Objective: To evaluate testicular function in men with epilepsy treated with different antiepileptic drugs (AED) vs no drugs.
Methods: Two hundred men with epilepsy (mean age 36 years) were investigated. Inclusion criteria included one or no AED, no co-medication, and no endocrine co-morbidity. Findings were compared with those from 105 healthy men (mean age 33.9 years). Luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone (T), free testosterone (free T), and inhibin B were measured.
Results: One hundred seventy-eight men had focal epilepsy (117 of these had temporal lobe epilepsy [TLE]) and 22 idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE). Thirty-three men were not on AED; 124 men received enzyme-inducing AED. Free T was lowered in all patient subgroups, and the T/LH ratio was lowered in all groups except patients with IGE and patients receiving valproate (VPA). T was lower in patients with temporal than extratemporal focal epilepsy. Compared with TLE patients on carbamazepine (CBZ), patients treated with VPA had higher total T and lower LH values, resulting in a significantly lower T/LH ratio with CBZ.
Conclusions: Epilepsy, especially TLE, adversely affects testicular endocrine function. CBZ may increase the negative effects of epilepsy on serum levels of reproductive hormones.