Fast facts


    How to get free prescriptions

    The arrangement for free prescriptions is different depending on which part of the UK you live in.

    • England

      In England to get free NHS prescriptions you need to apply for a medical exemption certificate. Ask for application form FP92A.

    • Scotland

      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.

    • Wales

      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.

    • Northern Ireland

      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.

    Fast facts


    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:


    There is more info about this on the Epilepsy Action website

    Getting the same version
    Woman sat in her kitchen with a pill box and typing on her phone

    Stories by you

    Read Matt’s story about managing his prescriptions.


    Top tips

    1. 1
      If 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
    2. 2
      Get in the habit of reordering your epilepsy medicine in good time - a few days before you will run out
    3. 3
      Ask about getting a repeat prescription – this might be done using an electronic prescription service
    4. 4
      Make sure you know the opening hours of the pharmacy you will collect your medicine from
    5. 5
      When you get your medicine check to see you have got what you are expecting
    6. 6
      Ask your GP surgery about access to their online services to manage your appointments, prescriptions and more

    Do something

    Thinking about the tips here, is there anything you think would make managing your prescriptions easier?

    More info

    The NHS website has more on using online GP services

    Online GP services

    There is more about free prescriptions for people with epilepsy on the Epilepsy Action website

    Free prescriptions
    Updated 12 May 2020
    Review 12 May 2023
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