Metabolic syndrome and anticonvulsants: A comparative study of valproic acid and carbamazepine

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Purpose The aim of this study was to compare the risk of metabolic syndrome (MS) and evaluate related factors for MS among people with epilepsy treated with valproate (VPA) or carbamazepine (CBZ). Methods A total of 213 adult patients with epilepsy treated with VPA (n = 118) or CBZ (n = 95) monotherapy were included in the study. Participants were evaluated for the presence of MS, diagnosed according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. Results In the multiple logistic regression analysis, the risk of MS in CBZ- and VPA-treated patients was similar (odds ratio [OR] = 0.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-2.26; P = 0.979). A lower proportion of CBZ-treated patients had abnormally low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (OR = 0.10; 95% CI, 0.02-0.42; P = 0.002), whereas a lower proportion of VPA-treated patients had abnormally high concentrations of fasting blood glucose (OR = 0.30; 95% CI, 0.13-0.69; P = 0.004). Females treated with VPA tended to have a higher risk of MS (OR = 1.48; 95% CI, 0.50-4.41; P = 0.485) compared to males (OR = 0.74; 95% CI, 0.28-1.96; P = 0.551), although this difference was not statistically significant. Conclusion Although the overall risk of MS was similar in patients with epilepsy who were treated with VPA or CBZ, the distribution of MS components differed between treatment groups. Patients treated with CBZ or VPA less frequently had decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels or increased blood glucose concentrations, respectively. Females on VPA treatment could be at higher risk of MS than males.




Rakitin, A., Kõks, S., & Haldre, S. (2016). Metabolic syndrome and anticonvulsants: A comparative study of valproic acid and carbamazepine. Seizure, 38, 11–16.

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