Valproic Acid

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Valproic acid commonly known as Valproate, but also VPA, Divalproex Sodium, Sodium Valproate. 2-Propylpentanoic acid.

Formula for the the sodium salt:

CH3CH2CH2CH(CH2CH2CH3)COONa

It is an anticonvulsant drug used in the treatment of epilepsy to control absence seizures, tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal), complex partial seizures, and the seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It is also used to prevent migraine headaches, as a mood stabiliser to treat bipolar disorders (acute uncomplicated mania, mixed state and rapid cycling), and for facial neuralgias.

Common side effects are weight gain, tremor, dizziness, sedation, headache, nausea, dyspepsia, and hair loss. Idiosyncratic side effects include the possibility of impaired liver function and jaundice; blood dyscrasia, especially thrombocytopenia (rare) and prolonged coagulation times. Possible teratogenic effect, it is known to cross the placenta and may cause congenital anomalies in the fetus (about 4-6% risk overall)