AVM Survivors Network

Logem What is this?


Hello everyone, I have a question regarding medication.
I have been taking lamotrigene for about five years and it has completely controlled my seizures. Pharmac New Zealand is now changing to logem which I know nothing about. I am presuming it is just another name for lamotrigine ? I guess this is because pharmac N. Z has procurred a cheaper product. I am a little concerned if it is different it may not work as well and I could end up having a seizure or feel unwell on the motorway. Disasterous! . I also work up ladders. Thanks for any input.


Hey Grunta,
You are correct in your presumption in that Logem and Lamotrigine contain the same active ingredient. Lamotrigine was available from a few different suppliers with trade names of Lamictal (GlaxoSmithKline Inc), Arrow-Lamotrigine (Mylan) and Logem (Made by a number of differing companies). Logem is considered the generic version of the same drug and is therefore cheaper than the brand name derivatives. Often the generics are produced by exactly the same company as a branded version. If Pharmac NZ has an agreement to purchase all of their Lamotrigine from one specific manufacturer, they may get it at a reduced cost.

Now, although some generic versions of medications do work just as well as their trademarked cousins and do contain exactly the same active ingredients, the fillers or bulking agents maybe different. Some people can have a differing reaction to some fillers. I am on a few differing meds and most are generic and work fine, but one does not. I do not get the same benefit from the generic as I do from the trade named brand and due to this I specifically request that branded version. I do pay extra for that specific brand, but for me, it’s what I need. I have been informed by the pharmacist that for some people there may be a reaction to such fillers but that by law the active ingredient and the quantities MUST be exactly the same.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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Thank you for the reply. So it’s basically the same ingredients as what I’m on now. Is Logem common ( is it widely Used) I’ve never heard of it. From the news reports here in New Zealand there are a lot of anxious lamotrigene users not looking forward to the change me being one. I suffer anxiety as it is. It’s a wonder they make this change and expect you to be OK on it. I was thinking they may forbid you to drive for a month or something to see if it affects you.
A seizure means no licence for a year, so there goes my work which means I lose my clients which means I may end up losing my house. I’m probably over reacting but if something’s working and working well I don’t want to risk changing it. Ive no idea what it would cost to pay extra to stay on the lamotrigene. They will still stock the low dose (2mg) for children. I wonder why they won’t put children on logem.


Hey Grunta,
Here’s my suggestion, look into obtaining income protection insurance and/or Total Permanent Disability cover. I’m in Australia and as part of my superannuation policy I obtained cover, then when the proverbial hit the fan, I was covered. I had a fair amount of hassle in making the claim and needed to get a lawyer in the end because the insurance company were complete and utter *^%$#^@, but I got my payout which settled my mortgage because otherwise I would have been in some real financial trouble.

Any change can be daunting and especially when it could be something life changing like medications. It really can be a case of trial and error. If you find that your system cannot cope you maybe able to get your treating dr to appeal to Pharmac for a review. With medications, it’s never a case of ‘one size fits all’, they must have some sort of mechanism to be able to appeal a decision, especially on medical grounds. It may be well worth investigating your options in regard to an appeal. But you may still need to go through some sort of monitored trial period so it can be confirmed by an independent medical professional that the new med is not appropriate.

As for children having access to a differing med, sometimes the generic concoctions can be a bit harsh for a youngster’s digestive system, so they make the option available for them. Also in some cases the lesser dosages may not be available as a generic, in which case the branded version maybe the only option.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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