Generic versions of Keppra (Levetiracetam)

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I have been using Keppra alongside Epilim for many years now with almost 100% success against partial epilepsy of the temporal lobe.  My last three prescriptions contained a generic form of Keppra, I didn't take a lot of notice but absence seizures had begun to re-occur recently, I put it down to stress due to my father being very unwell.  Yesterday morning I noticed the toilet pan contained a whole undissolved one of these tablets after 14hours!! (I didn't flush the contents as I didn't want to wake my wife), if they don't dissolve what use are they?  I immediately contacted my pharmacy who said he must give me what he is told too, I then contacted my surgery and told them what has happened and am happy to say I am now back on Keppra.  It is fairly obvious why I was switched from Keppra, it is not a cheap drug.  This story is my experience, I will post again to say if things have improved.

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  • Posted

    David I also take the generic form of Keppra, (Levetiracetam) and the generic Lamictal (Lamotrigine). Since generic forms have been on the market, my insurance company will only pay for the generics. I’ve never noticed an undissolved med., but then again, I’ve never looked for it. A couple of months ago I started to have problems. I looked up the maker of the meds and found out both of them are made in India, which probably lacks quality control. On the web, I found out that that the generics have a + or – 20% leeway in the active ingredients to be approved in America. The price of the non-generic is outrageous! There is no quality control of the binders that hold the active ingredients together. So there is no standard on how fast a generic drug releases the active ingredients.  It could be a matter of hours or minutes. It seems that my dr. is unaware that generics and non-generics are not equal. On my last refill, I asked my dr. to put down the manufacture maker of the meds (after doing research on what generic manufacture seem to be the best) but I’m stuck with what the pharmacy  dispenses. The only recourse I have is to set my cell phone alarm to go off 3x’s a day and hopefully keep a consistent level of meds in my body.
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  • Posted

    David I also take the generic form of Keppra, (Levetiracetam) and the generic Lamictal (Lamotrigine). Since generic forms have been on the market, my insurance company will only pay for the generics. I’ve never noticed an undissolved med., but then again, I’ve never looked for it. A couple of months ago I started to have problems. I looked up the maker of the meds and found out both of them are made in India, which probably lacks quality control. On the web, I found out that that the generics have a + or – 20% leeway in the active ingredients to be approved in America. The price of the non-generic is outrageous! There is no quality control of the binders that hold the active ingredients together. So there is no standard on how fast a generic drug releases the active ingredients.  It could be a matter of hours or minutes. It seems that my dr. is unaware that generics and non-generics are not equal. On my last refill, I asked my dr. to put down the manufacture maker of the meds (after doing research on what generic manufacture seem to be the best) but I’m stuck with what the pharmacy  dispenses. The only recourse I have is to set my cell phone alarm to go off 3x’s a day and hopefully keep a consistent level of meds in my body.
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    • Posted

      Hi Steve, I was interested to read your comments which explains many things, here in the UK our GPs have a budget that they are under pressure to meet and that is why they prescribe generics.  I can say that now being back on Keppra my health is better, not perfect but definately better.
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    • Posted

      Hi Steve, Today I called in at my pharmacy to collect my prescription and immediately noticed my bag didn't contain any Keppra.  The pharmacist told me he was instructed by my GP to refer me to him and only to prescribe generic levetiracetam again so I am back to square one, it seems my GP is refusing to prescribe.  I take 2 doses of 2gms each per day (8 tablets).  The drug I now have is made in Malta and is called Milpharm.  (500mg film coated).

      I have spoken to a duty doctor at my surgery and he looked up the price of Keppra and it is £93 as opposed to £7 for the generic so it is easy to see why a GP wouldn't want to prescribe the former, he also explained that the demand for Keppra will become so low that it is likely to be dropped anyway.  I am happy to experiment under medical guidance by taking smaller amounts at increased frequency and whether or not the tablet should be crushed, chopped or whatever!  I will write to my consultant when I get back from holiday to get his view.  David

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    • Posted

      David I can't a drug called milpharm on the web. I can find levetiractam and milpharm levetiracetam under a web discription, but no article  differenticates btween them. Steve
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    • Posted

      Hi Steve, I have started an experiment as from the 12th October, I am taking a generic form of Levetiracetam called Milpharm which is made in Malta, I break each tablet in half hoping this will encourage them to dissolve a bit more readily.  I shall keep a careful record of any seizures.  I have persuaded a duty doctor at my surgery to prescribe 15 days worth of Keppra which I can use in case I have problems. 
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  • Posted

    David, I looked up Milpharm Limited, it is a subsidiary of Aurobindo Pharma. Auorbindo also has a subsidiary in Malta: Agile Pharma (Malta) Ltd. I also take Lamotrigine, the generic version of Lamictal. When I began to have trouble, I looked up the manufactures of both. The Levetiracetam came from a manufacture called Bluepoint Labor and it was the first time I had taken it. That’s when I started to having trouble. I think they make a subpar genetic med. (They only had a one picture page on the internet, no information). My Dr. switched me to Lamictal ER (extended release) and Levetiracetam ER. Instead of taking multiple doses during the day, with the ER, its once a day. They have a special coating or different binders to slowly release the med. over a 24 hour period. I’m lucky to have good insurance. The cost of the Lamotrigine ER without insurance is $1,236 and the Levetiracetam ER is $351 a month. But with my coverage, I get each one for $10. I had one problem with ER’s, insomnia, even when taking generic Ambien. My Dr. switched me back to regular Lamotrigine and Levetiracetam and have them filled at a different store to avoid the Bluepoint Labor product. I like the idea of taking only one ER a day. I’ve been thinking of trying to alternate days of taking the regular meds. and the ER’s to see if I can slowly cross over and only take the ER’s and avoid insomnia.

    Good luck and let me know how you are doing. You might also want to do a web search to find out if anyone else is having problems with Malta (or Milpharm) Levetiracetam. I found complaints from people taking meds made by different manufactures of Levetiracetam and Lamotrigine on the web.

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