Depakote ER

Generic Name: Divalproex

  • What is Depakote ER?

    Depakote ER is used to treat manic or mixed 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 ER?

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

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

    Depakote ER 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 ER 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 ER. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience abnormal drowsiness, vomiting, or changes in mental status.

    Depakote ER 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 ER, contact your doctor immediately as this can be a sign of a serious allergic reaction.

  • Who should not take Depakote ER?

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

    Do not take Depakote ER if you have had an allergic reaction to it, if you have a condition called urea cycle disorder (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 ER?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Depakote ER. 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 ER, 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.

    Bipolar Disorder

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 25 milligrams (mg) per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day given once daily. Your doctor will increase the dose as quickly as possible to achieve the best effect at the lowest possible dose.

    Seizures

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

    Migraines

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 500 mg once daily for 1 week. After 1 week, the dose should be increased to 1,000 mg once daily.

  • How should I take Depakote ER?

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

  • What should I avoid while taking Depakote ER?

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

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

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

    If Depakote ER 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 ER 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 ER?

    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, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, tremor, upset stomach, abdominal pain, double vision, infection, diarrhea, blurred vision, loss of appetite, flu, pain

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

    You should not take Depakote ER if you are pregnant, as Depakote ER can cause serious birth defects and put the baby at risk of developing seizures. Depakote ER can also cause clotting problems in pregnant women. Depakote ER 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 ER?

    If you miss a dose of Depakote ER, 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 ER?

    Store at room temperature.

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