Depakote

Generic Name: Divalproex

  • What is Depakote?

    Depakote is used to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, as well as certain types of seizures and migraines.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Depakote?

    You should not take Depakote if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, contact your doctor immediately.

    Depakote may cause serious liver problems. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: uneasiness, weakness, tiredness, facial swelling, loss of appetite, or vomiting.

    Depakote may cause a condition called pancreatitis, a serious and life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. If you experience stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite, contact your doctor immediately.

    Depakote may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. If you experience signs and symptoms of depression, unusual changes in mood or behavior, or thoughts of suicide, contact your doctor immediately.

    You may experience extreme drowsiness when you start this medication. You should not drive or operate dangerous machinery until you know how this medication will affect you.

    Elevated ammonia levels and an unintentional drop in body temperature have been reported in some patients taking Depakote. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience abnormal drowsiness, vomiting, or changes in mental status.

    Depakote may cause a low blood platelet count, which can cause you to bleed more easily. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual bleeding or bruising.

    If you experience a fever and rash while taking Depakote, contact your doctor immediately as this can be a sign of a serious allergic reaction.

  • Who should not take Depakote?

    Women who are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding should not begin treatment with Depakote.

    Do not take Depakote if you have had an allergic reaction to it, if you have a condition called urea cycle disorder (a lack of an enzyme responsible for removing ammonia from the bloodstream), or if you have liver disease or significant liver dysfunction.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Depakote?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Depakote. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a condition called urea cycle disorder, a history of liver problems or liver disease, a previous allergic reaction to Depakote, or any blood disorders. Also, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Seizures

    Adults and children: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dosage for you based on your body weight and type of seizure you have.

    Mania Associated with Bipolar Disorder

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 750 mg daily given in divided doses. Your doctor will increase the dose as quickly as possible to achieve the best effect at the lowest possible dose.

    Migraines

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 250 mg twice a day. Some patients may benefit from doses up to 1,000 mg daily.

  • How should I take Depakote?

    Take Depakote only as directed by your doctor. Depakote tablets should be swallowed whole and should not be crushed or chewed. If you experience stomach irritation, you may benefit from taking Depakote with food. Try to take Depakote at the same time(s) every day.

  • What should I avoid while taking Depakote?

    You should avoid combining Depakote with alcohol, which may increase the side effects of the drug.

    You may experience drowsiness when you start Depakote. Avoid driving or operating dangerous machinery until you know how Depakote affects you.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Depakote?

    If Depakote is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Depakote with the following: alcohol, amitriptyline, aspirin, carbamazepine, certain antibiotics (such as ertapenem, imipenem, and meropenem), clonazepam, diazepam, ethosuximide, felbamate, lamotrigine, nortriptyline, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, rifampin, tolbutamide, topiramate, warfarin, and zidovudine.

  • What are the possible side effects of Depakote?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: nausea, headache, dizziness, vomiting, weakness, tremor, abdominal pain, double vision, upset stomach, diarrhea, loss of appetite, blurred vision, flu, infection, back pain

  • Can I receive Depakote if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    You should not take Depakote if you are pregnant, as Depakote can cause serious birth defects and put the baby at risk of developing seizures. Depakote can also cause clotting problems in pregnant women. Depakote is excreted in breast milk and may harm a breastfeeding infant. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Depakote?

    If you miss a dose of Depakote, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Depakote?

    Store at room temperature.

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