- People who take epilepsy medicine are entitled to get all their NHS prescriptions free in the UK
- Young people aged 16 to 18 and in full-time education automatically get free NHS prescriptions
- If you urgently need more epilepsy medicine and don’t have a prescription with you, you might be able to get an emergency supply. There is more about this on the NHS website
- If you have a question about your medicine, a pharmacist may be able to answer it
How to get free prescriptions
The arrangement for free prescriptions is different depending on which part of the UK you live in.
In England to get free NHS prescriptions you need to apply for a medical exemption certificate. Ask for application form FP92A.
NHS prescriptions issued and collected in Scotland are free. To collect a Scottish prescription for free in England you need to apply for a medical exemption certificate. Ask for application form FP92A.
NHS prescriptions issued and collected in Wales are free. To collect a prescription issued in Wales for free in England for a medical exemption certificate. Ask for application form FP92W.
NHS Prescriptions issued in Northern Ireland are always free and dispensed free in any part of the UK.
Ask at your GP surgery for a medical exemption application form.
Different versions of epilepsy medicine
Some people say they have no problem with taking different versions of their epilepsy medicine. However, some people who have switched to a different version of their epilepsy medicine have said that they have had seizures after being seizure-free for some time. And for some people changing version causes more side-effects or different side-effects.
Nearly all medicines have a generic name and a brand name
The brand name is given by the company that makes the medicine for example the brand name of carbamazepine is Tegretol
The generic name is the name of the main ingredient for example – carbamazepine
Lots of companies produce generic versions of medicines
The most reliable way to get the same version every time is to ask your doctor to write the specific version of your medicine on the prescription. The pharmacist should then give you that version every time.
Not all doctors will agree to do this and if the version written on your prescription isn’t available, sometimes there may be no choice but to take a different version. It’s important to keep taking your epilepsy medicine, even if it’s a different version. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Here are the generic names of some commonly used epilepsy medicines. Tap or click the cards to reveal the brand names…
The brand name of lamotrigine is…
The brand name of levetiracetam is…
Brand names for sodium valproate are:
The brand name of topiramate is:
Stories by you
Read Matt’s story about managing his prescriptions.
1If you pay for prescription while waiting for your medical exemption certificate ask for a receipt. You can then claim this money back when you get your medical exemption certificate
2Get in the habit of reordering your epilepsy medicine in good time - a few days before you will run out
3Ask about getting a repeat prescription – this might be done using an electronic prescription service
4Make sure you know the opening hours of the pharmacy you will collect your medicine from
5When you get your medicine check to see you have got what you are expecting
6Ask your GP surgery about access to their online services to manage your appointments, prescriptions and more
Thinking about the tips here, is there anything you think would make managing your prescriptions easier?