Valproic acid

Valproic acid

Valproic acid has several anticonvulsant properties: Sodium channel blocker: valproic acid slows the rate of channel recovery from inactivation, but to a lesser extent than other agents of this class.

GABA potentiator: valproic acid increases the GABA content of the brain. It is an inhibitor of GABA degrading enzymes and it is a potentiator of the GABA-synthesising enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase.

T-type Ca channel inhibitor: valproic acid is thought to have similar actions as ethosuximide, as it is used in patients whose absences are refractory to ethosuximide.

Valproic acid is indicated for all forms of epilepsy. It also causes concentration-dependent adverse effects (AEs) which begin with tremor and GI effects, progress to ataxia, nystagmus, diplopia and at high concentrations cognitive changes and an altered level of consciousness. Chronic AEs include weight gain, idiosyncratic AEs include serious hepatotoxicity, blood dyscrasias, and rash.

Valproic acid has many interactions: it inhibits drug metabolism of other drugs.


Valproic acid is a first line drug in the following type of epilepsy


Women on valproic acid who are planning a baby should


Which monitoring is appropriate for a patient on valproic acid?