I have left mesial temporal sclerosis due to a high fever when I was an infant. Having surgery to remove that area when I was twenty-five, I went seizure free for three years. The complex partial petit mal seizures returned. For years I tried multiple medications. Finally found a combination of medications that helped me be seizure free for seven years.
I was taking brand name medication for two of my prescriptions. One of the others was a generic. The epilepsy pharmacologist I saw told me to make sure that the pharmacy would keep the generic brand I was taking made by the same manufacturer every time refilled. The FDA approves a generic medication when it is within +/- ten percent the blood concentrations needed. Being similar, it is still possible that a generic can give you a lower or higher percentage concentration. The FDA says that the inactive ingredients do not need to be the same in generic medications. Which are dyes, preservatives, and flavoring.
Seizure medications have a narrow therapeutic index. Changes in the concentrations of these medications can be ineffective. The pharmacy where I refilled my prescription was informed not to switch manufacturers, but they did. The new generic drug company’s medication was cheaper for the pharmacy. I took two doses of that medication.
After having the privilege to drive for five years, I didn’t know that I would have a wreck in 2010 due to switching the medication made by a different manufacturer. I have auras and know when a seizure will occur. I didn’t this time and fought my daughter when she was trying to take over the car wheel and pull the emergency brake. I didn’t remember this.
My fourteen year old’s ankle was cracked into pieces. After having two surgeries in one week on her ankle, I had time to fight the insurance and pharmacy companies while I stayed home taking care of her. The brand name medication would not be covered by my insurance because there was a generic. Staying at home and not working, nine hundred dollars a month was not affordable. Working my way up to the vice president of the drug company, I was able to help him understand what the difference is between brand name and generic medication companies. Ninety dollars a month is still expensive for one medication, but at least it is the brand name.