Objective: In patients with status epilepticus (SE) without prior epilepsy, there are limited data on the safety of discontinuing antiseizure drugs (ASDs) after seizure control. This study aimed to describe seizure recurrence when weaning from ASDs following new onset SE (NOSE).
Methods: Retrospective review of adult patients with NOSE admitted to Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 2015 was performed. Weaning was defined as a discontinuation of ASDs following discharge. Patient demographics, SE characteristics, timing of ASD withdrawal, and seizure recurrence were collected.
Results: One hundred seventy-seven patients with mean age 63 ± 18 years were identified; 96 (54.2%) patients had refractory SE (RSE), and 81 (45.8%) had nonrefractory SE. Mean follow-up was 3.8 ± 3.2 years for those successfully weaned off ASDs. One hundred thirty (73.4%) with outpatient follow-up were included in the analysis; 128 (98.5%) patients were discharged on an ASD; 44 of 128 (34.4%) patients underwent weaning from at least 1 ASD following discharge, including 27 of 128 (21.1%) who were completely weaned off of all ASDs. Younger patients (P = 0.009) and those with RSE (P = 0.048, odds ratio = 2.12, 95% confidence interval = 1.00-4.48) tended to undergo weaning. Six of 44 (13.6%) patients had seizure recurrence when weaned off of any ASD, and two of 27 (7.4%) patients completely weaned off all ASDs had seizure recurrence. Two of seven (28.6%) patients who underwent attempted barbiturate weaning experienced seizure recurrence.
Significance: This study found a rate of 13.6% for late seizure recurrence after weaning from at least one antiseizure drug (ASD) in patients with new onset status epilepticus (NOSE); seizure recurrence was more likely in patients with refractory status epilepticus treated with barbiturates. Systematic collection of longitudinal data in patients requiring multiple ASDs for NOSE control will provide more conclusive guidance on weaning from ASDs.