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Epileptic patients who switch from the brand name Keppra to the generic levetiracetam may be at risk of experiencing a re-occurrence of seizures after having been seizure free on the name brand.
Patients that have switched to the generic version may be at an increased risk of suffering an economic loss after having a re-occurrence of a seizure due to their driving privileges being revoked, inability to work, unable to attend school, and other associated problems. Additionally, there have been a number of reports of serious seizure induced injuries and at least one death.
What’s the problem?
Levetiracetam, a generic version of the anti-convulsant medication Keppra, which is commonly used to treat epileptic patients that suffer from seizures, was approved by the FDA for marketing and distribution in 2009. However, patients who switched from Keppra to Levetiracetam have been experiencing a reoccurrence of seizures after having been seizure-free on the brand name Keppra.
Recent reports have questioned the effectiveness of Levetiracetam, which is manufactured by Mylan Pharmaceuticals. The drug has been linked to an increase in seizures, migraines, light-headedness, and side effects not normally experienced when taking the name brand Keppra.
Generic medications are tested and compared to name brand medications. The FDA reviews the tests to determine if generics are equivalent to the name brand products and assigns the generic medication a rating. An AB rating means the FDA has determined the medication is equivalent to the name brand product. All generic forms of Keppra have received an AB rating. However, generic medications are allowed some differences in inactive ingredients, such as filler or dyes that may cause problems for people with allergies or other sensitivities.
Patients using levetiracetam have reported an increase in side effects. Patients have complained of light-headedness and migraines. Also, patients who have been seizure-free for years are now reporting experiencing seizures while using the generic. This may prove a dangerous conversion, as injury may result to the patient and others if the patient is alone or driving a car or operating machinery at the time of the seizure.
Additionally, patients who were switched from Keppra to the generic Levetiracetam may also suffer economic losses resulting from having their driving privileges suspended because of seizure danger, inability to work or attend school, and other problems. As well, there have been reports of injuries and at least one death resulting from a patient who suffered a seizure and died after being switched from Keppra to the generic drug.
General Information About Generic Keppra
Generic Keppra is made by a number of different manufacturers:
- Aurobindo Pharma
- Cobalt Pharmaceuticals
- Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
- Mylan Pharmaceuticals
- Roxane Laboratories, Inc.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals
Generic Keppra tablets are available in the following strengths:
- Levetiracetam 250 mg
- Levetiracetam 500 mg
- Levetiracetam 750 mg
Keppra oral solution (liquid) is also available in generic form.