Widespread skeptic attitudes among people with epilepsy toward generic antiseizure drugs – A Swedish survey study

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Purpose: To explore associations between the characteristics of people with epilepsy (PWE) and their attitudes toward generic substitution of antiseizure drugs (ASDs) in epilepsy. Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey study directed at adults with epilepsy using selected brand drugs: Keppra®, Lamictal®, Lyrica® or Topimax®. Symptoms of anxiety and depression, sense of self-efficacy, and beliefs about medicines were assessed. Caregivers were asked to answer for persons with intellectual or communicative difficulties. Results: The total response rate was 41% (n = 178). Almost half (46%) of subjects stated that they would oppose generic substitution (Gen-NEG) if suggested by their neurologist, while 71% would worry about adverse effects and/or increased seizure frequency after a putative switch. Age ≥50 increased the odds of being Gen-NEG (adjusted OR: 2.20, 95% CI: 1.18–4.11). Negative associations with both Gen-NEG and worriers were found for education level of high-school diploma or above, employment/studies, and prior experience of generic ASD switch. The proportion of worriers was much higher among caregivers (21/22) compared to subjects with epilepsy (106/156). Conclusion: High proportions of PWE express concerns regarding generic substitution of ASDs. The elderly and caregivers seem to express particular concerns. Identifying ways to diminish negative outcomes and worries in connection with a switch is an important future field of research in order to ensure high quality, cost-effective health care for the most vulnerable people in our societies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107554
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Early online date2020 Dec 7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social and Clinical Pharmacy
  • Neurology

Free keywords

  • Attitude
  • Epilepsy
  • Generic drug
  • Patient
  • Survey & questionnaire


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