Important side effects of valproate
Valproate is associated with a relatively high rate of teratogenicity (neural tube defects, increased risk of autism) as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome and is not recommended for use in women of childbearing age.
Common adverse effects include
- weight gain,
- dyspepsia, and
- blurred vision.
Valproate commonly (in up to 44% of users) causes a transient hepatic transaminitis (elevated liver enzymes), and liver failure is possible and can be fatal.
Stevens–Johnson syndrome and other severe dermatologic reactions, as well as pancreatitis and multiorgan failure, are much less common but possible adverse effects of valproate.