Published: 2020-05-21

A probable case of sodium valproate monotherapy induced drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms syndrome: a case report in Indian population

Vijayamathy Arunnair, Girish Kumaraswamy, Ramesh M.


Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome is a drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome most commonly caused by anti-epileptics like carbamazepine, phenytoin. It usually manifests as maculopapular rash, fever, eosinophilia, generalized lymphadenopathy, hepatitis, atypical lymphocytosis, and leucocytosis with the involvement of other organs. Valproate, a broad-spectrum antiepileptic, also used in bipolar disorders and migraine prophylaxis, is generally well tolerated. To date, very few cases of valproate monotherapy induced DRESS syndrome have been reported worldwide and here we are reporting one such rare case in a 72 years old Indian woman with a history of generalised tonic convulsions. The patient was classified as a ‘probable’ case of DRESS syndrome using the WHO-UMC criteria and Naranjo scale. Discontinuation of the offending medication and treatment with intravenous (IV) fluids, antihistamines, and steroids helped in recovery of the patient. Healthcare practitioners must be aware of valproate monotherapy induced DRESS syndrome and take effective measures to avoid severe side effects. 


Valproate, DRESS, Adverse drug reaction, Anti-epileptic drugs

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