Valproic acid (VPA), a mood stabilizer used for treating bipolar disorder (BD), uncompetitively inhibits acylation of arachidonic acid (AA) by recombinant AA-selective acyl-CoA synthetase 4 (Acsl4) at an enzyme inhibition constant (Ki ) of 25 mM. Inhibition may account for VPA's ability to reduce AA turnover in brain phospholipids of unanesthetized rats and to be therapeutic in BD. However, VPA is teratogenic. We tested whether valnoctamide (VCD), a non-teratogenic amide derivative of a VPA chiral isomer, which had antimanic potency in a phase III BD trial, also inhibits recombinant Acsl4. Rat Acsl4-flag protein was expressed in Escherichia coli. We used Michaelis-Menten kinetics to characterize and quantify the ability of VCD to inhibit conversion of AA to AA-CoA by recombinant Acsl4 in vitro. Acsl4-mediated activation of AA to AA-CoA by Acsl4 was inhibited uncompetitively by VCD, with a Ki of 6.38 mM. VCD's ability to uncompetitively inhibit AA activation to AA-CoA by Acsl4, at a lower Ki than VPA, suggests that, like VPA, VCD may reduce AA turnover in rat brain phospholipids. If so, VCD and other non-teratogenic Acsl4 inhibitors might be considered further for treating BD.