Serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), very LDL-C, and triglycerides (TGs) were determined in 119 children with epilepsy treated with AEDs for 7 months to 10 years (mean, 5.8 years) and in 125 healthy controls at the Hospital General de Galicia, Clinico Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. In patients receiving carbamazepine (58) or phenobarbital (22), mean TC, HDL-C, and LDL-C levels were significantly higher than in the control group. Serum TC exceeded the accepted safe level of 200 mg/dl in 41% of carbamazepine-treated children and in 50% of those receiving phenobarbital, compared to only 12% of controls. In those on valproic acid (39), mean TC and LDL-C levels and mean TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C ratios were significantly lower than controls. [1]

COMMENT. Serum cholesterol levels should be carefully monitored in children treated with carbamazepine or phenobarbital for epilepsy.