Definition of valproic acid in US English:

valproic acid


  • A synthetic crystalline compound with anticonvulsant properties, used (generally as salts) in the treatment of epilepsy.

    Alternative name: 2-propylpentanoic acid; chemical formula: C₇H₁₅COOH

    • ‘The therapeutic effects of valproic acid and valproate sodium in the treatment of bipolar disorders are well recognized.’
    • ‘The researchers gave their subjects valproic acid, an epilepsy drug, because it also happens to inhibit an enzyme that allows the AIDS virus to live in dormancy among its host's cells.’
    • ‘In May of 1995, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of valproic acid for treatment of the manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.’
    • ‘The patient is continuing to take valproic acid.’
    • ‘Women with epilepsy who have taken the drug valproic acid to control seizures may have an increased risk of having a baby with spina bifida.’


1970s: valproic from valeric (see valeric acid) + pro(pyl) + -ic.


valproic acid

/valˌprō-ik ˈasid/