Pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic analysis of CNS-active constitutional isomers of valnoctamide and sec-butylpropylacetamide--Amide derivatives of valproic acid

Epilepsy Behav. 2015 May;46:72-8. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2015.02.040. Epub 2015 Apr 8.


Valnoctamide (VCD) and sec-butylpropylacetamide (SPD) are CNS-active closely related amide derivatives of valproic acid with unique anticonvulsant activity. This study evaluated how small chemical changes affect the pharmacodynamics (PD; anticonvulsant activity and teratogenicity) and pharmacokinetics (PK) of three constitutional isomers of SPD [sec-butylisopropylacetamide (SID) and tert-butylisopropylacetamide (TID)] and of VCD [tert-butylethylacetamide (TED)]. The anticonvulsant activity of SID, TID, and TED was comparatively evaluated in several rodent anticonvulsant models. The PK-PD relationship of SID, TID, and TED was evaluated in rats, and their teratogenicity was evaluated in a mouse strain highly susceptible to teratogen-induced neural tube defects (NTDs). sec-Butylisopropylacetamide and TID have a similar PK profile to SPD which may contribute to their similar anticonvulsant activity. tert-Butylethylacetamide had a better PK profile than VCD (and SPD); however, this did not lead to a superior anticonvulsant activity. sec-Butylisopropylacetamide and TED did not cause NTDs at doses 4-7 times higher than their anticonvulsant ED50 values. In rats, SID, TID (ip), and TED exhibited a broad spectrum of anticonvulsant activity. However, combined anticonvulsant analysis in mice and rats shows SID as the most potent compound with similar activity to that of SPD, demonstrating that substitution of the isobutyl moiety in the SPD or VCD molecule by tert-butyl as well as a propyl-to-isopropyl replacement in the SPD molecule did not majorly affect the anticonvulsant activity.

Keywords: CNS drugs; Constitutional isomers; New antiepileptic drugs (AEDs); Structure–pharmacokinetic (PK)–pharmacodynamic (PD) relationship; Valnoctamide (VCD); sec-Butylpropylacetamide (SPD).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amides / pharmacokinetics
  • Amides / pharmacology*
  • Amides / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants* / pharmacokinetics
  • Anticonvulsants* / pharmacology
  • Anticonvulsants* / toxicity
  • Female
  • Isomerism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Seizures / drug therapy*
  • Valproic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Valproic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Valproic Acid / pharmacology
  • Valproic Acid / toxicity


  • Amides
  • Anticonvulsants
  • sec-butyl-propylacetamide
  • valnoctamide
  • Valproic Acid