Antiepileptic drugs and prostate cancer risk in the Finnish Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer

Jukka K Salminen, Viivu Kuoppamäki, Kirsi Talala, Kimmo Taari, Jussi Mäkinen, Jukka Peltola, Teuvo L J Tammela, Anssi Auvinen, Teemu J Murtola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Antiepileptic drugs (AED) with histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor properties decrease prostate cancer (PCa) cell proliferation in vitro. A population-based cohort of 78 615 men was used to evaluate the risk of prostate cancer among users of AEDs. Study population was linked to the Finnish national prescription database to obtain information on individual medication reimbursements in 1996-2015. Cox regression with antiepileptic medication use as a time-dependent variable was used to analyze prostate cancer risk overall, and low, medium and high-risk prostate cancer separately. The analysis was adjusted for age, screening trial arm and other drugs in use, including statins, antidiabetic drugs, antihypertensive drugs, aspirin and NSAIDs. Compared to the non-users of antiepileptic drugs, overall PCa risk was decreased among antiepileptic drug users (HR 0.86, 95% CI 0.76-0.96). A similar PCa risk decrease was observed among users of HDACi AEDs (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.76 - 1.01), but no risk difference was found when comparing HDACi AED users to users of other AEDs (HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.76 - 1.27). Our study showed a decrease in overall PCa risk among men using AEDs compared to non-users. The risk associations were similar for HDAC inhibitors as for antiepileptic drugs in general.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Feb 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • prostate cancer
  • antiepileptic drugs
  • HDAC inhibition

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

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