The Investigation of Insulin Resistance in Two Groups of Epileptic Patients Treated with Sodium Valproate and Carbamazepine


1 Department of Neurology, Isfahan Neurosciences Research Center, Alzahra Hospital, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran

3 Health Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Valproic acid (VPA) is a widely used broad-spectrum antiepileptic drug for therapy of generalized and focal epilepsies. Cross-sectional studies have suggested that valproate treatment may be associated with hyperinsulinemia. We decided to investigate hyperinsulinemia as a health-threatening side effect of VPA in Iranian epileptic patients. Materials and Methods: Body mass index (BMI), lipid profile, fasting serum insulin, fasting blood glucose (FBS), and homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were measured in 30 VPA-treated epileptic patients and 30 controls (CBZ-treated). The Chi-square test, t-test, and Pearson correlation test were used. Results: BMI was higher in VPA group than in control group (25.7 ± 3.5 > 21.7 ± 4.1) (0.000 < 0.05). Prevalence of obesity was 16.6% in VPA group that was almost the same and even lower than general Iranian population. Serum triglyceride (TG) (150 ± 77.2) was higher than CBZ group (114 ± 35.2) (P = 0.023 < 0.05). However, serum high-density lipoprotein level was lower in VPA group than controls (45.2 ± 11.7 < 54.4 ± 13.9) (P = 0.008 < 0.05). Serum insulin, FBS, HOMA-IR, cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein did not demonstrate statistically significant differences between the two groups (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Despite the majority of previous studies that are against VPA and according to our study, VPA could be prescribed safely and it may not cause IR and its complications.


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