Presented as a poster exhibit at the 36th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Headache, Chicago, III, June 24–26, 1994.
Valproic Acid Treatment of Chronic Daily Headache
Article first published online: 18 MAY 2005
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 35, Issue 9, pages 540–543, October 1995
How to Cite
Vijayan, N. and Spillane, T. (1995), Valproic Acid Treatment of Chronic Daily Headache. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 35: 540–543. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.1995.hed3509540.x
- Issue published online: 18 MAY 2005
- Article first published online: 18 MAY 2005
- Accepted for publication April 17, 1995.
- chronic daily headache;
- valproic acid;
- prophylactic treatment
The efficacy of valproic acid in the treatment of intractable chronic daily headache, unresponsive to traditional prophylactic medications, was examined prospectively in 16 patients. Dosage of the medication was adjusted to maintain serum valproic acid levels between 50 and 100 μg/mL, provided there were no significant side effects at that level. Valproic acid prophylaxis was of some benefit in only 2 of 16 patients. One of these two patients discontinued therapy due to side effects. Eight of the 16 patients reported side effects which included nausea, diarrhea, anorexia, lethargy, sleepiness, confusion, blurred vision, and decreased libido. In conclusion, valproic acid was not effective in controlling chronic daily headache in the majority of patients in whom conventional therapy had failed, and 50% of patients reported side effects. There is a significant disparity in the reported efficacy of this drug in treating chronic daily headache. This disparity is most likely due to the poorly-defined nature of this variety of headache. It is, therefore, recommended that more stringent definition of this disorder be developed before therapeutic regimens are evaluated.