Authors: Andreu S, Ripa I, Bello-Morales R, Lopez-Guerrero JA

PMID: 33256172 PMCID: PMC7760627 DOI: 10.3390/v12121356


Herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) are neurotropic viruses with broad host range whose infections cause considerable health problems in both animals and humans. In fact, 67% of the global population under the age of 50 are infected with HSV-1 and 13% have clinically recurrent HSV-2 infections. The most prescribed antiherpetics are nucleoside analogues such as acyclovir, but the emergence of mutants resistant to these drugs and the lack of available vaccines against human HSVs has led to an imminent need for new antivirals. Valproic acid (VPA) is a branched short-chain fatty acid clinically used as a broad-spectrum antiepileptic drug in the treatment of neurological disorders, which has shown promising antiviral activity against some herpesviruses. Moreover, its amidic derivatives valpromide and valnoctamide also share this antiherpetic activity. This review summarizes the current research on the use of VPA and its amidic derivatives as alternatives to traditional antiherpetics in the fight against HSV infections.

Keywords: alphaherpesvirus; valnoctamide; valproic acid; valpromide.