Diagnosis and medication

Sodium Valproate

Week 1- 4

The idea of medicating a small child (Or anyone for that matter) is a daunting one. I read all of the leaflets and researched online. It didn’t help. In fact it made the situation worse. The best thing I did was ask a ‘friend of a friend’ for advice, as her little one had also been diagnosed with Epilepsy. It was a breath of fresh air. I hope to do the same for anyone reading this.

The side effects for any medication can be vast. They can vary depending on the age and gender of the person taking it (Sodium Valproate is particularly risky if there is any chance of pregnancy -it can seriously harm an unborn baby) Everyone will have a different experience of the same brand/medicine. The side effects of Sodium Valproate are frankly scary – hair loss, liver complications, tiredness, hunger, over activity, mood and behavioral change etc. – but remember these are ‘possible’ side effects not definite ones. For us, so far, things haven’t been as bleak as the inside leaflet suggests .

Week one we started with 1ml in the morning and the same again at night. We hardly saw a change in W. There were no tonic clonic seizures, but he did have a cluster of absences. The seizures didn’t stop straight away which we expected.

Week two (2ml/1ml) and week three (2ml/2ml) is where we started to see some side effects. He was starving. I don’t mean a little bit hungry. I mean starving! We had to restock the cupboards mid week with healthy snacks. He was out eating me and then some. I watched him basically swallow a banana whole! I had visions of him turning into a little, toddler sized, bouncy ball. He also went from tired to super energetic on a couple of occasions making him rather grumpy. I do however wonder if this was a side effect at all or the fact he’s 3. In all honesty he was behaving like a toddler and nothing more dramatic than that.

Week four is where we are now (3ml/2ml). This week the hunger has slowed down. He appears tired, but not as grumpy. A couple of times his speech hasn’t been as clear as normal, but this was at night, after a long day at nursery and returned to normal after a rest.

Remember your little one will be monitored. If any unwanted side effects crop up, let your Neurologist/Epilepsy Nurse know. For us it’s going well.

I’ll update you on week five soon,

Lots of love,

Clare xx

3 thoughts on “Sodium Valproate”

  1. My daughter was on sodium valproate for about three years and it was by far one of the best medicines she had … it was a shame she had to come off it at 14 because it’s not good for teenage girls and there hormones etc …
    all medicines I have found have made my daughter experience slurry speech and tiredness and I myself an in Gabapentin (another epilepsy drug) for my back pain and it makes me slurry , dizzy and tired but the effects usually wear off once your body gets used to the medicine


  2. Hi E-Word,
    For sharing your story and trying to understand how to best care for your little boy.
    I am an adult managing my Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. I had been taking Sodium Valproate for many years. I became depressed, anxious and nearly agoraphobic. I thought that these moods were my ‘epilepsy’ condition, until a fellow epilepsy sufferer, advised me that my anxiety was a side affect of the Valproate and that I should try the more modern medications. I am now on Lamotrigine and am feeling back to my normal, happy self. I understand that we all have different needs, so, of course, always check with the neurologist, for other alternative meds. I also found a lot of answers about my condition by joining facebook groups and reading the book “Seized” by Eva LaPlante, the book explained a lot, not only to me, but for my family members understanding, of my personality traits.


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