Monitor valproate patients for weight gain: study

Long-term users of the antiepileptic medication valproate need ongoing surveillance for weight, BMI and blood pressure, say Melbourne researchers.

Their study, which used DXA to look at fat distribution in 19 valproate users, found those with over 11 years of drug use had 7% more abdominal fat compared with paired twin or sibling controls.

Mean pulse pressure was also higher in long-term valproate users and there was a treatment duration effect on whole body weight, with patients adding close to a kilo with each year of valproate use.

However, for patients with less than 11 years