If generic medicines are the same chemical as brand name medicine and less expensive, why would you prescribe brand name for my seizures?
The answer lies in how the FDA defines generic. While the chemical is the same, the amount your body absorbs is different. The law states that a generic medicine should be between 80% and 120% the potency of brand name. In other words, if you take 100 mg of brand name medicine, the generic equivalent is between 80 mg and 120 mg of that same chemical. This would not be a problem if the generic medicine could be specified (for example, Generic A or Generic B). However, a specific generic medication cannot be ordered and in some cases there are a number of generic medications available. That means that you may get the equivalent of 120 mg of the drug with one pill (Generic A) and the very next pill in the same bottle could be as low as 80 mg (Generic B). This, of course, could put the patient at risk for breakthrough seizures. Because of this problem, the American Academy of Neurology recommends brand name medications for epilepsy.