Thursday, March 19, 2009

Common Anticonvulsants May Raise Epileptics' Cardio Risk

Two widely prescribed anticonvulsants appear to increase cardiovascular risk in epileptics, researchers here found.

Patients who were switched from phenytoin or carbamazepine to newer medications had significant drops in cholesterol, C-reactive protein, and other markers of cardiovascular disease risk, Scott Mintzer, M.D., of Thomas Jefferson University here, and colleagues reported online in Annals of Neurology.

The researchers said it was unlikely the improvements resulted from treatment with the newer drugs.

"It's a consequence of being taken off the older ones, which were causing the cholesterol and other markers to be elevated in the first place," Dr. Mintzer said.


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