Purpose Multiple antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are often necessary to treat nonconvulsive seizures (NCS) and nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE). AED polypharmacy places patients at risk for adverse side effects and drug–drug interactions. Identifying the likelihood of seizure relapse when weaning non-anesthetic AEDs may provide guidance in the critical care unit. Method Ninety-nine adult patients with successful treatment of electrographic-proven NCS or NCSE on continuous critical care EEG (CCEEG) monitoring were identified retrospectively. Patients were determined to undergo an AED wean if the number of non-anesthetic AEDs was reduced at the time of discharge compared to the number of non-anesthetic AEDs at primary seizure cessation. Primary outcome was recurrent seizures either clinically or by CCEEG during hospitalization. Secondary outcome measures included hospital length of stay and discharge disposition. Results The rate of recurrent seizures in the wean group was not statistically different when compared to the group that did not undergo an AED wean (17% vs. 13%, respectively; p = 0.77). The wean group had a median value of 4 (IQR: 3–4) non-anesthetic AEDs at the time of primary seizure cessation compared with 3 (IQR: 2–3) in the non-wean group (p < 0.0001). However, both groups had similar values of AEDs at discharge (median of 2 (IQR: 2–3) vs. 3 (IQR: 2–3) for wean and non-wean groups respectively; p = 0.40). Discharge disposition (favorable, acceptable, or unfavorable) was similar between groups (p = 0.32). Conclusions Early weaning of non-anesthetic AEDs does not increase the risk of recurrent seizures in patients treated for NCS or NCSE during their hospitalization.
Creed, J. A., Son, J., Farjat, A. E., & Swisher, C. B. (2018). Early withdrawal of non-anesthetic antiepileptic drugs after successful termination of nonconvulsive seizures and nonconvulsive status epilepticus. Seizure, 54, 45–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2017.12.001