Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 274–284 | Cite as

Divalproex Sodium -ER in Outpatients with Disruptive Behavior Disorders: A Three Month Open Label Study

  • Kirti Saxena
  • Linda Mora
  • Erika Torres
  • Rebecca Hall
  • Laura Delizonna
  • Alex Torres
  • Hans Steiner
Original Article


This aim of this clinical trial was to study the effects of divalproex sodium (DVPX) in reducing Reactive/Affective/ Defensive/ Impulsive Aggression (RADI) in youth with Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBD) in an outpatient clinic over a period of 3 months. We recruited forty participants with Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder. Twenty participants received 12 weeks of openly titrated DVPX, whereas twenty participants served as a comparison control group. Primary efficacy measures were the Clinical Global Improvement-Severity (CGI-S) and CGI-C (Change) scales; secondary efficacy measures included standardized measures of aggression. Based on the CGI-S and CGI-C ratings, the DVPX group showed significant improvement by the last observation. Attrition rates were notably high, which is not surprising given the clinical population studied. This study provides further support for the efficacy of DVPX in decreasing RADI aggression in the context of DBD. These results are particularly noteworthy because the sociotherapeutic structures supporting patients in previous trials were not present.


Disruptive behavior disorders Divalproex sodium Children and adolescents Outpatients 



This study was supported by grants to Dr. Steiner by Abbott Pharmaceuticals; The California Wellness Foundation; and the Eucalyptus Foundation. This study was supported by a research fellowship to Dr. Saxena, namely, the American Psychiatric Association Program for Minority Research Training in Psychiatry (APA PMRTP). The authors also thank the following individuals for their contributions in data collection and analyses: Sanja Medic, M.A.., Kelly Caywood, Ph.D. and Abby Durkin, B.A.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirti Saxena
    • 1
  • Linda Mora
    • 2
  • Erika Torres
    • 3
  • Rebecca Hall
    • 4
  • Laura Delizonna
    • 5
  • Alex Torres
    • 6
  • Hans Steiner
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at DallasDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California at San Francisco/San Francisco General HospitalSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental and Occupational HealthUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicinePalo AltoUSA
  5. 5.choosinghappiness.comSan FranciscoUSA
  6. 6.Skyline Community CollegeSan BrunoCAUSA

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