Valproate, divalproex, valpromide: Are the differences in indications justified? - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy Year : 2023

Valproate, divalproex, valpromide: Are the differences in indications justified?


In many countries, valproate is indicated for epilepsy only, whereas its derivative divalproex (DVP) and valpromide (VPM) are indicated for bipolar disorders only. DVP is composed of sodium valproate and valproic acid (VA) in a 1:1 molar ratio and VPM is a prodrug completely hydrolyzed in the gastric tract to VA. Whatever the drug, the absorbed and active substance is the valproate ion. In this article, we reviewed the potential reasons that might justify these different indications. We performed a literature review of comparative studies of efficacy, pharmacokinetic parameters, side effects and costs for VPA, DVP, and VPM. We found only studies comparing VA with DVP. None of the eight efficacy studies found differences in epilepsy or mood disorders. The ten studies of side effects reported a difference in terms of gastrointestinal effects, but inconsistently. The United States (US) summary of product characteristics and kinetic comparison studies reported bioequivalence between DVP and VA, but a longer Tmax for DVP, likely due to its gastro-resistant galenic form. VPM summary of product characteristics and pharmacokinetic studies revealed a lower bioavailability (80% vs. 100% for VA) and a delayed Tmax. There is an additional cost for using DVP or VPM as compared to VA (respectively +177% and +77% in France). The differences in indications between valproate derivatives do not seem justified. Interchangeability between VA and DVP in bipolar disorders seems possible, at identical dosage. VPM would require a closer dosing schedule and a 20% reduction in dosage when switching to valproate.
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Dates and versions

inserm-03956032 , version 1 (25-01-2023)



Clément Delage, Maeva Palayer, Bruno Etain, Monique Hagenimana, Nathan Blaise, et al.. Valproate, divalproex, valpromide: Are the differences in indications justified?. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, 2023, 158, pp.176-187. ⟨10.1016/j.biopha.2022.114051⟩. ⟨inserm-03956032⟩


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