It is easy to understand people's reasons for wanting to stop
medicine. Some reasons are side effects and drug toxicity, the cost and inconvenience of
medicine, and, for women who want to have children, the higher risk of birth
defects associated with some
If you have not had a seizure in several years, you may want to
discuss with your doctor the possibility of stopping treatment with 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 stopping medicine
You have not had a seizure in 2 years or
You have only one type of seizure (except
myoclonic seizures, which usually require lifelong
You developed epilepsy as a child or
You had only a few seizures before starting
Your seizures were easy to control with initial drug
therapy using only one medicine.
In most cases, medicine is reduced slowly over 2 to 6 months. Talk with
your doctor about whether you should drive—and if not, for how
long—after you begin withdrawing the medicine. You are at highest risk for a
seizure during this time. Most relapses tend to happen in the first year after
you stop taking medicine, if they are going to happen at all.
Do not reduce your medicine dosage or stop taking your medicine without first consulting your doctor. Even if you have not
had a seizure in several years while on medicine, stopping treatment may not be
a good option for you.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.