Nutritional influence on serum ammonia in young patients receiving sodium valproate

M C Laub
Epilepsia 1986, 27 (1): 55-9
Hyperammonemia is a common side effect of valproic acid (VPA) therapy. This study was designed to investigate a potential nutritional influence on serum ammonia levels during VPA therapy. In 10 VPA-treated young patients (5 receiving monotherapy, 5 receiving VPA-primidone polytherapy), venous serum ammonia, triglycerides, and cholesterol were measured on 3 consecutive days as follows: (a) after a 13-h overnight fast; (b) 2 h after an oral fat load with butter (1.2 g fat/kg body weight); and (c) 2 h after an oral protein load with fresh cheese (1 g protein/kg body weight). Ten young adults served as controls. After protein load VPA patients had significantly higher serum ammonia levels than controls (mean: 194 vs. 75 micrograms/dl in controls; p less than 0.006). Ammonia values were higher after protein load than after fat load or after fasting (p less than 0.0001). Patients receiving polytherapy had higher ammonia levels than patients receiving monotherapy (not significant). There was no correlation to the height of serum VPA levels. Clinical symptoms attributable to hyperammonemia (vomiting, apathy) were found in only one patient, and her serum ammonia was as high as 426 micrograms/dl. Triglycerides and cholesterol did not show any VPA-induced differences. We assume that VPA alters the short-term regulation of ureasynthesis. We recommend the avoidance of high protein intake in patients receiving VPA therapy, especially in young patients receiving polytherapy or comedication, or in risk situations like serious infections.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"