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Fractures "more likely" amongst people with taking multiple anti-epileptics drugs - study

12 May 2005

People taking
anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are more likely to have bone fractures,
with the likelihood increasing if more than one AED is being taken,
according to new research.

A study, led by Dr Jouko Isojarvi, director of clinical development at the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in Durham, North Carolina, was presented to the recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. With statistics from the UK General Practice Research Database,
the researchers compared 1,018 people with epilepsy who had fractures
and 1,842 people with epilepsy who did not have fractures.

Isojarvi told the meeting that the main difference between the two
groups was that the group with fractures were more likely to be taking
more than one AED. He commented:

on two drugs had a 2.66 times greater risk of fracture and those on
three drugs had a 3.85 times greater risk than those on only one
anti-epileptic drug."

study confirmed that women were at an increased risk as they have a
greater loss of bone density (the amount of tissue in a bone) with age
than men.