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Why the TimeToStop trial failed to recruit: a survey on antiepileptic drug withdrawal after paediatric epilepsy surgery


Lamberink, Herm J; Geleijns, Karin; Otte, Willem M; Arzimanoglou, Alexis; Helen Cross, J; Korff, Christian M; Ramantani, Georgia; Braun, Kees P J (2018). Why the TimeToStop trial failed to recruit: a survey on antiepileptic drug withdrawal after paediatric epilepsy surgery. Epileptic Disorders, 20(5):374-385.

Abstract

Following the results of the multicentre European retrospective "TimeToStop" cohort study, we initiated a randomised trial to determine cognitive benefits of early postoperative antiepileptic drug withdrawal. Unfortunately, the trial failed to recruit and was terminated, as almost all parents preferred early drug withdrawal. The objectives of the current survey were to obtain insight into current practices regarding drug withdrawal after paediatric epilepsy surgery among epileptologists, and better understand the reasons for difficulties in recruitment. A survey was sent to three international epilepsy surgery networks, questioning drug withdrawal policies. Forty-seven (19%) surveys were returned. For polytherapy, withdrawal was started at a median of three and six months by the TimeToStop collaborators and other paediatric epileptologists, respectively. Withdrawal was completed at a median of 12 and 20 months, respectively. For monotherapy, tapering was initiated at five and 11 months in these two groups, and ended at a median of seven and 12 months, respectively. Most TimeToStop collaborators believed that it was not justified to wait 12 months after surgery before reducing AEDs, regardless of the number of AEDs taken. Current AED policies in Europe have changed as a consequence of the retrospective TimeToStop results, and this accounts for why recruitment in a randomised trial was not feasible.

Abstract

Following the results of the multicentre European retrospective "TimeToStop" cohort study, we initiated a randomised trial to determine cognitive benefits of early postoperative antiepileptic drug withdrawal. Unfortunately, the trial failed to recruit and was terminated, as almost all parents preferred early drug withdrawal. The objectives of the current survey were to obtain insight into current practices regarding drug withdrawal after paediatric epilepsy surgery among epileptologists, and better understand the reasons for difficulties in recruitment. A survey was sent to three international epilepsy surgery networks, questioning drug withdrawal policies. Forty-seven (19%) surveys were returned. For polytherapy, withdrawal was started at a median of three and six months by the TimeToStop collaborators and other paediatric epileptologists, respectively. Withdrawal was completed at a median of 12 and 20 months, respectively. For monotherapy, tapering was initiated at five and 11 months in these two groups, and ended at a median of seven and 12 months, respectively. Most TimeToStop collaborators believed that it was not justified to wait 12 months after surgery before reducing AEDs, regardless of the number of AEDs taken. Current AED policies in Europe have changed as a consequence of the retrospective TimeToStop results, and this accounts for why recruitment in a randomised trial was not feasible.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 October 2018
Deposited On:12 Feb 2019 16:17
Last Modified:30 Jan 2020 13:46
Publisher:John Libbey Eurotext
ISSN:1294-9361
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1684/epd.2018.1003
PubMed ID:30378554

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