Sodium valproate (INN) or valproate sodium (USAN) is the sodium salt of valproic acid and is an anticonvulsant used in the treatment of epilepsy, anorexia nervosa, panic attack, anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, migraine and bipolar disorder, as well as other psychiatric conditions requiring the administration of a mood stabiliser. Sodium valproate can be used to control acute episodes of mania and acute stress reaction. Side effects can include tiredness, tremors, nausea, vomiting and sedation. The intravenous formulations are used when oral administration is not possible.
In pregnancy, valproate has the highest risk of birth defects of any of the commonly used antiepilepsy drugs. However, some epilepsy can only be controlled by valproate, and seizures also pose grave risk to mother and child.
Some of the common adverse effects include tiredness, tremor, sedation and gastrointestinal disturbances. In addition, about 10% of the users experience reversible hair loss. The oral form is the only form available in the US.