Antiepileptic medications (ASMs) are withdrawn at the epilepsy monitoring unit to facilitate seizure recordings. The effect of rapid tapering of ASMs on the length of hospital stay has not been well documented. We compared the mean length of hospital stay between patients who under-went acute ASM withdrawal and slow dose tapering during long-term video electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring. We retrospectively investigated 57 consecutive patients admitted to the epilepsy monitoring unit regarding the mean length of hospital stay in the acute ASM withdrawal group (n = 30) and slow-taper group (n = 27). In the acute-withdrawal group, all ASMs were discontinued once the patients were admitted. In the slow-taper group, the doses of ASMs were gradually reduced by 15–30% daily. We also evaluated the safety of the acute-withdrawal and slow-taper protocols. The mean lengths of hospital stay were 3.8 ± 1.92 and 5.2 ± 0.69 days in the acute-withdrawal and slow-taper groups, respectively (p < 0.005). No severe adverse events, including status epilepticus, were observed. Acute ASM withdrawal has the advantage of significantly reducing the length of hospital stay over slow tapering, without any severe adverse effects.
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