Objectives: The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether taking valproic acid (VPA) was protective against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection or severity in patients with epilepsy.
Methods: This was a questionnaire study of 150 people who were taking VPA in monotherapy or polytherapy (since the start of the pandemic or longer) and also 150 people who were not taking VPA (since the start of the pandemic), registered in our epilepsy database. The data compared rates of the seropositivity and severity of infection of COVID-19 between the 2 groups. The latter was assessed, by proxy, vis-à-vis rates of hospital admission and intensive care unit admission.
Results: Two hundred forty-one patients were studied, including 130 (53.9%) male and 111 (46.1%) female patients. The mean age of the patients was 30.7 ± 11.4 years. The infection rate and severity of COVID-19 did not significantly differ among patients who were taking VPA and those who were not taking VPA (P = 0.587) and (P = 0.648), respectively.
Conclusions: In this pilot study, no support was found for the hypothesis of a protective effect of VPA against the infectivity rate of COVID-19. Neither was there any indication of a disease-modulating effect of VPA in people with active COVID-19 infection. Larger, randomized controlled trials would be warranted to substantiate our conclusion.
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