The effects of carbamazepine monotherapy were investigated in 20 female and 21 male epileptic patients to determine whether treatment would induce an increase in serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, a known effect of many anticonvulsant drugs. Serum total ALP activity was increased in nine out of the 41 patients (22%), serum bone ALP activity was increased in 10 (24%), and serum non-bone ALP activity was increased in three (7%). There was no significant difference when the mean of the patients' serum total ALP was compared with that of the controls. Twenty per cent of the patients with increased serum bone ALP had normal serum total ALP, indicating that increased serum bone isoenzyme activity may precede an increase in the total enzyme activity. This should be considered when interpreting results of increased total ALP in epileptic patients.
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