Valproate

UNDER REVIEW (September 2016)

Mechanism of Action:

Valproate is used for the treatment of convulsions, migraines and bipolar disorder. Medical scientists do not know the mechanism of action of valproate. The most popular theory is that valproate exerts its effects by increasing the concentration of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that nerves use to communicate with one another. Raised levels of GABA will reduce neuronal excitability and hence reduce liability to seizures.

Lecture and CAL materials:

Phenytoin

UNDER REVIEW (September 2016)

Mechanism of Action:

An anticonvulsant drug chemically related to the barbiturates and used most commonly in the treatment of epilepsy. Complex actions involving inhibition of action potential generation/conduction in neurones resulting in the inhibition of high frequency epileptiform discharge (binds preferentially to inactivated Na+ channels, stabilizing them – prevents return to resting state needed for action potential generation).

Lecture and CAL materials: