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Neurology. 1997 Nov;49(5):1444-7.

Biotin catabolism is accelerated in adults receiving long-term therapy with anticonvulsants.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, USA.


Using serum biotin concentration as the indicator, a previous study reported biotin deficiency resulting from long-term anticonvulsant therapy. However, serum biotin may not be a good indicator of tissue biotin status. Using better indicators of biotin status in anticonvulsant-treated subjects, we found increased urinary excretion of biotin catabolites and 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid, an organic acid produced in greater quantities secondary to reduced activity of a biotin-dependent carboxylase. We conclude that anticonvulsant treatment led to increased biotin catabolism and probably to reduced biotin status.

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