A case of hemoperfusion and L-carnitine management in valproic acid overdose

Jinhee Jung, Eunkyung Eo, Ki-ok Ahn
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2008, 26 (3): 388.e3-4
Valproic acid (VPA) is used to manage a variety of conditions, including simple and complex absence seizure disorder, bipolar disorder, and migraine prophylaxis. The clinical manifestations of VPA overdose range in severity from mild confusion and lethargy to severe coma and death. The treatment of VPA toxicity is mainly supportive. There is no specific antidote or guidelines for managing VPA intoxication. Anecdotal reports describe the efficacy of naloxone and L-carnitine, but the data are insufficient to make strong conclusions. Various extracorporeal techniques for managing VPA toxicity have been described, but none has prevailed as standard therapy. We report a patient with VPA overdose who was treated successfully with hemoperfusion with activated charcoal and L-carnitine. The VPA level of the patient exceeded 1000 microg/mL and was normalized after 3 rounds of hemoperfusion. The patient was injected with L-carnitine at a maximum of 600 mg/kg per day for 5 days without complications.

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