Generic Name: Sodium valproate
Product Name: Valpro
Valpro is a medicine used in the treatment of several different types of epilepsy, and in mania.
Valpro works to treat epilepsy by preventing the excessive electrical activity (which causes fits) in the brain. It is thought to achieve this by increasing the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are stored in nerve cells and are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps keep the nerve activity in the brain in balance. Sodium valproate is thought to increase the production and prevent the breakdown of GABA in the brain. This increases the calming activity of GABA in the brain, which stabilises the electrical nerve activity and helps prevents fits. Sodium valproate may also stabilise the electrical nerve activity by preventing sodium from entering the nerve cells when they begin to fire rapid and repetitive electrical signals. A build up of sodium in the nerve cells is necessary for an electrical signal to build up and be passed on, so sodium valproate may also prevent fits in this way.
Valpro tablets should be taken with food. Recommended daily doses are as follows.
- Adults: Dosage should start with 600mg daily, increasing by 200mg/day at 3 day intervals until control of condition is achieved. The usual range is 1-2g/day. If adequate control is not achieved within this dose range, the dose can be increased to 2.5g/day.
- Children >20kg: Dosage should start with 400mg/day in divided doses increasing doses gradually until control is achieved. The usual dose range is 20-30mg/kg/day. If the child is <20kg, the usual dose range is 20mg/kg/day.
- Mania: Initially dosage should start at 600mg/day increasing by 200mg/day at 3 day intervals until control is achieved. The usual range is 1-2g/day. If adequate control is not achieved within this range, the dose can be increased to 2.5g/day.
Common side effects
Valpro may cause some of the following common side effects:
- Abdominal cramps
- Increased appetite
- Weight gain
Uncommon side effects
Valpro may occasionally cause some of the following effects. You should discuss these with your doctor.
- Breast enlargement
- Discharge of milk from breasts
- Hair loss
- Irregular periods
- Problems with balance
- Double vision
- Allergic reactions
- Hearing problems
- Spontaneous bruising or bleeding
- MIMS Australia Pty Ltd. Sodium Valproate [online]. 2003. Available from: [URL Link]For further information talk to your doctor.