Korean J Lab Med.  2007 Oct;27(5):338-343. 10.3343/kjlm.2007.27.5.338.

Seven Cases of Decreased Serum Valproic Acid Concentration During Concomitant Use of Carbapenem Antibiotics

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yongdong Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jeongho@yuhs.ac
  • 2Department of Neurosurgery, Yongdong Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Valproic acid (VPA) is a commonly prescribed anticonvulsant drug for the treatment of various forms of epilepsy. Concomitant administration of VPA and carbapenem antibiotics such as panipenem/ betamipron and meropenem has been reported to decrease the serum level of VPA. We observed seven cases which showed a decrease in serum levels of VPA due to concomitant use of VPA and carbapenem from January 2002 to October 2006 in a 750-bed university hospital, the average decrease of 70.4% was observed. Carbapenem antibiotics administrated concomitantly with VPA were panipenem (1 case), meropenem (3 cases), and imipenem (2 cases), and in one other case imipenem and meropenem were used sequentially. We found the VPA serum levels were significantly decreased with meropenem (n=4) more than with other carbapenem antibiotics (n=4, 89.3% vs. 51.5% decrease, P=0.03). Clinicians should be aware of this potential interaction, pay attention to the failure of seizure control due to decreased serum VPA levels with concomitant use of carbapenem antibiotics, and monitor VPA serum levels for those cases.


Valproic acid, Carbapenem; Meropenem; Imipenem; Panipenem; Drug interaction; Therapeutic drug monitoring

MeSH Terms

Aged, 80 and over
Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage/*therapeutic use
Anticonvulsants/administration & dosage/*blood/therapeutic use
Carbapenems/administration & dosage/*therapeutic use
Drug Interactions
Drug Therapy, Combination
Epilepsy/*drug therapy
Imipenem/therapeutic use
Middle Aged
Thienamycins/therapeutic use
Valproic Acid/administration & dosage/*blood/therapeutic use
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