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Neurology. 2001 Jan 9;56(1):31-6.

Reproductive effects of valproate, carbamazepine, and oxcarbazepine in men with epilepsy.

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Department of Neurology, University of Oulu, Finland.



Recent observations have indicated that reproductive endocrine disorders are common among women taking valproate (VPA) for epilepsy, but it is not known whether respective abnormalities develop in men taking VPA for epilepsy. Carbamazepine (CBZ) may induce endocrine disorders in men with epilepsy, but the endocrine effects of oxcarbazepine (OXC) are not known.


Reproductive endocrine function was evaluated in 90 men taking VPA (n = 21), CBZ (n = 40), or OXC (n = 29) as monotherapy for epilepsy and in 25 healthy control men.


Twelve men (57%) taking VPA had increased serum androgen levels. The mean serum level of androstenedione was high in patients taking VPA. Serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate were low, and serum concentrations of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were high in men taking CBZ. The endocrine effects of OXC seemed to be dose-dependent, because serum hormone levels were normal in patients with low OXC doses (< 900 mg/day), but serum concentrations of testosterone, gonadotropins, and SHBG were high in patients with a daily OXC dose > or = 900 mg.


VPA increases serum androgen concentrations in men with epilepsy. The endocrine effects of CBZ and OXC were different, because CBZ appears to decrease the bioactivity of androgens, whereas OXC does not.

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