High-Dose Valproate Linked to Significant Weight Gain

A study found that high-dose valproate is associated with weight gain in psychiatric patients, with the greatest gain reported in those taking ≥ 1300 mg/d. The study included 215 patients with various psychiatric diagnoses. Each 500-mg increase in valproate dose was associated with a weight increase of 0.52% per month over a year. Weight gain was greatest for treatment durations of < 3 months. The researchers suggest closely monitoring patients on valproate for weight gain and prescribing the lowest effective doses. The study was funded by the Swiss National Research Foundation and limitations include an association, not causation, and lack of lifestyle information.
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