A genome-wide association study of sodium levels and drug metabolism in an epilepsy cohort treated with carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine

Epilepsia Open. 2019 Jan 17;4(1):102-109. doi: 10.1002/epi4.12297. eCollection 2019 Mar.


Objective: To ascertain the clinical and genetic factors contributing to carbamazepine- and oxcarbazepine-induced hyponatremia (COIH), and to carbamazepine (CBZ) metabolism, in a retrospectively collected, cross-sectional cohort of people with epilepsy.

Methods: We collected data on serum sodium levels and antiepileptic drug levels in people with epilepsy attending a tertiary epilepsy center while on treatment with CBZ or OXC. We defined hyponatremia as Na+ ≤134 mEq/L. We estimated the CBZ metabolic ratio defined as the log transformation of the ratio of metabolite CBZ-diol to unchanged drug precursor substrate as measured in serum.

Results: Clinical and genetic data relating to carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine trials were collected in 1141 patients. We did not observe any genome-wide significant associations with sodium level in a linear trend or hyponatremia as a dichotomous trait. Age, sex, number of comedications, phenytoin use, phenobarbital use, and sodium valproate use were significant predictors of CBZ metabolic ratio. No genome-wide significant associations with CBZ metabolic ratio were found.

Significance: Although we did not detect a genetic predictor of hyponatremia or CBZ metabolism in our cohort, our findings suggest that the determinants of CBZ metabolism are multifactorial.

Keywords: EpiPGX Consortium; GWAS; adverse effects; antiepileptic drugs; hyponatremia.