Reversible male infertility with valproate use: A review of the literature


Sodium valproate is a broad spectrum anti-seizure medication useful in the treatment of both generalized and focal epilepsies. The association between valproate and female reproductive disorders is well understood and delineated. Male infertility however is an under-recognised adverse effect of Valproate therapy.

Previous case reports have detailed reversible male infertility secondary to valproate. One report demonstrated a relationship between valproate dose and abnormal sperm parameters. We submit a case report suggesting a dose dependent effect of valproate on sperm parameters and a possible relationship between the duration of valproate therapy and its deleterious effect on male fertility.

Men on valproate should be counselled about the possibility of progressive but reversible infertility. Valproate should be stopped and replaced by an alternative agent in those men who are infertile and where the couple are trying to conceive, particularly if there are associated abnormal sperm parameters while on the drug.

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