Risk of nontraumatic fractures may rise with use of antiepileptic drugs

January 21, 2011

Antiepileptic drugs may increase the risk of nontraumatic fractures in patients aged 50 years and older, according to a study published in the January issue of the Archives of Neurology, HealthDay News reported.

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) may increase the risk of nontraumatic fractures in patients aged 50 years and older, according to a study published in the January issue of the Archives of Neurology, HealthDay News reported.

Researchers found that AED use significantly increased the risk of fractures, with the exception of valproic acid. The increased risk was still present after adjusting for socio-demographic factors, comorbidities, and the use of homecare services. They also found that patients with fractures were less likely to have hypertension as compared with those without fractures, indicating a potential osteoprotective benefit from hypertension or hypertension medications.

Nathalie Jetté, MD, of the University of Calgary (Canada) and colleagues studied 15,792 patients who suffered nontraumatic wrist, hip, and vertebra fractures between 1996 and 2004, and compared them according to age, sex, ethnicity, and comorbidities to 47,289 control subjects.

“Further studies are warranted to assess the risk of nontraumatic fractures with the newer AEDs and to determine the efficacy of osteoprotective medications in this population,” researchers wrote.

Several of the study’s authors disclosed financial ties with various pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen Pharmaceuticals Canada and Proctor & Gamble.