Weight change associated with antiepileptic drugs

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To investigate antiepileptic drug (AED)-related weight changes in patients with epilepsy through a retrospective observational study.


We analysed the anonymised electronic primary care records of 1.1 million adult patients in Wales. We included patients aged 18 years and over with a diagnosis of epilepsy, whose body weight had been measured up to 12 months before starting, and between 3 and 12 months after starting, one of five AEDs. We calculated the weight difference after starting the AED for each patient.


1423 patients were identified in total. The mean difference between body weight after and before starting each AED (together with 95% CI and p values for no difference) were: carbamazepine (CBZ) 0.43 (−0.19 to 1.05) p=0.17; lamotrigine (LTG) 0.31 (−0.38 to 1.00) p=0.38; levetiracetam (LEV) 1.00 (0.16 to 1.84) p=0.02; sodium valproate (VPA) 0.74 (0.10 to 1.38) p=0.02; topiramate (TPM) −2.30 (−4.27 to −0.33) p=0.02.


LEV and VPA were associated with significant weight gain, TPM was associated with significant weight loss, and LTG and CBZ were not associated with significant weight change.

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