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Valproic acid is an agent that is chemically related to free fatty acids and is used in the treatment of generalized, partial, and absence (petit mal) seizures.1,2,3, and 4 As such, it has the widest spectrum of activity compared to the other currently available antiepileptic drugs (Table 12-1). Available in intravenous, as well as oral, form, valproic acid can be used for the acute treatment and chronic prophylaxis of seizures.5,6 Valproic acid is also a useful agent for the treatment of bipolar affective disorders and the prevention of migraine headaches.7,8

TABLE 12-1International Classification of Epileptic Seizures With Recommended Therapies

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