Brief Communication| Volume 94, P195-197, May 2019

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Safety and tolerability of Vitamin D3 5000 IU/day in epilepsy



      Preclinical and early clinical research indicates that Vitamin D3 may reduce seizures in both animal models and open-label clinical trials.


      This is an initial report of an ongoing pilot study of oral Vitamin D3 5000 IU/day in subjects with drug-resistant epilepsy. After Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and informed consent, subjects with ;less than one focal onset or generalized tonic–clonic seizure per month were enrolled. Subjects entered a 4-week baseline, followed by a 12-week treatment period. Serum 25, OH Vitamin D3, Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and calcium levels were monitored at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks.


      High-dose Vitamin D3 5000 IU/day was well tolerated. Serum 25, OH Vitamin D3 levels increased significantly at six and twelve weeks. Vitamin D insufficiency, defined as a 25, OH Vitamin D3 level of <20 ng/ml normalized in all subjects with insufficient vitamin D levels. Median seizure frequency declined from 5.18 seizures per month to 3.64 seizures per month at 6 weeks and to 4.2 seizures per month at 12 weeks. The median percent change in seizure frequency was −26.9% at six weeks, and −10.7% at 12 weeks (not significant, Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test, P > 0.34).


      High-dose oral Vitamin D3, 5000 IU/day was safe and well tolerated in subjects with epilepsy. Vitamin D levels increased significantly at 6 and 12 weeks but never exceeded potentially toxic levels, defined as >100 ng/ml. To reduce variability, we will now recruit subjects who only have three or more seizures per month.


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