Differential Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs on Sexual Function and Reproductive Hormones in Men with Epilepsy: Interim Analysis of a Comparison between Lamotrigine and Enzyme-inducing Antiepileptic Drugs

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Abstract

Purpose

We compared sexual function and reproductive hormone levels among men with localization-related epilepsy (LRE) taking various antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and normal controls (NC).

Methods

Subjects were 63 men with LRE [enzyme-inducing (EI) AEDs, 36; lamotrigine (LTG), 18; no AEDs, 9] and 18 NC. Sexual interest and function (S-score), hormone levels [bioactive testosterone (BAT) and estradiol (BAE)], hormone ratios [BAT/BAE], and gonadal efficiency [BAT/luteinizing hormone (LH)] were compared among the groups.

Results

S-scores, BAT levels, BAT/BAE, and BAT/LH were significantly lower in the EIAED group than in NC or LTG groups. Sex hormone–binding globulin (SHBG) was significantly higher in the EIAED group than in all other groups. Of men with LRE, 23.8% had abnormally low S-scores: 33.3% taking EIAEDs, 5.5% taking LTG, and 22.2% taking no AEDs (p < 0.01). BAT was low in 55.6% taking EIAEDs as compared with 33.3% taking LTG and 33.3% taking no AEDs (p < 0.05). Among men with low S-scores, 86.7% had low BAT as compared with 33.3% of men with normal scores (p < 0.01). BAT decline with age was greater among men with LRE than in controls (3.75 vs. 1.80 ng/dl/yr). The slope showed no significant difference among LRE groups. However, 89% of 40- to 50-year-old men taking EIAEDs had low BAT as compared with 33% taking LTG and 33% taking no AED (p < 0.01).

Conclusions

Sexual function, BAT levels, BAT/BAE, and gonadal efficiency are greater with LTG than with EIAED. Abnormally low BAT levels are reached at an earlier age with EIAEDs than with LTG.

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