Most people have probably heard of a seizure before. You may think seizures only involve motions like jerking movements, as typically depicted in film or television. However, there are different ways a seizure can present itself. Some people with seizures jerk involuntarily or experience muscle rigidity, while others may stare off or have changes in sensations, emotions, or thinking. A seizure involves a sudden, temporary, burst of electrical activity in the brain that can cause spontaneous changes to a person’s body movement or function, sensation, behavior, or awareness, according to the Epilepsy Foundation (resource 1). Seizures can occur when someone has certain risk factors for developing seizures or is exposed to certain triggers for provoking a seizure. There is information available on these risk factors and triggers on the Epilepsy Foundation website (see resource 2). Not everyone who has had a seizure has epilepsy, but the Epilepsy Foundation website is used as a resource for this educational blog.
There are different types of seizures, and they are grouped into three major categories. The three major categories of seizures include focal onset seizures, generalized onset seizures, and unknown onset seizures. These different groups of seizures refer to where the seizure starts or affects the brain.
Per the Epilepsy foundation, there is no known cure for epilepsy. However, there are some drug therapies available to help people control their seizures. Each person should work closely with their healthcare provider or a neurologist to determine the best treatment course for their seizures.
What is Vimpat?
Vimpat is an anti-seizure medication, also known under the non-brand name lacosamide. Lacosamide is indicated for the treatment of partial-onset (focal) seizures in patients 4 years and older either by itself or in addition to other treatments. More recently, it was also approved for use as a secondary medication in the treatment of primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in patients 4 years and older. Lacosamide comes in multiple tablet strengths ranging from 50 to 200mg and is typically taken as one tablet twice a day.
Cost savings opportunity
Until last year, lacosamide was sold only under the brand name Vimpat. However, in March of 2022, a generic version of Vimpat (lacosamide) was approved and launched by multiple drug manufacturers. This marked an excellent advancement for people who suffer from seizures. They are now able to obtain the medication at a lower cost without the brand name Vimpat being the only available version on the market. If you are already taking Vimpat, it is likely that you do not have to do anything to start receiving the generic version. Many pharmacies or insurance companies will automatically switch you to the generic version, but they should let you know of the change once it is made.
1) Epilepsy Foundation: https://www.epilepsy.com/what-is-epilepsy/understanding-seizures
4) Vimpat drug info: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/022253s042lbl.pdf
Disclaimer: This blog is written for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen online.