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Stopping Medicine for Epilepsy

Overview

If you haven't had a seizure in several years, you may ask your doctor if you can slowly stop or reduce your medicine. You and your doctor will need to weigh the benefits of stopping treatment against the risk that your seizures may return.

You have a lower risk of having a seizure after you stop medicine if:

  • You haven't had a seizure in 2 years or more.
  • You have only one type of seizure. (An exception is myoclonic seizures, which usually require lifelong treatment.)
  • Your epilepsy started when you were a child or teen.
  • You had only a few seizures before starting treatment.
  • Your seizures were easy to control with initial drug therapy using only one medicine.
  • Your electroencephalogram (EEG) is consistently normal.
  • Brain scans (MRI or CT scan) don't show any problems.
  • You have a type of epilepsy that tends to go away (remit), such as benign focal childhood epilepsy.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: December 13, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Steven C. Schachter MD - Neurology

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