've had insurance through require us to get 3 months of medication at a time for chronic conditions. My copay has usually been between $300-$400 for a 3-month supply.
 

XxBlaqkxX

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Most companies that we've had insurance through require us to get 3 months of medication at a time for chronic conditions. My copay has usually been between $300-$400 for a 3-month supply.
I'm sorry to hear that. :( I can't imagine paying that much out of pocket each time - we'd be broker than broke. I'd probably have to go into debt or go without >_<

I know on www.rxoutreach.com , you can get a 3 month supply, too, or at times a 6 month. As long as you have a written script from your doctor to mail in with the payments they accept, and fill out the form, it's usually all good. They have the prices and medications on there. While it isn't covered by insurance, it's a lot cheaper than the pharmacy price. It helped a lot when we were broke. At times I could set enough aside for my medication or once in a while, I'd have to put it on a credit card, unfortunately, but at least I had it. It has also been years since I've used it, so some things might have changed on their website as far as processes go, but the prices are meant to be lower than average.
 

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One problem is insurance companies usually specify WHICH drugstore you can purchase your prescriptions from. If you go any other pharmacy, you'll be responsible for the full cost. A plan one of my husband's employers covered us through was really bad in this issue. Their mail order "pharmacy" for chronic conditions was owned by them, and their prices were even more than the national chains Walgreens &CVS charge!!
 

valeriedl

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One problem is insurance companies usually specify WHICH drugstore you can purchase your prescriptions from. If you go any other pharmacy, you'll be responsible for the full cost. A plan one of my husband's employers covered us through was really bad in this issue. Their mail order "pharmacy" for chronic conditions was owned by them, and their prices were even more than the national chains Walgreens &CVS charge!!
The pharmacy I use is in the grocery store Giant Eagle. There are many times that they will look up the med for me, on GoodRX or other other places, to see if they can find a better deal without me even asking. There have even been a few times that they've told me to go to a different pharmacy because I'm able to get a way better deal there. They'll transfer the prescription for me.
 
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