• Valproic acid;
  • Obesity;
  • Metabolic syndrome


Purpose: To evaluate the presence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in children and adolescents treated with valproate (VPA).

Methods: One hundred fourteen patients (54 male and 60 female) were studied. These patients were followed from the beginning of therapy for at least 24 months; at the end of follow-up, 46 patients (40.4%) had a considerable increase in body weight, whereas the other patients (59.6%) remained with the same weight. The MS was defined as having at least three of the following: abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, and hypertension.

Results: Forty-six patients developed obesity; 20 (43.5%) of 46 patients developed MS. Abnormal glucose homeostasis was identified in 45% of patients. High total serum cholesterol concentrations were noted in 10 (50%), high serum triglyceride concentrations in 7 (35%), and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in 15 (75%) of the 20 subjects with MS. However, there were no significant differences in the features of MS between boys and girls with MS.

Conclusions: Patients who gain weight during VPA therapy can develop MS with a possible risk of cardiovascular disease.