Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Generally Safe To Withdraw Anti-seizure Medication In Children With Epilepsy, Study Finds

Date:
December 22, 2008
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
A new study found that it is generally safe to withdraw anti-seizure medications in children with epilepsy who have achieved seizure-freedom while on the medication. Researchers found that these children were not at high risk of subsequently developing intractable epilepsy.

A new Mayo Clinic study found that it is generally safe to withdraw anti-seizure medications in children with epilepsy who have achieved seizure-freedom while on the medication. Researchers found that these children were not at high risk of subsequently developing intractable epilepsy. The study was presented on Dec. 7, at the American Epilepsy Society's annual meeting in Seattle.

Epilepsy is a disorder characterized by the occurrence of two or more seizures. It affects more than 3 million Americans. Approximately 10 percent of affected children have intractable epilepsy, a condition in which medications alone do not control seizures and seizures have a disabling effect on quality of life.

"It is often recommended that children with epilepsy who become seizure-free on anti-seizure medications be withdrawn from the drugs to avoid side effects of long-term use. Those potential side effects include cognitive slowing, incoordination, weight change, behavioral decline, and liver damage," says Katherine Nickels, M.D., a Mayo Clinic pediatric neurologist and an author of this study. "However, few previous studies had examined the risk of intractable epilepsy following withdrawal of anti-seizure medication, and the reported risks varied widely."

Dr. Nickels and a team of Mayo Clinic researchers set out to determine the frequency of intractable epilepsy in children who withdrew from anti-seizure medication after a period of seizure-freedom. The team reviewed the records of 241 children, ages 1 month to 16 years, who were diagnosed with new-onset epilepsy between 1990 and 2000. They identified 152 children who were diagnosed and treated with anti-seizure medication and had at least five years of follow-up.

Of those, 56 children (37 percent) achieved seizure-freedom and were withdrawn from the medication. After an average follow-up of eight years, 20 children (36 percent) experienced at least one seizure recurrence. Fifteen of these children re-started the anti-seizure medication, and eight (53 percent) achieved seizure-freedom within one year, two (13 percent) achieved seizure-freedom after two years and only three (20 percent) developed intractable epilepsy. Overall, only 5 percent of the 56 children who withdrew from anti-seizure medication following seizure-freedom developed intractable epilepsy.

"The risk of children developing intractable epilepsy after withdrawal of anti-seizure medication was only 5 percent, which is similar to the risk of intractable epilepsy at the time of initial diagnosis of epilepsy in children," says Dr. Nickels. "Therefore, the children who achieve seizure-freedom on anti-seizure medication should be considered for withdrawal without high risk of intractable epilepsy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Generally Safe To Withdraw Anti-seizure Medication In Children With Epilepsy, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081207133719.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2008, December 22). Generally Safe To Withdraw Anti-seizure Medication In Children With Epilepsy, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081207133719.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Generally Safe To Withdraw Anti-seizure Medication In Children With Epilepsy, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081207133719.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) A new study says marijuana use could lead to serious heart-related complications. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins