Antiepileptic drug withdrawal in childhood: does the duration of tapering off matter for seizure recurrence?

J Child Neurol. 2005 Jul;20(7):624-6. doi: 10.1177/08830738050200071901.


There is no consensus on how long the duration of antiepileptic drug withdrawal after seizure control should be. The objective of the present study was to verify if the duration of tapering off matters for seizure recurrence in children with controlled epilepsy. In this prospective study, patients were randomized to taper the antiepileptic drug during a period of 1 or 6 months. Fifty-seven patients met the inclusion criteria; 24 were girls, and ages ranged from 2 to 16 years (mean 9.45 years). There was no difference between the two groups according to age, gender, type of epileptic syndrome, electroencephalogram abnormality, and antiepileptic drug (P > .05). In the 1-month group, seizure recurred in 10 patients, as opposed to 12 patients in the 6-month group. The analysis of seizure recurrence in each group showed no difference (P > .05). We conclude that the duration of antiepileptic drug tapering off does not influence the risk of seizure recurrence in childhood.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Time Factors
  • Withholding Treatment*


  • Anticonvulsants