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Epileptic Drugs Ups Fracture Risk in Older Adults

by VR Sreeraman on  January 11, 2011 at 9:40 PM Drug News   - G J E 4
A new study has found that most anti-epileptic drugs are linked with an increased risk of non-traumatic fracture in individuals 50 years of age and older.
 Epileptic Drugs Ups Fracture Risk in Older Adults
Epileptic Drugs Ups Fracture Risk in Older Adults
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Nathalie Jette, of the University of Calgary, Foothills Hospital, Alberta, Canada, and colleagues studied medical records of 15,792 individuals who experienced non-traumatic fractures between April 1996 and March 2004. Each person was matched with up to three controls, persons without a history of fracture, for a total of 47,289 controls.

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The individual anti-epileptic drugs studied included carbamazepine, clonazepam, ethosuximide, gabapentin, phenobarbital, phenytoin and valproic acid. Additional anti-epileptic drugs with fewer numbers of users were included together under "other anti-epileptic drugs."

The likelihood of fractures was highest for persons taking phenytoin followed by carbamazepine, other, phenobarbital, gabapentin and clonazepam. The only anti-epileptic drug not associated with an increased likelihood of fracture was valproic acid.

Similar results were found when testing for the use of anti-epileptic drugs in monotherapy (individuals taking only one anti-epileptic drug) and in polytherapy (individuals taking more than one anti-epileptic drug). All anti-epileptic drugs used in monotherapy were associated with a significantly increased risk of fracture except for valproic acid, phenobarbital and "other anti-epileptic drugs." The greatest risk of fracture was found in individuals in the polytherapy subgroups.

"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," the authors write.

The study has been published in the Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Source: ANI
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