E-ISSN 2149-9934
Delayed Toxicity of a Patient with Valproic Acid Overdose
1 Department of Emergency, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan, Province of China  
2 Department of Biotechnology, Southern Tainan University of Technology, Tainan, Taiwan, Province of China  
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Taipei Medical University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China  
JEMCR 2018; 9: 23-25
DOI: 10.5152/jemcr.2018.1990
Key Words: Valproic acid, hemodialysis, delayed toxicity, overdose

Introduction: Nowadays, Valproic acid (VPA) is widely used for the treatment of seizures, mood disorder, schizophrenia, and migraine prophylaxis. With its extended use, the incidence of acute VPA poisoning is increasing. Though most patients with VPA overdose may recover with supportive care, delayed toxicity may result in the underestimation of the severity.


Case Report: We reported on a case of VPA and benzodiazepine overdoses with two-phase alternations of mental states, and the peak serum VPA level developed 22 h post-ingestion. The patient underwent an emergency tracheal intubation and artificial ventilation for the presence of acute respiratory failure and coma. After two courses of hemodialysis, he recovered to clear consciousness and spontaneous respiration.


Conclusion: Toxidromes of VPA poisoning can develop late after acute poisoning. Accordingly, we suggest that all intoxicated patients should undergo prolonged observation until the serum VPA level has decreased and the toxidromes have disappeared. Activated charcoal, carnitine, naloxone, and hemodialysis/hemoperfusion are potential regimens to decrease absorption, to reverse the toxidromes, and to enhance elimination for patients with VPA poisoning.




Cite this article as: Cheng YM, Hsu CC, Chen KT. Delayed Toxicity of a Patient With Valproic Acid Overdose. J Emerg Med Case Rep 2018; 9: 23-25.

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