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Is it ever an option to stop taking my epilepsy medication?

ANSWER

It's usually not an option for people with a type of epilepsy that rarely goes away, like juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. When you go off medication, a relapse is almost certain.

But nearly three-quarters of people with epilepsy have a form that's far less predictable. Which means you'll need to talk about it with your doctor.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Epilepsy: Treatment."

Current Treatment Options in Neurology : "Stopping Antiepileptic Drugs: When and Why?"

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews : "Early versus late antiepileptic drug withdrawal for people with epilepsy in remission."

Seizure : "Effects of levetiracetam monotherapy on sperm parameters and sex hormones: Data from newly diagnosed patients with epilepsy," "Stopping epilepsy treatment in seizure remission: Good or bad or both?"

BMC Medicine: "Comparative safety of anti-epileptic drugs during pregnancy: a systematic review and network meta-analysis of congenital malformations and prenatal outcomes."

Pediatric Annals: "Antiepileptic drugs -- a review."

Neurology India : "Stopping antiepileptic drugs in patients with epilepsy in remission: Why, When and How?"

Merck Manual: "Seizure Disorders."

Neurologic Clinics : "Starting, Choosing, Changing, and Discontinuing Drug Treatment for Epilepsy Patients."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on August 01, 2017

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Epilepsy: Treatment."

Current Treatment Options in Neurology : "Stopping Antiepileptic Drugs: When and Why?"

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews : "Early versus late antiepileptic drug withdrawal for people with epilepsy in remission."

Seizure : "Effects of levetiracetam monotherapy on sperm parameters and sex hormones: Data from newly diagnosed patients with epilepsy," "Stopping epilepsy treatment in seizure remission: Good or bad or both?"

BMC Medicine: "Comparative safety of anti-epileptic drugs during pregnancy: a systematic review and network meta-analysis of congenital malformations and prenatal outcomes."

Pediatric Annals: "Antiepileptic drugs -- a review."

Neurology India : "Stopping antiepileptic drugs in patients with epilepsy in remission: Why, When and How?"

Merck Manual: "Seizure Disorders."

Neurologic Clinics : "Starting, Choosing, Changing, and Discontinuing Drug Treatment for Epilepsy Patients."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on August 01, 2017

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What makes seizures more likely to return?

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