History and Discovery | Structure–Activity Relations | Pharmacological Profile | Pharmacokinetics and Disposition | Indications and Efficacy | Side Effects and Toxicology | Drug–Drug Interactions | Conclusion | References
Valproic acid was first synthesized by Burton in the United
States in 1882 and subsequently was used as an organic solvent.
The drug's antiepileptic properties were discovered serendipitously
by Meunier in 1963 in France. Meunier used valproic acid as a vehicle
for other compounds that were being screened for antiepileptic activity. He
found that compounds that did not have antiepileptic properties
when administered alone inhibited seizure activity when dissolved
in valproic acid and concluded that the antiepileptic activity was
due to the solvent, valproic acid, rather than to the test drugs
(Bowden and McElroy 1995; Fariello and Smith 1989; Meunier et al. 1975).