Epilepsy is a significant neurological complication among adults. For children and teenagers, however, epilepsy can lead to not only neurological complications but also complications involving child growth and development.
A key aspect of concern, as the parent of a child who lives with epilepsy, is the significant risk your child may have in development bone fractures, often associated with the decrease in bone density. Bone density loss, in early childhood or in adolescence, may be associated with enzyme complications and medication administration.
While much research has shown that the use of combination therapy, in treating epilepsy in children, can lead to bone density loss, many parents are uncertain as to what medication combinations pose this health risk. With conflicting research, we often struggle to use a variety of medication combinations, simply hoping the risk for bone density loss will not affect your child.
One drug that has shown promising results in not only the treatment of epilepsy in children and teenagers, is the use of lamotrigine. As a sole prescription remedy, children who suffer from epilepsy often find a reduced risk in the loss of bone density with use of lamotrigine as a sole medication therapy.
When combined with other anti-epileptic drugs, however, children suddenly experience a loss of bone density and become a risk for a lifetime of health complications. When considering treatment options, therefore, it is important to address those that may impact the long term health of your child.
For children who absolutely require multiple medications in treating epilepsy, there is little that can be done to improve the risk for bone mineral density loss and, thereby, reducing the risk for fractures. Even with calcium supplements and exercise, these children are still at risk for not only fractures with mild and low trauma incidences, but also at risk for development of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis at a relatively young age.
As with any neurological complication, the key to your child’s optimal health lies in not only the early diagnosis and treatment but also in the long term approach to healthcare. Because children with epilepsy often suffer from complications associated with vitamin D deficiency and the development of low bone density, it is important to be well educated in the treatment options. If possible, consider using lamotrigine as the sole form of medication therapy for epilepsy as it carries the lowest risk for mineral bone density for your epileptic child.