Epilepsy medications work by changing the way nerve cells (neurons) in the brain talk to each other. ASMs decrease the amount of signals overactive neurons send to each other in the brain, which may lead to fewer seizures.
There are many different types of medications available for epilepsy. They are different from each other in several ways:
New brand name ASMs become available to patients after many studies have been conducted to make sure they are safe and effective. The companies that manufacture these brand name medications are allowed to sell the medicine, without generic competition, for a period of time. After that period of time, one or more generics may become available after they have been approved by the FDA, showing that they are equally as safe and effective as the brand name medication.
It is critical you do not switch ASMs unless specifically instructed by your doctor. If you and your doctor have made the decision to switch ASMs, let them know if you feel differently after switching your brand name or generic ASM.