Rickets in children receiving anticonvulsant drugs. Biochemical and hormonal markers

Am J Dis Child. 1977 Mar;131(3):286-90. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1977.02120160040005.


Forty-one epileptic children, aged 2 to 16 years, receiving combinations of phenobarbital, phenytoin, and primidone, and 39 control children were studied. The epileptics demonstrated slight but significant reductions in serum calcium, phosphorus, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and a significant increase in serum alkaline phosphatase values. No significant difference in serum immunoreactive parathyroid hormone levels was noted. Further analysis of the data revealed that patients whose drug therapy included primidone had the lowest serum levels of calcium and 25-hydroxyvitamin D. They had also received the largest number of drugs for the longest duration, and had serum phenobarbital levels that were significantly higher than those of other patients. The minimal degree of vitamin D deficiency in our epileptic children contrasts with the results of other investigations and warrants emphasis. The reasons for this difference are not apparent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Calcium / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Combinations
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mephenytoin / adverse effects
  • Phenobarbital / adverse effects
  • Primidone / adverse effects
  • Rickets / chemically induced*
  • United States
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Drug Combinations
  • Primidone
  • Vitamin D
  • Mephenytoin
  • Calcium
  • Phenobarbital