March 1979

Valproate Sodium in Refractory SeizuresA Study of Efficacy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Vining and Freeman) and Neurology (Drs Vining and Freeman), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and the Pediatric Seizure Clinic (Drs Vining and Freeman and Ms Botsford), John F. Kennedy Institute, Baltimore.

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(3):274-276. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130030050008

• Sodium valproate (n-dipropylacetic acid) is a newly released anticonvulsant drug with a broad spectrum of activity. Twenty-seven children with uncontrolled seizures, predominantly akinetic and myoclonic, were treated with this drug. Encouraging results were noted in those with head-nodding spells, body drops, and myoclonic jerks ("minor motor" seizures).

Side effects included occasional gastrointestinal disturbance. No important hepatotoxic complications were noted. Two persons displayed transient neurologic side effects. Of particular interest was the noticeable improvement in mental status noted in 17 of the 27 patients. Some variations in blood level of other anticonvulsant drugs were noted, emphasizing the importance of monitoring these drugs. Valproate sodium provides important improvement in our ability to manage minor motor seizures.

(Am J Dis Child 133:274-276, 1979)