Sodium valproate: cacosmia and dysgeusia as uncommon side effects

Clara Montalbano, Accursio Raia, Valerio Caruso, Lavinia Migli


Smell and taste disturbances are potential adverse reactions of many drugs used in Psychiatry, such as antidepressants, anti-Parkinson agents, lithium, minor and major tranquilizers. To our knowledge, only one clinical case regarding valproate and cacosmia has been reported so far. However, several anticonvulsants are reported to cause taste and smell disturbances, although the underlying etiology is currently unclear. Our patient developed cacosmia and dysgeusia when taking valproic acid, both effects quickly disappeared upon drug discontinuation. In this article we not only report this uncommon side effect, but we discuss the plausible mechanisms behind such an adverse reaction. Our case is to date the second similar case in the literature. The aim of the present article is to make clinicians informed about this very uncommon and unpleasant side effect.


bipolar; valproate; smell; cacosmia; dysgeusia

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