Valproic Acid Syndrome: A Mini Review

Anna Cláudia Ferreira Nunes

Department of Physics, Laboratory of Biomathematics and Physical Anthropology, Exact Sciences Institute, Alfenas, Minas Gerais State, Brazil.

Anna Luiza de Araújo Ribeiro

Department of Physics, Laboratory of Biomathematics and Physical Anthropology, Exact Sciences Institute, Alfenas, Minas Gerais State, Brazil.

Maria Tereza Gonçalves-Mendes

Department of Physics, Laboratory of Biomathematics and Physical Anthropology, Exact Sciences Institute, Alfenas, Minas Gerais State, Brazil.

Tales Alexandre Aversi-Ferreira *

Department of Physics, Laboratory of Biomathematics and Physical Anthropology, Exact Sciences Institute, Alfenas, Minas Gerais State, Brazil.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aims: To provide a systematic review on the occurrence of valproic acid syndrome, to, among others, elucidate the characteristics of this syndrome.

Study Design: A systematic review was performed.

Place and Duration of Study: Laboratory of Biomathematics of the Federal UINiversity of Alfenas, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, between June 2022 and July 2023.

Methodology: A systematic search of articles was performed using the CAPES Periodic plataform a searcher from the Education Ministry of Brazil that contains Web of Science, Scopus, MedLine and other bases, from 1984 to 2023. For this review, the subject’s “syndrome of valproic acid”, “valproic acid syndrome and toxicity”, “valproic acid syndrome and malformations” were searched together using the type of material “articles” in English language. Some articles about “pregnancy’s cares” were used for epistemological composition of this work content subjects as, for instance, “general toxicity” and “others (development; health care; …)”.

Results: From the 1061 articles after the exclusion and the inclusion criteria made with the subjects most pertinent to the objectives of this work, added with the subjects “pregnancy cares” and “others”; 1005 articles were excluded, remaining 56 ones. Four of total from 56 texts were 4 about “general toxicity”; 19 about “others”; 4 about “Pregnancy cares” and 29 about “valproic acid”.

Conclusion: The analysis of the articles studied in this work indicates that valproic acid is a teratogen that leads to a syndrome that receives its name in fetuses whose mothers use it as an anticonvulsant and mood stabilizer primarily used for treating conditions like epilepsy and bipolar disorder, causing several physical defects in general and behavioral defects due to the impairment of the neural system. In this sense, it is essential that the team caring for pregnant women know the history of the pregnant woman and check all the medications she is using and replace those with a teratogenic potential, especially if the patient has a diagnosis of mental illness such as depression.

Keywords: Valproic acid syndrome, toxicity, malformations, valproic acid, pregnancy cares

How to Cite

Nunes , Anna Cláudia Ferreira, Anna Luiza de Araújo Ribeiro, Maria Tereza Gonçalves-Mendes, and Tales Alexandre Aversi-Ferreira. 2023. “Valproic Acid Syndrome: A Mini Review”. International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal 20 (3):35-46.


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