JAMA Logo Generally anti-epileptic drugs are considered as a secondary risk factor for osteoporosis and lead to greater bone density reduction during post-menopause among epilepsy patients. The following tidbit just adds into the list of demerits faced for consuming anti-epileptic drugs. A latest study suggests that anti-epileptic medications elevate the risk of non-traumatic fracture in people aged 50 years and above.

At the time of the study, investigators thoroughly evaluated medical records of 15,792 individuals who had gone through non-traumatic fractures between April 1996 and March 2004. Each and every participant was compared with three controls having no history of fracture. Hence a total of 15,792 volunteers were matched up with 47,289 controls. Anti-epileptic drugs such as carbamazepine, clonazepam, ethosuximide, gabapentin, phenobarbital, phenytoin and valproic acid were examined. Additional anti-epileptic drugs with fewer number of users were comprised together under ‘other anti-epileptic drugs.’ The threat of fracture appeared highest for people taking phenytoin followed by carbamazepine, other, phenobarbital, gabapentin and clonazepam.

Investigators, enlighten, “In conclusion, our study showed that most anti-epileptic drugs except for valproic acid are associated with an increased likelihood of non-traumatic fracture in individuals aged 50 years or older. Future prospective studies of anti-epileptic drugs in newly treated drug-naïve patients are needed to better examine the individual effects of anti-epileptic drugs on bone health.”

Only the anti-epileptic drug valproic acid was possibly not linked with an increased likelihood of fracture. Nathalie Jetté, M.D., M.Sc., of the University of Calgary, Foothills Hospital, Alberta, Canada, and colleagues noted similar results while testing for the usage of anti-epileptic drugs in monotherapy, those employing only one anti-epileptic drug as well as polytherapy, individuals taking more than one anti-epileptic drug. All anti-epileptic drugs put to use in monotherapy were seemingly linked with a dramatically heightened risk of fracture except for valproic acid, phenobarbital and ‘other anti-epileptic drugs.’ Individuals in the polytherapy subgroups apparently had the highest risk of fracture.

The study is published in the January issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.