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Pharmacotherapy. 2000 Jan;20(1):88-92.

Intravenous valproate in neuropsychiatry.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Mississippi College of Medicine, Jackson, USA.


Valproic acid (VPA) is administered for a variety of indications in neurology and psychiatry. The intravenous form of VPA, valproate, has been used extensively by neurologists since the 1980s for patients with status epilepticus, as serum levels can be achieved rapidly and telemetry is not required during administration. Psychiatrists have less experience with intravenous valproate, and little is documented in the literature regarding its nonepileptic indications. Patients who are unable or unwilling to take drugs orally, or for whom rapid treatment is clinically indicated, may benefit from VPA. Neuroleptics and benzodiazepines often are given parenterally; however, they may be accompanied by side effects. Intravenous valproate was administered successfully to three patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. It is hoped that this report will increase clinicians' awareness of this important and well-tolerated treatment option.

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