Intentional use of carbapenem antibiotics for valproic acid toxicity: A case report

M. A. Khobrani, S. W. Dudley, Y. C. Huckleberry, B. J. Kopp, A. D. Biggs, R. N.E. French, Farshad Shirazi, Brian L Erstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


What is known and objective: The interaction between valproic acid (VPA) and carbapenem antibiotics is well described with previous reports suggesting a reduction in VPA half-life between 47% and 90%. As described in this case, this interaction might be beneficial in the setting of toxic VPA ingestion. Case description: An intubated, unresponsive patient arrived via emergency medical services after toxic VPA ingestion. Meropenem was prescribed for a suspected pneumonia and to take advantage of the VPA interaction. We observed a 56% decline in half-life with short-term meropenem dosing and an improvement in mental status shortly after administration. What is new and conclusion: Our findings suggest a potential role for short-term carbapenem therapy for VPA overdose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-725
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • carbapenem interaction
  • valproic acid interaction
  • valproic acid overdose
  • valproic acid toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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