Sodium valproate and valpromide: Differential interactions with carbamazepine in epileptic patients

F. Pisani, A. Fazio, G. Oteri, C. Ruello, C. Gitto, F. Russo, E. Perucca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate the comparative effects of valproic acid (VPA) and valpromide (VPM) on plasma levels and protein binding of carbamazepine (CBZ) and CBZ-10,11-epoxide (CBZ-E), 12 adult epileptic patients stabilized on CBZ monotherapy were divided into two groups. One group (n = 6) received sodium valproate (1,100 mg/day) for 2 weeks, while the other group (n = 6) was given, for the same period, a dosage of VPM (1,200 mg/day) expected to produce VPA levels equivalent to those achieved with valproate. Plasma CBZ levels were not affected by either treatment. In the valproate-treated group, plasma CBZ-E levels increased by 101% (range, 29-238%) within 1 week of combined therapy (p <0.02) and returned to baseline values after VPA treatment was stopped. In the VPM-treated patients, the elevation of plasma CBZ-E levels was much greater. In this group, plasma CBZ-E increased by 330% (range, 110-864%), and this was associated in two patients with the appearance of adverse effects which subsided after reducing the VPM dosage. The plasma protein binding of CBZ and CBZ-E was not affected significantly by VPM or valproate therapy. Plasma VPA levels were similar in the two groups. It is concluded that VPM is not simply a prodrug of VPA. Although both VPA and VPM increase CBZ-E levels - probably by inhibiting the enzyme epoxide hydrolase - the interaction caused by VPM is of much greater magnitude and potential clinical significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-552
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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