Pharmacological evaluation of various metabolites and analogues of valproic acid. Anticonvulsant and toxic potencies in mice

Neuropharmacology. 1985 May;24(5):427-35. doi: 10.1016/0028-3908(85)90028-0.


Thirty-two metabolites and analogues of the antiepileptic drug valproic acid (2-propylpentanoic acid; VPA) were tested for anticonvulsant and toxic effects in mice, in an attempt to find out if any of these compounds were superior to valproic acid. Valproic acid and ethosuximide, another clinically established antiepileptic drug, were included in these studies for comparison. After intraperitoneal administration, the anticonvulsant potency of the various drugs was determined in three seizure tests: the threshold for maximal electroconvulsions, the maximal electroshock seizure test and seizures induced by subcutaneous injection of pentylenetetrazol. For the most potent compounds, median minimal neurotoxic doses (TD50S) and LD50S (after i.p. and i.v. injection) were determined. Valpramide, the primary amide of valproic acid, proved to be the most potent compound in the three seizure tests, used, being 2-5 times as potent as valproic acid, but valpramide was also considerably more sedative and toxic than valproic acid or ethosuximide. Of the metabolites of valproic acid tested, the unsaturated compounds 4-en-valproic acid (4-en-VPA) and the trans-isomer of 2-en-valproic acid (2-en-VPA) were most potent and, depending on the seizure test used, reached 60-100% of the efficacy of the parent drug. Both metabolites had LD50 values which were similar or greater than those of valproic acid but they were more sedative than the parent compound.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants*
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Ethosuximide / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Valproic Acid / adverse effects
  • Valproic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Valproic Acid / therapeutic use


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Ethosuximide
  • Valproic Acid