Treatment of epilepsy in postmenopausal women

Kristine S. Ziemba, Katherine H. Noe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Menopausal women represent a rapidly growing proportion of the population. Epidemiologic evidence for the increased incidence of epilepsy in elderly patients suggests that with global aging of the population, there is likely to be a growing need for healthcare workers to manage seizures in older women. Unfortunately, there has been relatively little scientific investigation into the unique concerns of postmenopausal woman with epilepsy. There is some evidence that women may experience increased seizure activity during the menopausal transition owing to the effects of estrogen and progesterone on neuronal excitability. During perimenopause and menopause, use of hormone-replacement therapy can also worsen seizure control. Menopausal women are particularly vulnerable to osteoporosis and fragility fractures, both of which demonstrate increased risk following exposure to antiepileptic drugs. Optimization of epilepsy therapy to avoid both seizures and falls caused by antiepileptic drug-induced imbalance is crucial in order to minimize fracture risk in this group of women. Elderly patients are more susceptible to adverse medication side effects owing to drug interactions and the physiologic changes of aging that result in altered drug pharmacokinetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalAging Health
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

Keywords

  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Elderly
  • Fractures
  • HRT
  • Hormone-replacement therapy
  • Menopause
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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