Community Forum

Second Opinion On Dr's Advice

I have been on 200 mg's of Dilantin for nine years. It is not working as well as it once had particularly with my SP seizures. The neurologist has recommended a switch to Tegretol. 

She has not advised weaning off the Dilantin. She basically told me to stop taking Dilantin and substitute with Tegretol. She says I will not experience any Dilantin withdrawal but I am not so sure.

My epileptolgist, it out of the office so I cannot run this by him. I do not want to begin this "cold turkey" method without the go ahead from another doctor.


Has anyone else stopped one drug and started another this abruptly? If so please share your experiences.


Thank You



Don't stop any AED cold turkey!  It could cause status epilepticus, a nonstop seizure that can be fatal.  200 mg of Dilantin isn't an extremely strong dose.  I take 360mg/ day.  As far as taking the two together:  I did it for several years with no problems.

If you can't contact your regular epileptologist, isn't there an "On Call" neurologist you can contact?

Thank you. I will be waiting to speak with my  epileptologist.

I am trusting my gut on this has never lead me in the wrong direction. I wish I could say the same for doctors :)

200mg is a low dose of dilantin.... I was on 300mg when I was younger and slowly weaned off of it after about 4 years and was started on it again in october after I started having them again.... was on 300mg to start and now I take 800mg.... I would not quit cold turkey.... I would consult with a different doctor or a neurologist that specializes in epilepsy

Trust your gut. 200mg of Dilantin may be a low dose, but it never hurts to wean instead of quit cold turkey. When in doubt, always seek a 2nd opinion. Especially if this isn't your primary neurologist/epileptologist suggesting the switch. I went from Dilantin to Tegretol and had a great experience on it. I hope the same for you.

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

24/7 helpline