Anticonvulsant medication was stopped in a prospective study in 116 children with epilepsy who had had no seizures for a period of 2 years. A remission rate of 80.5% was found 5 years after withdrawal. The population studied was unselected, and based on children directly referred by general practitioners to the outpatient department. Among the many variables examined, such as type of epilepsy or seizure, presence of concomitant neurological or intellectual deficit, and epileptiform activity on the EEG, only the age of onset of seizures was significantly and positively correlated with the probability of recurrence after discontinuation of medication. In contrast to other recent studies, it was concluded that there are no reliable predictive factors for withholding from any individual "epileptic" child the benefit of attempts to stop medication after 2 years of seizure freedom.
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