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Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

Anyone taking the new generic levetiracetam (Keppra)? For those who don't know the pharmaceutical company Mylan came out with it early November. I was just wondering if anyone taking it has any qualms or comments because I'm starting my regiment on Monday.

Comments

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

SChesney  One bit of advice.  My daughter took it and we did not know the difference.  Except for the price.  Our co-pay had been $50 taking Keppra.  It went to $100 on generic.  Neither the pharmacist or I know why.  I make them give me the Keppra for $50.

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

Wow thats weird. I guess I'll see when I pick them up on Monday.

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

I've been on the generic version for a month and a half after being on Keppra for a year. I'm not on any other medications (script or otc) and noticed side effects are more pronounced. Wondering if this is something I'll get accustomed to, but am going to mention it to my neurologist next time I see him.

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

I ALSO JUST STARTED GENERIC KEPPRA AND DID NOTICE MORE IRRITABILITY AFTER TWO DOSES.  MY SEIZURES ARE FAR AND FEW BETWEEN. I AM GOING TO SEE A NEURO NEXT WEEK TO ASK. I DO NOT TAKE ANY OTHER MEDS. AS WELL.

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

Can I ask who makes the generic you were taking>

 

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

I started taking the generic made by Mylan I stated having AWFUL side effects. I would not recommend it.

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

My seizures were well controlled on brand name Keppra for well over a year. My pharmacy switched me to the generic without letting me or my Neurologist know, and I started having breakthrough seizures and can't drive until I'm seizure free for 3 months...

I'm upset that they did this, and even more upset that they can do this legally!! My Neuro switched me to Keppra XR so nobody can make the switch without us knowing because there isn't a generic equivillant for XR yet....

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

I started taking the generic two months ago since it's now the only thing medicaid will pay for in the state of Texas. I haven't noticed any differences between it and the original Keppra. I know there is probably just enough variable between the generic and the name brand that it will affect some people, but I'm on the maximum dosage of 5000 mg daily and I haven't seen a change and no new side effects have come up either. I've stayed seizure free for the two months I've been on it so far.

 Just to mention since many others are only on Keppra alone, I'm also on Carbatrol and lorazepam (Ativan) for the seizures which may be a keyy factor in my reactions to it. The combination of the three has been the most potent of all I have ever been on and has no adverse side effects. It has been able to keep me seizure free for over two years and I have loved it. Although I must mention, with the variations of the side effects on the people who use it, you basically have to try it out and see if it has any adverse side effects on you. Hope it works as well for you!!!

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

Can I ask who makes the generic you were taking?

 

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

I'm on the generic versions of Keppra and Depakote, and have nothing to say but "Great products ... I love what I'm saving in money!". I see no difference between the name brands and the made-in-America generic ones. So much warning that's out there about generics is done by people who have absolutely no facts to back up their headlines--or it's coming from name brand drug companies that cannot bear the idea of bringing in less money per year. If you're trying out generics, my fellow patients, do not make decisions until you've given your body several months to adjust to them. Rah-rah, generics. Keep on coming!

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

Our son has been on brand name Keppra for over 5 years.  He has had many brain surgeries for his epilepsy and has a VNS. The brand name Keppra worked well. He still had occasional breakthrough seizures but they were mostly simple partial and he was able to stop a large number of them with his VNS magnet. The violent tonic-clonic were rare since the surgeries. We were hopeful that we would not have any more of the violent tonic-clonic seizures that were so frequent before the surgeries, the many episodes of status epilepticus and the post-ictal psychosis. His quality of life was improved greatly with Keppra. Then in November he was switched to the generic Mylan brand Keppra by the pharmacist. He told us we didn't have a choice! He told us to " take it or leave it." Our son started to have violent seizures again within a week and they continued for months until he finally was put back on the name brand Keppra. Even after going off the generic brand, he still had violent seizures and the epileptologist switched him last week to Keppra XR and the new Vimpat. We started the Keppra XR this past Tuesday, and the Vimpat will be started/added  this coming Tuesday. The pharmacy in filling the new keppra XR again gave us generic medication but I was able to catch this appalling action before I left the pharmacy. The pharmacy then filled the XR with regular brand name Keppra. I refused that as well and left very upset without the medication our son was prescribed. We have since then gotten the correct medication but today I realized that they gave the incorrect number of pills for what the doctor ordered. It has been a very bad experience dealing with our local pharmacy since November. They neither care about what our son has gone through to try to control these seizures and the pain and suffering they are putting him/us  through nor do they care what the epileptologist prescribes. They constantly blame the epileptologist who is the head of a comprehensive epilepsy center in a very large city for making the errors!  It appears that  they are only interested in saving money for the pharmacy. We live in a rural area where there is only 1 pharmacy within 10 miles.  We have learned since November that switching to generic should only be done with the ok of the doctor prescribing the Keppra and that blood work should be done before the switch and about 2 weeks after to make sure the levels are correct and there are no side effects. Our son has always been very sensitive to any changes in dosing or time of dosing. I did not think that anything like this would ever happen to him after all he is a volunteer and a HOPE Mentor for the Epielpsy Foundation and had to experience first hand what we have been hearing from many in our support groups...going to generic is not always a good thing. It saves money for the pharmacy and the insurance company but can cost someone their life which it has already done. Thankfully our son is off the generic now but we have to deal with this inept pharmacy staff who are arrogant and do not ever apologize for their actions since they feel they are justified. Some things are legal but misreading a prescription is not acceptable nor is rudeness. Do not tolerate it and always check your medication before you pay for it.  I am happy that some of you are satisfied with it, but many others cannot take it but it is forced on them.  As you know epilepsy medication works differently on different people. good luck to all who are thinking of making the switch.

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

Can I ask who made the generic you were taking?

 

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

Although others may disagree--I firmly believe the brand name is the way to go.  I was given the generic brand and my seizures went haywire.  What bothered me was the fact that one pharmacy assumed all I wanted was the generic and if I hadn't looked at the label, that's what I would have got. Isn't worth spending a little more and having a better quality of life? It must be something about the fillers used in the generic that is different.  I've been taking Keppra for 6 years and its one of the best meds I've been on--I feel a little tired once in awhile but have a lot more energy.  Take care, T.

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

y wife, after suffering from a brain hemorrhage after
open heart surgery due to a blood thinner, a year later started having
seizures, she was placed on Depakote but had to be taken out of Depakote, due
to side effects, and finally was prescribed Keppra and for well over a year
seizures ceased. However, when the generic version came out and the original
was eliminated from the approved list by Medicare and the medical health care
plans in South Florida, she started suffering from seizures, to the point that
she had to be taken to the ER at Baptist Hospital and/or Mercy Hospital several
times. Finally, yesterday we got the ok to go back to the original, this after
an extraordinary effort on the part of her Neurologist and the local Pharmacy.
Last night she suffered three seizures, short duration one after the other. We
are going to start her with the original Keppra today.

She is now on 3,500 mg of Generic Keppra (1,500
morning, 500 at midday, and 1,500 night), supported with Vimpat 100 twice a day. Before the
generic version, she was under control with 2,000 mg of Original Keppra. We
hope and pray that everything will go back to normal. Vimpat's side effects are
a rash (about one hour after taking either dosage) and confusion that lasts for
a short while.

Re: Taking Generic Levetiracetam (Keppra?)

Hi Jrega67844,

I was put back on AEDs after a frontal subdural hematoma from clusters of secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures.

Generic Dilantin stopped the tonic-clonics when my blood levels for it remained stable, but each different batch of the generic with a refill prescription greatly fluctuated in bio-availability and potency. My blood levels for the AED would drop to very low levels, with returning tonic-clonics, or my blood levels would reach extremely toxic levels, every time my prescription was refilled from a different batch of generic Dilantin. My neurosurgeon's advice to my Medicaid providers and the State went unheaded until numerous 20 mile long ambulance trips to the closest ER mounted in enough expenses that the State Medicaid finally decided that saving pennies at the cost of dollars and threats to my health and life, was not viable in the longer-term.

I was switched to regular brand-name Keppra because of bone-loss becoming a concern even with brand-name Dilantin, and again, the Medicaid pharmacy and the State of California tried to substitute the generic levetiracetam when it became available (one doctor suggested that I should just switch to Keppra-ER, that didn't have a generic version available, but I utilized regular Keppra's quick 30 minute action to preclude tonic-clonics whenever I experienced the aura warning of impending clusters).

Many states have joined California in a federal court case involving federal programs and insurances, and that loop-holed case is to be heard sometime around October 2011 by the U S Supreme Court. I've sought action through elected representsatives, but they most always return form letters that at best cite "Think-Tank" reports about the great money saving possible with generics (and a few token cases that supposedly makes everything just rosy when generics "very rarely" fail in the money chasing game of USA medical care Russian Roulette). For now, California Medicaid will provide Keppra, with "established" medical need, and the pharmacist and the State backed off on their pushing generics, when after they told me I could just do without any AEDs if I kept demanding luxury Keppra, I slightly hinted of possible ADA initial "administrative remedies" for discriminatory denial of services based on my disabilities. Every slight technicality then became a major excuse for the providers and the State to make things most inconvenient, till I obtained the ADA forms. The next problem is, is that new rumours on pharmacy internet sites are citing the possibility that California is going to remove Keppra from the "official list" for the entire state.

One of the more frequent think-tank overflows involves Alex Brill, and it often returns from a Google search of "Brill Keppra Medicaid".

Each time I restart Keppra, the short-term side-effects are different, but luckily for me, the "Keppra-Rage" tendency was totally absent on my second start with a very slow titration. If the "restart" phenomena are like some other major drug classes, sometimes the best beneficial effects do not return after continuity is disrupted.

Good luck, and I hope everything works out well for you and your wife with Keppra and with all the health care plan providers.

Tadzio