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Influence of valproate on the required dose of propofol for anesthesia during electroconvulsive therapy of bipolar affective disorder patients

Authors Sayar G, Eryılmaz G, Şemieoğlu S, Özten E, Gül IG

Received 18 December 2013

Accepted for publication 17 January 2014

Published 4 March 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 433—438

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S59375

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Gökben Hizli Sayar, Gül Eryilmaz, Siban Şemieoğlu, Eylem Özten, Işil Göğcegöz Gül

Uskudar University, Neuropsychiatry Istanbul Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

Background: Propofol is often used as an anesthetic agent for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). In recent studies, propofol was shown to possess significant seizure-shortening properties during ECT. "Valproate" is a mood stabilizer used mainly in the treatment of bipolar affective disorder. It is reported that valproate, being an anticonvulsant, raises the seizure threshold, thus decreases the efficacy of ECT treatment.
Aim: The purpose of our study was to compare the dose of propofol in valproate-using patients and valproate-free patients.
Methods: In an open design, 17 patients with bipolar affective disorder manic episodes who were to be treated with valproate and ECT in combination, were compared with 16 manic-episode patients who were to be treated with ECT but not valproate. The two groups were compared on the basis of electroencephalography-registered seizure duration and the propofol dosage required to induce anesthesia.
Results: Valproate, compared with no valproate treatment, results in a decrease in the propofol dose required to induce anesthesia. In the valproate group of study participants, seizure duration was significantly shorter than in the valproate-free group.
Conclusion: The results suggest that valproate reduces the dose of propofol required for anesthesia during ECT treatment in patients with bipolar affective disorder manic episodes. Although propofol is a safe and efficacious anesthetic for ECT treatment, lower doses of propofol should be used to induce anesthesia for patients under valproate treatment. When the clinician needs to prolong seizure duration in patients treated with valproate, interruption of the valproate treatment or an anesthetic agent other than propofol should be considered.

Keywords: bipolar affective disorder, ECT, anticonvulsant, mood stabilizer

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