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

James A. Bourgeois, Alan K Koike, Jamie E. Simmons, Sarah Telles, Christopher Eggleston

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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 for concerning side effects from conventional therapy with benzodiazepines and for 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-238
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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