Many Patients Forced To Switch to Generic Keppra what are the side effects
Epilepsy is a brain disorder, which causes individuals to experience changes in their brain activity. These changes in the brain’s electrical system may cause the individual to suffer from seizures. Keppra is an anticonvulsant medication used in the treatment of epilepsy for both adults and children. Keppra comes in various forms. It can be taken orally by tablet or liquid form, and can also be injected intravenously. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999 and manufactured by the Belgian drug maker, UCB Pharma Inc.
Recently, the FDA added a labeled warning to all anti-epileptic medications, including Keppra, because they feared the drugs were causing patients to experience suicidal thoughts and behavior. Reports of these serious side effects began to surface back in March of 2005. Later, the FDA gathered data that demonstrated patients taking an anti-epileptic drug would be almost twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts or behavior as compared to someone taking a placebo. In response, the FDA has added a warning section on the drugs’ labels and has created a medication guide to accompany the drugs when given to patients.
There are other serious side effects associated with the use of Keppra, including:
- Depression, and other behavioral changes
- Weakness, impaired coordination
- Stomach pain
- Fever, flu symptoms
- Worsening of seizures
UCB Pharma Inc.’s patents for Keppra expired in 2009. Now that the patents for Keppra have expired, other pharmaceutical manufacturers may now produce generic versions of the drug.
Mylan Pharmaceuticals is one of the companies manufacturing a generic version of Keppra, called levetiracetam. The cost for the generic is less expensive than name brand Keppra and many patients’ insurance plans will no longer allow the name brand.
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 the AB rating. However, generic medications are allowed some differences in inactive ingredients, such as fillers or dyes that may cause problems for people with allergies or other sensitivities.
Read our blog article: Brand Name vs. Generic
Unfortunately, patients using the generic Keppra, levetiracetam, have reported an increase in side effects. Patients have complained of light-headedness and migraines. Also, many patients who have been seizure free for years are now reporting experiencing seizures while using the generic. This may prove to be 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 a seizure.
PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE DISCONTINUING THE USE OF KEPPRA OR ANY OTHER PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.
Contact the Law Offices of d'Oliveira & Associates
If you or a loved one has switched to the generic form of Keppra, levetiracetam, and suffered a seizure resulting in injury, or loss of driver’s license, you may want to speak with a personal injury attorney, today, regarding your potential lawsuit. An injury lawyer familiar with new developments in the use of the generic medication may be able to help you make important personal and legal decisions.
Please contact the law offices of d'Oliveira & Associates at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation.