A comparative study of the relative influence of different anticonvulsant drugs, UV exposure and diet on vitamin D and calcium metabolism in out-patients with epilepsy

Q J Med. 1986 Jun;59(230):569-77.


The biochemical parameters associated with vitamin D metabolism, calcium, 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25OHD) and alkaline phosphatase levels were assessed in 226 out-patients with epilepsy. Patients were grouped depending on the drug treatment; carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbitone and sodium valproate used alone as monotherapy and a combination of these drugs as polytherapy. The most severe alterations occurred in the polytherapy group. Hypocalcaemia was more severe in the phenobarbitone monotherapy group than the carbamazepine or the phenytoin groups. No patient on sodium valproate monotherapy had subnormal levels of calcium (less than 2.1 mmol/l). 25OHD levels were similarly reduced in the carbamazepine, phenytoin and the phenobarbitone groups with no reduction in the sodium valproate group. Significant elevations in alkaline phosphatase levels were evident in all patient groups except the sodium valproate group. This study confirms biochemical evidence for anticonvulsant osteomalacia when the enzyme-inducing drugs are used, the degree of severity depending on the drug regimen.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Carbamazepine / therapeutic use
  • Diet
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenobarbital / therapeutic use
  • Phenytoin / therapeutic use
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Valproic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D / metabolism*


  • Vitamin D
  • Carbamazepine
  • Valproic Acid
  • Phenytoin
  • Calcium
  • Phenobarbital