Interaction between valproic acid and carbapenem antibiotics

Hitomi Mori, Kazuhiko Takahashi, Takaharu Mizutani
Drug Metabolism Reviews 2007, 39 (4): 647-57
The serum concentration of valproic acid (VPA) in epilepsy patients decreased by the administration of carbapenem antibiotics, such as meropenem, panipenem or imipenem, to a sub-therapeutic level. This review summarized several case reports of this interaction between VPA (1-4 g dose) and carbapenem antibiotics to elucidate the possible mechanisms decreasing VPA concentration by carbapenem antibiotics. Studies to explain the decrease were carried out using rats by the following sites: absorption of VPA in the intestine, glucuronidation in the liver, disposition in blood and renal excretion. In the intestinal absorption site, there are two possible mechanisms: inhibition of the intestinal transporter for VPA absorption by carbapenem antibiotics, and the decrease of beta-glucuronidase supplied from enteric bacteria, which were killed by antibiotics. This is consistent with a view that the decrease of VPA originated from VPA-Glu, relating to entero-hepatic circulation. The second key site is in the liver, because of no decreased in VPA level by carbapenem antibiotics in hepatectomized rats. There are three possible mechanisms in the liver to explain the decreased phenomenon: first, decrease of the UDPGA level by carbapenem antibiotics. UDPGA is a co-factor for UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT)-mediated glucuronidation of VPA. Second, the direct activation of UGT by carbapenem antibiotics. This activation was observed after pre-incubation of human liver microsomes with carbapenem antibiotics. Third, the inhibition of beta-glucuronidase in liver by carbapenem antibiotics and the decreased VPA amount liberated from VPA-Glu. The third site is the distribution of VPA in blood (erythrocytes and plasma). Plasma VPA distributed to erythrocytes by the inhibition of transporters (Mrp4), which efflux VPA from erythrocytes to plasma, by carbapenem antibiotics. The increase of renal excretion of VPA as VPA-Glu depends on the increase of VPA-Glu level by UGT. One or a combination of some factors in these mechanisms might relate to the carbapenem-mediated decrease of the plasma VPA level.

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