Adjunctive valproic acid for delirium and/or agitation on a consultation-liaison service: A report of six cases

University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States
Journal of Neuropsychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.77). 02/2005; 17(2):232-8. DOI: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.17.2.232
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors present six cases in which valproate was used in patients seen by a consultation-liaison service (CLS) to manage delirium and/or psychotic agitation. The intravenous (IV) preparation (Depacon, Abbott Laboratories) was used in two nothing by mouth (NPO) patients, while the liquid oral preparation (Depakene, Abbott Laboratories) was used via nasogastric tube (NGT) in the other patients. All of these cases had suboptimal responses and/or concerning side effects from conventional therapy with benzodiazepines and/or antipsychotics. In all six cases, the CLS use of valproic acid combined with conventional antidelirium medications resulted in improved control of behavioral symptoms without significant side effects from valproic acid. Consultation-liaison psychiatrists should consider the addition of valproic acid to control behavioral symptoms of delirium when conventional therapy is inadequate. This may be especially advisable when problematic side effects result from more conventional psychopharmacological management. Specifically, intravenous valproate sodium may be a viable option for NPO patients.

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