Vitamin D levels in children and adolescents with antiepileptic drug treatment

Yonsei Med J. 2014 Mar;55(2):417-21. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2014.55.2.417.


Purpose: This study was to evaluate the relationship of 25(OH)D3 levels with anticonvulsant use and other possible factors in epileptic children and adolescents.

Materials and methods: We studied 143 patients with epilepsy (90 boys, 53 girls; 11.21±4.49 years), who had been treated with anticonvulsants for more than 1 year. Patients who had taken multiple vitamins before the blood test and those who have the limitation of physical activity (wheelchair-bound) were excluded from the study. We evaluated the difference in vitamin D status according to the type and number of anticonvulsants taken and other factors such as gender, age, intelligence and seizure variables.

Results: For patients with mental retardation or developmental delay, 25(OH)D3 levels were lower than the levels in patients with normal intelligence quotient levels (p=0.03). 25(OH)D3 levels were lower in patients who had taken anticonvulsants for more than 2 years as compared to those who had taken them for less than 2 years (p=0.03). Those taking oxcarbazepine had significantly lower vitamin D levels than patients taking valproic acid (p=0.01). However, no effects of number of anticonvulsants taken were detectable. More than two-thirds of the patients were diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis in patients showing either vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency.

Conclusion: The possibility of vitamin D deficiency can be considered in pediatric patients taking anticonvulsants if they have mental retardation or developmental delay or if they have been taking anticonvulsants for more than 2 years or taking hepatic enzyme inducing drugs.

Keywords: Vitamin D; anticonvulsants; developmental disabilities; epilepsy; intellectual disability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / chemically induced
  • Carbamazepine / analogs & derivatives
  • Carbamazepine / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / blood
  • Epilepsy / blood*
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / blood
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / chemically induced
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Valproic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Vitamin D
  • Carbamazepine
  • Valproic Acid
  • Oxcarbazepine