Depakote (divalproex sodium)

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Depakote {Abbott}

Generic Name

divalproex sodium, pronounced dye val PRO ex So DI um

Valproic acid E.C. (Valproic Acid)

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

**All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

What is Depakote?

Depakote is a medication that treats various types of seizure disorders. Depakote helps with seizures by affecting the chemicals and nerves in the body that can cause the seizure activity.

Depakote may also be used for purposes not described in this medication guide.

 

Key Facts About Depakote

Depakote may be used alone or in combination with other medications to treat epileptic seizures in adults.

Depakote is also approved for treating bipolar disorder, migraine prevention, and for treating complex partial seizures in children ages 10 and older.

Taking Depakote may cause you to have thoughts about suicide, or mood changes like anxiety, depression, or hyperactivity (mental or physical). You should tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these conditions, or if your seizures worsen.

You should not stop taking Depakote for seizures or epilepsy without talking to your doctor, even if you think you are better. Stopping this medication suddenly may cause you to have increased seizures. Tell your doctor if you want to stop taking Depakote and he or she will gradually taper you off of this medication

You should have a medical ID card or wear a medical ID bracelet to let others know that you are taking Depakote. Be sure to let any doctor or dentist know that you are taking Depakote.

Depakote is in pregnancy category D, and this medication does cause birth defects. You should not take Depakote if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Depakote can also affect the cognitive development in children born to mothers who take this medication during pregnancy. Studies have shown that these children may score lower on cognitive tests (reasoning, intelligence, and problem-solving) when compared to children whose mothers took other seizure medications during pregnancy.

If you become pregnant while taking Depakote do not suddenly stop taking your medication. Tell your doctor immediately and he or she will help you to safely stop taking Depakote.

Depakote can pass into breast milk and could harm your nursing baby. You should talk to your doctor before breastfeeding while taking Depakote.

 

Before You Take Depakote

If you are allergic to divalproex sodium, or if you have liver disease or a urea cycle disorder you should not take Depakote.

If you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder or an HIV or CMV (cytomegalovirus) infection you should tell your doctor before taking Depakote.

If you have a history of head injury, brain disorder, or coma, or a family history of a urea cycle disorder you should tell your doctor before starting treatment with Depakote.

If you have a family history of infant deaths with unknown cause you should inform your doctor before taking Depakote.

Be sure that you keep your regular appointments with your doctor while you are taking Depakote, and tell your family to be alert to any behavior changes you may have. If you have any concerns about your history of depression or mood disorders talk to your doctor before starting treatment with Depakote.

You should be aware that in rare cases Depakote has caused life-threatening liver failure, especially in children who are younger than 2 years old. Children of this age may be at even greater risk for liver problems if they use more than one seizure medication, if they have a metabolic disorder, or if they have a brain disease which causes mental impairment, like Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, Huntington disease, multiple sclerosis, or a brain injury or infection.

Depakote has also caused rare cases of life-threatening pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of your pancreas. Pancreatitis can come on suddenly and symptoms can start even after you have been taking Depakote for several years.

Be aware that Depakote may cause your reaction time to be impaired. Take care to have someone with you when you are driving and first start taking Depakote, until you know how you will react to this medication.

Depakote may make you more sensitive to the effects of the sun. Be sure to wear an SPF and protective clothing when going outdoors, and avoid tanning beds.

 

Depakote Drug Interactions

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • clozapine (Clozaril, FazaClo)
  • diazepam (Valium)
  • ethosuximide (Zarontin)
  • imipenem and cilastatin (Primaxin)
  • meropenem (Merrem)
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater)
  • tolbutamide (Orinase)
  • topiramate (Topamax)
  • zidovudine (Retrovir)

Other drugs you take that are not listed may interact with Depakote. You should tell your doctor about all of the medications you use. This includes prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements and herbal products, and over the counter medications. You should not begin taking a new medication without telling your doctor first.

 

Directions for Taking Depakote

You should take Depakote exactly as your doctor has told you to. It is important that you do not take Depakote in larger or smaller amounts, or for longer or shorter periods than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label and follow any dose changes carefully if your doctor instructs you to change your dose.

You can take Depakote with or without food.

You should not crush, chew, break, or open a delayed-release or extended-release tablet or capsule. Swallow it whole.

Depakote may cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Be sure that you tell any doctor or laboratory that you are taking Depakote. You can wear a medical alert bracelet or carry an ID card stating that you take Depakote.

Depakote tablets should be stored at room temperature, and away from both moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose of Depakote you should attempt to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, or if your next dose is less than 12 hours away you should skip the dose you missed.

 

Depakote Side Effects

If you experience any of the following adverse effects you should stop taking Depakote and seek emergency medical help immediately:

  • allergic reaction including breathing difficulties, hives and swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat
  • double vision or back-and-forth movements of your eyes
  • extreme drowsiness
  • fever
  • flu like symptoms and body aches
  • hallucinations
  • increased seizure activity
  • jaundice or yellowing of your skin
  • lack of coordination
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • pancreatitis symptoms-nausea, vomiting, upper stomach pain, or loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools and jaundice
  • skin reaction that is severe, with a fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, and followed by purple or red skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling
  • swollen glands
  • muscle weakness with vomiting, confusion and fainting
  • urinating less than usual or not at all

Less serious side effects of Depakote for adults and children may include:

  • breast swelling
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness
  • hair loss
  • menstrual period changes
  • tremors or shaking
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • upset stomach
  • vision changes
  • weakness
  • weight changes

It should be noted that this is not a complete list of possible side effects of Depakote. You should contact your physician for a complete list and medical advice regarding these effects.

 

Depakote Description and Dosing

Depakote is available in dosages of 125 mg, 250 mg and 500 mg tablets. The 125 mg tablets are salmon pink-colored. The 250 mg tablets are peach colored. The 500 mg tablets are lavender color.

Dosing of Depakote is individualized based on individual patient needs. Your doctor will tell you what the appropriate dose of Depakote is for you. Do not attempt to alter or change your dose without your physician’s consent.

If you suspect that you have overdosed with Depakote you should seek emergency help immediately.

 

Ingredients in Depakote

The main ingredient in Depakote is divalproex sodium. Additional inactive ingredients include cellulosic polymers, diacetylated monoglycerides, povidone, pregelatinized starch (contains corn starch), silica gel, talc, titanium dioxide, and vanillin. In addition, individual tablets contain:

125 mg tablets: FD&C Blue No. 1 and FD&C Red No. 40.

250 mg tablets: FD&C Yellow No. 6 and iron oxide.

500 mg tablets: D&C Red No. 30, FD&C Blue No. 2, and iron oxide.

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

**All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.