Topiramate vs topamax

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pedidiva
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 6/17/2009 1:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi~~
 
My son has epilepsy which has been well controlled with Topamax.  The insurance company has recently switched to the generic, Topiramate.  Have any of you switched from Topamax to Topiramate & what was your experience?
 
Topiramate is significantly cheaper than Topamax--like 25 times cheaper. 
 
Thanks

Krissy1212
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/1/2009 11:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I just recently switched to topomirate as well. I havent seen any difference except for the price.  I also got switched to the generic brand of lamictal. They both seem to work fine though. 

pedidiva
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 7/1/2009 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
good to know, thanks

metal mom
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/9/2009 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I went to pick up my Topamax Tuesday and found that it, too had been switched to Topiramate. I take mine for migraines, so I am hoping that it is as affective; especially since I just had to have my dosage upped to 800 mgs a day. I hope it is working out for your son with no problems.

pedidiva
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 7/9/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
metal mom~~
so far so good.  i hope that topiramate works well for you, too.

akhiker
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 7/12/2009 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't used this med but have worked in pharmacuetical QC. Generics and brand names are often produced in the same contracted noname labs. They all must adhere to the same QC standards. The only difference is the label and the price.

The same goes for tons of HBA products too.

Hope things work out well for you.

pedidiva
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 7/13/2009 5:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks

Horsewhisper
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/21/2009 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I was changed 3 months ago, so far only 1 breakthrough, but that's about average for me...

IkeTurnerHitsHard
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/21/2009 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
akhiker said...
I haven't used this med but have worked in pharmacuetical QC. Generics and brand names are often produced in the same contracted noname labs. They all must adhere to the same QC standards. The only difference is the label and the price.

The same goes for tons of HBA products too.

Hope things work out well for you.
 
 
 
 
Akhiker, this is my first time on this site and I'm glad to see someone brought this up. First off, I'm 30 yrs old and have had epilepsy for almost 20 years. During this time, I've had MANY doctor consultations and have been on countless meds. A topic that is brought up a lot during the epilepsy support group that I attend is "name brand vs. generic". One evening, a dr. came and spoke on the subtle differences between them. He also noted that those subtle differences can have an effect on an individual. For example, I take Keppra (3500 mg) and was switched to the generic. In a weeks time my seizures began again. My dr. had to contact the pharmacy as well as inusrance provider and I was back on the name brand per Dr.'s override. My neurologist and thereapist were aware of the differences in name brand and generic but just weren't sure how they were going to affect me. I'm not saying my situation is the solution to everything, ya know? I just hope that people who change from name brand to generic/vice-versa are fully aware of how their bodies respond.
 
Take care

pedidiva
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/27/2009 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, my son is having horrible neuro-psych side effects from the Topiramate--hallucinations, memory loss, personality changes.  The neuro says tha it from the Topiramate, so now we're off of the Topiramate & back on the Topamax.  Hopefully the side effects from the Topiramate will wear off within 48 hours.
 
For me, in the future, I will not use generic meds for seizures

missyo
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/21/2009 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I was switched to the generic for Topamax and had many breakthrough seizures. I had to back to the brand. I will not go back and try again. It is not worth the risk to me. I am great on the brand and have been taking it for about 9 yrs. I take the brand Lamictal XR; it is not available in generic, even tho the regular Lamictal is. I may try the XR when it becomes available in generic at some point. I used to take generic Lamictal and had no problems. My neuro wanted me on the timed released as I used to take Tegretol XR which worked good except for the ringing in the ears. i was on it 9 years also. Thx for the info,


Melissa


B-Rock
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/18/2010 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I know this is an old topic but I'm interested to see that others have had trouble with this switch. I was on Topamax for years - a relatively small dose to control CHRONIC migraines. I was getting them more than once a month and they last at least a week. Well last summer I asked and found out there was a generic so I was happy to save - cut to months later and I'm having just as many migraines as I did pre-Topamax. I contacted my Rx 'coverage', if there is a generic they cover about 5% of the name brand :'( regardless of the generic working or not! Maddening! So now I get to play a dosing game until ... who knows what!

I'm hoping at some point it comes out that Topiramate is NOT the same drug as Topamax - obviously it isn't... It's a shame we can't have responsible insurance organizations and or drug manufacturers at this day and age.

/disappointed.

Stella Marie
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 1/19/2010 2:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I have worked with many anti-seizure medications.  It is incorrect to assure that it is the same medication with a different label. Some name brand meds also make the generic.  Many times however, special generic houses manufacture these generic medications after the patent runs off.   Generic medications must meet certain bio-availaility standards.  This standards can vary slightly from branded name medications.  Sometimes up to 20%.  For example, rarely do you ever hear of anyone using generic Depakote, even thought generic Valproate has been around for years and years.  Patients either could not tolerate it or it was not effective.
 
For some patients, generics works just fine.  For patients depend on very percise medication standards and how they are dissolved and absorbed within the body.  Those individuals with sensitivities who were well controlled on branded meds, may not achieve the same control on certain brands of generics.
 
Becareful with the statement that they are all the same.  There is a range generics must meet.  But that range is  not always identical to branded drug.  In an antibotic it may not matter, in a seizureor headache meds it could be the difference between good and adequate control. 

Stella Marie

Moderator for Chronic Pain and Epilepsy

Rare neurodegenerative /movement disorder called “Multiple System Atrophy”.  Mobility issues,, neuropathic pain,  spasticity, myoclonus, central apnea, collagenous colitis, joint and body pain, swallowing and respitory  involvement,  Implants: intrathecal pump & neurostimulator.  Extra features: O2 & wheelchair.

 

 


B-Rock
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/19/2010 5:46 AM (GMT -7)   
I was reading up on this yesterday and the gist of what you stated about bio-availability was covered. My Dr ordered a blood test to see how much (or how little..grr) of this impostor is getting into my system.

I only wish insurance companies could use 'logic' instead of black and white policy rules sad

summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 1/19/2010 7:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I actually discussed this with my dr yesterday at my appointment, to remind her to write my script as no substiute. A few times ago i got generic lamictal and i didnt take it i got a new script and had them fill it correctly.
But what she said was that since the generic can be made by different companies, like maybe 3 different places, there are differences, maybe slight, but still differences in each one. And if your pharmacy finds out that one kind is cheaper, they may switch again, so you might get different meds all the time.
She said that the generics dont seem to cause a problem for people who are taking the meds for other things, like mood controllers and dont seem to be as much problem for people taking them for headaches, although those people are having dosing issues.

Its pathetic to me that the FDA can clearly see what happenes to people who switch to generic AED's but still allow them to be made for that. And that insuance companies woudl allow it too. Cause im sure its so much cheaper to pay for someone being put in the hospital for their seizures or the injuries they might get related to them. I mean come on! Makes me think of how some wont pay for birthcontrol, theyd rather pay for babies, lol.
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007! 
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-


momto3
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1331
   Posted 1/19/2010 5:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I also take Topamax and now the generic, and have been switched several times with several different companies, I would pick up my script and have completely different looking pills, and I thought, how strange! I take them for migraines (auras without the pain) and I have had more incidences with my visual auras coming on and off since the switch to the generic brand.  However, like the op stated, it is so much cheaper and I went from paying 65 dollars down to 15, but no, I don't believe it works as well.

B-Rock
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/19/2010 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
...and today I received proof. My Dr's office/Nurse called and said the amount of drug in my system is lower than expected so I am doubling what I used to take on brand name.

I hate the sue happy culture we live in, but this is one of those cases between my trips to the ER for pain and I can't imagine what people with epilepsy go through with this type of medication yo-yo.

It makes me very aggravated.

Nuts2
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/4/2010 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   

I have been on the non generic Topamax for years to control my headaches. It saved my sanity. A few months ago the insurance company switched me to the generic. Within weeks I was back to almost daily headaches. I have been able to up my dose of the generic but I have one of the lesser known side effects of paresthesias and although it is not medically threatening, driving and suddenly not feeling my hands is almost as bad as the sudden onset of partial blindness from the head ache. I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning.  Has anyone tested the different brands of the generic to see if one works better?

 

garrid10
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/30/2010 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I took Topamax for 4 1/2 years for migraine.  I've had horrible side effects with the generic.  I also suffer from anxiety and  panic attacks (which I had under control) but came back with a venegeance a month after I started the generic.  Instead of attributing them to the drug, I thought that my anxiety worsened (although there was no trigger.)  It became unbearable, tremors, muscles tightening in my chest, panic attacks that lasted hours.  I'm a college instructor and I could barely make it through my classes.  Yesterday I finally went to see my old psychiatrist, because I thought I needed more anxiety medication.  She asked if i was still taking topamax and if I had switched to the generic last july.  She told me that 90 percent of her patients taking toprimate had 4 to 6 times the side effects they had as opposed to those they experienced with topamax. Most are unlike me taking it for bipolar disorder, and had manic episodes as well as severe anxiety.  She said that she had her patients switch back.  I'm not happy about paying the extra deductable and copay, but Topamax worked and I'm not going to continue to be a guniea pig while pharmaceutical companies perfect the formulation and insurance companies try to force the cheaper and sometimes inferior generics at me. 

amh11
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/23/2011 1:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been taking topomax for YEARS for migraines. I think it's affecting me differently. Where topomax seemed to make me tired, and fall alseep within 30 min of taking, tonight after lying awake for 4 hours, not breathing quite right, I got up and looked at the bottle to realize that the pharmacy had substituted topiramate. From my experience so far, it seems to keep me awake, and give me difficulty breathing. Right now I am looking to see what others have experienced, and if these symptoms go away after using. I am tempted to go to the pharmacy tomorrow and ask to be switched back. Tomorrow will not be productive, and I fear I am having a mild allergic reaction. How can that be?

marycafe
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/2/2011 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
My Pharmacy switched me to Generic Topamax and I started filling my pill box with some of that and some of the old Brand name 100 mg Topamax and for months I've had several small break through seizures and also 4 + big ones. They start with hyperventilating in the middle of the night then are followed by fear and screaming and panic. I have hurt my ankle and am pretty sore and bruised. I blamed my life my stress and myself until I realized that I have been on the Generic entirely for about 2 weeks now and this is when I've had 3 of the big seizures. I am sure It is the generic that has caused me countless injuries, pain, and now I am scared to go to sleep. It has been a really tough summer. DONT MESS WITH THESE GENERICS. learn from my story please.

missi21
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 0
   Posted 11/28/2011 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Yesterday my pharmacist switched me to Topimirate, straight away after taking it I've noticed that I'm feeling breathless, light headed and really tired. I took at again this morning and the side effects have come on even stronger which are making it even harder to work. I'm going to be going back to my Dr to get her to get me back on to Topamax which definitely doesn't give me these type of side effects. I'm glad to see that other people are saying that just because it's a generic type doesn't mean that it's going to be the same as Topamax which is what the pharmacist tried to tell me. Topimirate does not equal Topamax!

Post Edited (missi21) : 11/28/2011 5:28:33 PM (GMT-7)


Petya
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/8/2014 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Guys, for seizure disorder you might be an exception from switching to generics, at least with United health Care it is like that. I found a paper online stating that, although nobody bothers to let you know when rejecting the brand coverage. You can check your insurance providers. Just search online. UHC is called "Step therapy program". When you type the name of your brand medication, the name of the insurance, and the name of the program it should find it.
Here is my link:
https://www.unitedhealthcareonline.com/ccmcontent/ProviderII/UHC/en-US/Assets/ProviderStaticFiles/ProviderStaticFilesPdf/Tools%20and%20Resources/Pharmacy%20Resources/Clinical%20Programs/Step_Therapy_Trileptal.pdf

Good luck
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