Levetiracetam in men with epilepsy: Testosterone is left alone but sperm count is paramount

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10 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Epilepsy has an impact on the reproductive system. Males with epilepsy have lower fertility rates, hypo-sexuality and reduced potency compared with the general population. Anti-epileptic drugs and epilepsy itself are thought to be responsible for this reduced fertility. LEV is a second-generation anti-epileptic agent with low incidences of both adverse effects and drug-drug interactions. In this study, we have investigated the effects of LEV treatment on sex hormones and sperm parameters in newly diagnosed epilepsy patients. METHODS: We recruited 26 males with newly diagnosed epilepsy and introduced LEV monotherapy. Patients were divided into two groups depending on whether they had partial or generalized seizures. We acquired the results of pre- and post-treatment sperm analyses and serum sex hormone levels. We also recorded the maximum dose, daily dose and treatment duration for each individual. Preand posttreatment comparisons and correlations between both sperm and sex hormone parameters and both treatment duration and dose were determined. RESULTS: Pre- and post-treatment sex hormone levels were not significantly different. The total sperm count, percentage of normal morphology and functional sperm count tested after treatment were significantly lower in both groups compared with pre-treatment values (p < 0.05). There was a moderate correlation between daily dose and reduction in functional sperm count (r: 0.41, p: 0.034). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm that LEV treatment of newly diagnosed epilepsy patients decreases sperm parameters without altering sex hormone levels. Our results may guide the choice of antiepileptic drug treatment among men with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-100
Number of pages2
JournalEpilepsy Currents
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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