Effect of valproate on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of lorazepam

J Clin Pharmacol. 1997 May;37(5):442-50. doi: 10.1002/j.1552-4604.1997.tb04322.x.


The pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic interaction between valproate and lorazepam was evaluated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Sixteen healthy male volunteers enrolled in the study to receive either divalproex sodium (500 mg every 12 hours) or matching placebo for 12 days in the first period, and then to receive the other regimen for an identical second 12-day period. In both periods, lorazepam (1 mg every 12 hours) was administered on days 6 through 9 and on the morning of day 10. Concomitant administration of divalproex sodium with lorazepam resulted in an 8%, 20%, and 31% increase in steady-state maximum plasma concentration, area under the concentration-time curve, and trough plasma concentrations of lorazepam, respectively. The apparent clearance of lorazepam through the formation of lorazepam glucuronide was reduced by 31% during coadministration of divalproex sodium. Pharmacokinetic properties of valproate did not change significantly in the ten available participants during coadministration of lorazepam. Sedation scales revealed no statistically significant differences in sedation between the two regimens. It is concluded that valproate increases plasma concentrations and reduces clearance of lorazepam, most likely by impairing hepatic glucuronidation, and that coadministration of lorazepam does not affect the steady-state pharmacokinetic properties of valproate.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacokinetics
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Lorazepam / adverse effects
  • Lorazepam / pharmacokinetics*
  • Lorazepam / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Valproic Acid / adverse effects
  • Valproic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Valproic Acid / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Valproic Acid
  • Lorazepam