Valproic Acid for Treatment of Hyperactive or Mixed Delirium in ICU

Not Recruiting

Trial ID: NCT02343575


Delirium is the most often encountered psychiatric diagnosis in the general hospital, with incidence up to 85% in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting and with significant consequences on patients' morbidity and mortality. Currently, although not FDA approved, antipsychotics are often considered the first-line pharmacological treatment. However, there can be limitations to their use, including side effects or lack of efficacy. Valproic acid (VPA) is one of the alternatives at times used in such patients which from limited case series data appears to be helpful and tolerated. VPA can provide relief from agitation that poses a threat to the safety and recovery of the patient. Moreover, mechanistically it addresses the neurochemical and cellular abnormalities inherent in delirium (it has NMDA-antagonist, anti-dopaminergic, GABAergic,anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and histone deacetylase inhibitor properties, among others). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of the VPA in the first known to us randomized controlled trial.

Official Title

Valproic Acid for Treatment of Hyperactive or Mixed Delirium in ICU

Stanford Investigator(s)

Yelizaveta Sher
Yelizaveta Sher

Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Medical Psychiatry

Jose R. Maldonado, MD, FACLP, FACFE
Jose R. Maldonado, MD, FACLP, FACFE

John and Terry Levin Family Professor of Medicine and Professor, by courtesy, of Emergency Medicine and of Medicine


Inclusion Criteria:

   - patients 18 years of age and older

   - admitted to surgical ICU

   - diagnosed with hyperactive or mixed delirium

Exclusion Criteria:

   - hypoactive delirium

   - primary team does not think patient is appropriate to participate

   - no oral access (PO or NGT)

   - non-English speaking

   - contraindication to study medications

   - pregnant women or woman of child-bearing age not on documented contraception

   - QTc = or greater than 480

   - hepatic dysfunction

   - decreased platelets or platelet dysfunction

   - bleeding disorder, current major bleeding

   - history of NMS, epilepsy, or PD

   - diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder

   - on warfarin or carbapenems

   - delirium due to alcohol withdrawal

   - treated with antipsychotics for more than 48 hours prior to study enrollment.


drug: Valproic Acid

drug: Placebo

drug: Haloperidol

Not Recruiting

Contact Information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
Shengchun Wang, Ph.D