Thursday, September 09, 2010

Generic Keppra Update

A generic version of the anti-convulsant medication Keppra, commonly used to treat patients that suffer from seizures, such as epileptics, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing in 2009. However, it seems that patients who switch from Keppra to the generic, Levetiracetam, are experiencing increased re-occurance of seizures after having been seizure-free on the brand name Keppra.

Patients who were switched from Keppra to generic Levetiracetam may suffer economic losses resulting from having their driving privileges revoked because of seizure danger, inability to work, unable to attend school, and other problems. Additionally, 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.

In addition to treating patients with epilepsy or other seizure disorders, Keppra or Levetiracetam may be administered to patients who have had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and had seizures from their brain injury.

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.

All generic medications must undergo certain tests to compare them to brand-name medications. The FDA then looks at these tests to decide if the generics are equivalent to the brand-name medications and assigns each generic a rating.

An "AB" rating means that the FDA has determined that a generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name medication. All of the generic Keppra versions currently available have an "AB" rating, meaning they should be equivalent to Keppra.

However, generic medications are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication. This might include fillers or dyes or other ingredients that may cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.

It should also be noted that many health care providers believe that special care should be taken when switching a patient from a brand-name seizure medication to a generic one, or even switching between different generic versions of a medication.