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May 9, 1977

Medical News

JAMA. 1977;237(19):2021-2030. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270460007001

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Epilepsy commission favors quicker use of drug to control seizures  A major new antiepileptic drug, valproate sodium, will not be available in the United States until the middle of next year at the earliest.Members of the National Commission for the Control of Epilepsy believe that this is not soon enough."As many as 1 million seizures could be prevented this year if we had access to this drug," says Richard L. Masland, MD, executive director of the commission, noting that valproate sodium (also called dipropylacetate sodium or DPA) is currently marketed in 14 European nations, Israel, and Japan. It has been used extensively in England since 1974 when its use was approved. A British expert, Peter M. Jeavons, MD, calls valproate sodium the "drug of choice for generalized epilepsy."According to J. Kiffin Penry, MD, chief of the Epilepsy Branch, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and