At least one generic drug can be used effectively to control epilepsy and other seizure disorders -- and save patients hundreds of dollars -- despite a widespread belief among neurology specialists that generics don't work as well as the more expensive brand-name medications.
Researchers at the Bowman-Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., found that Epitol, a generic version of the seizure-control drug carbamazepine, works as well as the heavily prescribed brand-name version, Tegretol.
Previous studies and anecdotal evidence suggested that generic drugs are not usually as effective as brand names in controlling brain disorders such as epilepsy. The generic version of this one drug, while as effective, could cut costs by about 25 percent, or $300 a year, for the average epilepsy patient, the North Carolina researchers said.
They followed 40 epilepsy patients who took Epitol and then Tegretol or vice versa for six months. There was no major difference in the effectiveness of the two drugs.