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The Effect of Anticonvulsants on Serum Copper and Zinc Concentrations

Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2005;48(4):406-410.
Published online April 15, 2005.
The Effect of Anticonvulsants on Serum Copper and Zinc Concentrations
Hee Jeong Jeong, Hye Won Youn, Keon Su Lee
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
항경련제가 혈청 구리와 아연 농도에 미치는 영향
정희정, 윤혜원, 이건수
충남대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Correspondence: 
Keon Su Lee, Email: ksulee@cnu.ac.kr
Abstract
Purpose
: Anticonvulsants have a number of side effects and some of them may be attributed to a disturbance of serum trace metal homeostasis. Although they are minor building components in tissues, they play important functional roles in the peripheral and central nervous system. We measured serum copper and zinc levels in epileptic children who were treated with anticonvulsants to know the effects of anticonvulsants on serum copper and zinc levels.
Methods
: Serum copper and zinc levels were determined in 64 epileptic patients receiving anticonvulsant therapy in Chungnam National University Hospital, and in 20 normal controls. Sixty-four epileptic patients were divided into three groups : 16 patients who were treated with valproic acid monotherapy; 26 patients who were treated with valproic acid in addition to other anticonvulsants; and 22 patients who were treated with anticonvulsants except for valporic acid.
Results
: All patients receiving anticonvulsants had significantly lower serum copper levels(80.21?9.42 g/dL) in comparison to the normal controls(102.12?2.8 g/dL). Serum zinc levels in patients receiving anticonvulsants(79.78?1.88 g/dL) were not statistically different from those of controls (85.26?9.81 g/dL). There were no significant difference of serum copper and zinc levels among the three groups.
Conclusion
: In this study, we clearly showed that anticonvulsants decreased serum copper levels. Although we did not observe any clinical findings related to copper deficiency, we should pay attention to potent copper deficiency in patients with anticonvulsant treatment.
Key Words: Serum zinc , Serum copper , Epilepsy , Anticonvulsant


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