Electrolyte Profile of Epileptic Patients on Carbamazepine Monotherapy

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College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin


Epileptic seizures result from disruption in electrical activity among neurons. Adequate amount ofelectrolytes is essential for a healthy nervous system. The existing knowledge on the impact of antiepileptic drugs on serum electrolyte is still controversial. This study was designed to determine the effects of long term use of carbamazepine on serum concentrations of calcium, magnesium, inorganic phosphate and alkaline phosphatase in complex partial and generalized tonic-clonic seizure patients at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria. It was a cross-sectional study involving 23 seizure disorder adult patients on carbamazepine monotherapy. Serum was analyzed for calcium, magnesium, inorganic phosphate, alkaline phosphatase and albumin using complexometric and colorimetric methods. Serum concentration of calcium (albumin adjusted calcium 3.47±0.09) and alkaline phoshatase (261.87±14.53) were significantly (P<0.05) higher in subjects on carbamazepine compared to the control drugs group (2.64±0.04 and 146.67±4.11) respectively. In addition serum concentration of magnesium (1.35±0.04) was significantly higher in the subjects compared to the control group (1.04±0.02) but within the normal range. Inorganic phosphate though significantly lower in the subjects was also within the normal range. In the control group, serum concentration of calcium was strongly correlated with concentration of magnesium, alkaline phoshatase and inorganic phosphate. This linearity was lost completely in epileptic patients on carbamazepine. In this study, an increase in serum calcium, alkaline phosphatase, magnesium and a decrease in inorganic phosphate were found in epileptic patients on carbamazepine monotherapy. Monitoring serum concentration of these electrolytes may be of benefit to the patients’ management.



Epilepsy, Serum calcium, Magnesium, Alkaline phosphatase, Inorganic phosphate