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For how long does a child need to take drugs for seizures?

Q: My daughter has been diagnosed for having convulsion and was given sodium valproate 300 mg daily for 3 years. We took an EEG a couple of months back and the doctor advised us to stop the medicine for a 6 months period and to go for an EEG after a month. Unfortunately, my daughter had a convulsion this week and again the doctor restarted the medicine. How long do we need to give this medicine? Is there any point we can stop the medicine? We are worried as this has recurred within a 5 months period of stopping the medicine. Please help.

A:Generally if there are no convulsions for three years continuously, then an attempt is made to stop the medication. Since there have been seizures, there is no alternative but to restart the medication. Seizures are of various types such as grand mal, myoclonic etc. In grand mal, the drug of choice is carbamazepine or phenytoin. In myoclonic seizures the drug of choice is sodium valproate. Most cases of epilepsy in India are of grand mal type. If the diagnosis was grand mal epilepsy, then the patient should be given carbamazepine, preferably a controlled, slow release brand such as Carbacontin (ModiMundipharma) 200 mg once daily. There is no cause for undue worry. It is not uncommon to get seizures when medication is stopped. Most female patients get over such seizures by the age of 13 years or soon after.

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