Epilepsy Home > What Is Valproic Acid Used For?

Valproic acid is prescribed for the treatment of seizures in people who have epilepsy. By increasing the amount of a certain chemical in the brain, the medication helps to control complex partial seizures, as well as simple or complex absence seizures. Sometimes, it is recommended for something other than treating seizures. Among these possible off-label valproic acid uses are the treatment of agitation, dementia, and hiccups.

What Is Valproic Acid Used For? -- An Overview

Valproic acid (Depakene®) is a prescription medication used for controlling seizures in people with epilepsy. In particular, valproic acid is approved to control the following types of seizures:
 
  • Complex partial seizures
  • Simple or complex absence seizures.
     
Epilepsy is a brain condition that occurs when there are sudden, brief changes in how the brain's electrical system works. This change in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms). Depending on which part of the brain is affected, a seizure may affect the person's consciousness, body movements, emotions, or senses (taste, touch, smell, vision, or hearing).
 
In over half of all cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known. Epilepsy treatments may include:
 
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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