Metabolic and endocrine effects of valproic acid chronic treatment

Vincenzo Belcastro, Claudia D'Egidio, Pasquale Striano, Alberto Verrotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Treatment of epileptic patients with valproic acid (VPA) may be associated with substantial weight changes that may increase morbidity and impair adherence to the treatment regimen. VPA-induced weight gain seems to be associated with many metabolic disturbances; the most frequent are hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, hyperleptinemia and leptin resistance. Patients who gain weight during VPA therapy can develop dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome that are associated with long-term vascular complications such as hypertension and atherosclerosis. Moreover, an elevation in the levels of uric acid and homocysteine, together with oxidative stress, may contribute to atherosclerotic risk in patients under long-term therapy with VPA.The aim of this review is to discuss the metabolic and endocrine effects of VPA chronic treatment in patients with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Epileptic syndromes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Valproic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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