A new study has found that switching between generic antiepileptic drugs (AED) does not appear to increase the risk of seizure-related events.

Using Medicaid Analytic eXtract and a US commercial health insurance database, researchers identified 83,001 generic AED users who experienced a seizure-related hospital admission or emergency between the years 2000 and 2013. They tallied the number of patients who received a refill of the same AED from the same manufacturer and those patients who received a medication from a different manufacturer. 

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Conditional logistic regression was used to compare exposure to a refill during a hazard period of 2–36 days preceding the seizure-related event to exposure during the control period, defined as 51–85 days preceding the seizure-related event.

Results showed that a refill of the same generic AED was associated with an 8% increase in odds of a seizure-related event (OR 1.08; 95% CI 1.06–1.11). A refill from a different manufacturer of the same AED was not associated with seizure-related hospital visits, after adjusting for the process of refilling (OR 1.00; 95% CI 0.94–1.07).

Given the increasing number of generic AEDs that are becoming available, the findings of this study carry importance. The authors conclude that Food and Drug Administration-validated bioequivalent generic AEDs appear to be safe clinical choices.

For more information visit Neurology.org.