Horm Metab Res 2005; 37(3): 184-188
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-861304
Original Clinical
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Sex Hormones in Patients with Epilepsy - Hormonal Changes in Epileptic Men and Women Taking Antiepileptics

M.  Ciampani1 , A.  Verrotti1 , F.  Chiarelli1
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Italy
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Received 3 May 2004

Accepted after revision 1 September 2004

12. April 2005 (online)


The relationship between epilepsy and endocrine system has attracted the attention of investigators for a number of years. Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder; both seizures and antiepileptic drugs can compromise the physical and hormonal aspects of sexual development. Impairment of libido and sexual potency have been frequently reported in male epileptic patients. Women with epilepsy have a greater risk of infertility (anovulatory cycles and polycystic ovary syndrome). This review analyses the main data from the literature in order to clarify the role of epilepsy and antiepileptic drugs on sex hormones in epileptic patients. As gonad dysfunction is frequently observed in women and men with epilepsy, particularly when taking antiepileptic drugs, ovarian and testicular function must be carefully monitored.


Francesco Chiarelli, M. D.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti

Via dei Vestini 5 · 66100 Chieti · Italy

Telefon: +39 0871 358015

Fax: +39 0871 574831

eMail: chiarelli@unich.it

eMail: averott@unich.it; mpciampani@katamail.com