Older women who take drugs for epilepsy may be risking bone loss say researchers. Investigators tested post-menopausal women and found those on epilepsy drugs were significantly more likely to have lower scores on heel and hip tests to measure bone density than women not taking the drugs.
More than 6,000 women participated in the study.The loss for women taking the drugs was nearly two-times higher in both the heel bone and the hip. Those numbers held true even after the researchers adjusted their findings to take other factors that could be causing bone loss into account.
Researchers say older women taking epilepsy drugs should be screened for osteoporosis and counseled about the importance of getting enough calcium and taking vitamin D supplements. Researchers also say they are not sure how epilepsy drugs might be leading to bone loss, but they speculate the drugs may impair the body's ability to metabolize vitamin D or absorb calcium.