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  • Depakote Information

  • Depakote Information


    Description Depakote is an anticonvulsant which is available in both a delayed-relase tablet and in a capsule. The capsule form is made of particles which can be opened up and taken with soft food or swallowed whole. The active ingredient in Depakote is divalproex sodium, a solid form of valproic acid.


    Depakote is used to treat certain types of seizures and convulsions. It is often prescribed with other epilepsy medications. It can also be used to control manic episodes that occur in people with bipolar disorder. Depakote ER, which is an extended-release form of the drug, is used to prevent migraine headaches.


    People with liver disease, or whose liver is not functioning well should not take Depakote. Depakote can sometimes cause serious liver damage. Also, people who have urea cycle disorder, a genetic abnormality, should not take Depakote, as it may adversely affect the brain.

    Possible Side Effects

    More common side effects

    Abdominal pain, abnormal thinking, breathing difficulty, bronchitis, bruising, constipation, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, emotional changeability, fever, flu symptoms, hair loss, headache, incoordination, indigestion, infection, insomnia, loss of appetite, memory loss, nasal inflammation, nausea, nervousness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, sore throat, tremor, vision problems, vomiting, weakness, weight loss or gain

    Less common or rare side effects

    Abnormal dreams, abnormal milk secretion, abnormal walk, aggression, anemia, anxiety, back pain, behavior problems, belching, bleeding, blood disorders, bone pain, breast enlargement, chest pain, chills, coma, confusion, coughing up blood, dental abscess, drowsiness, dry skin, ear inflammation, excessive urination (mainly children) or other urination problems, eye problems, feeling of illness, gas, growth failure in children, hallucinations, hearing problems, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, hostility, increased appetite, increased cough, involuntary rapid movement of eyeball, irregular or painful menstruation, itching, jerky movements, joint pain, lack of muscular coordination, leg cramps, liver problems, loss of bladder or bowel control, muscle or joint pain, muscle weakness, muscle pain, neck pain, nosebleed, overactivity, pneumonia, rapid heartbeat, rickets (mainly children), sedation, seeing "spots before your eyes", sensitivity to light, sinus inflammation, skin eruptions or peeling, skin rash, speech difficulties, stomach and intestinal disorders, swelling of arms and legs due to fluid retention, swollen glands, taste changes, tingling or pins and needles, twitching, urinary problems, vertigo, vision problems

    Possible Interactions

    Taking Depakote may increase the effects of alcohol. One should not drink alcohol while using this medication.

    One's doctor should be notified before combining Depakote with some of the following medications:

    Amitriptyline (Elavil); Aspirin; Barbiturates such as phenobarbital and Seconal; Blood thinners such as Coumadin; Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral); Nortriptyline (Pamelor); Oral contraceptives; Other seizure medications, including carbamazepine (Tegretol), clonazepam (Klonopin), ethosuximide (Zarontin), felbamate (Felbatol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), phenytoin (Dilantin), and Primidone (Mysoline); Rifampin (Rifater); Sleep aids such as Halcion; Tolbutamide (Orinase); Tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax; Zidovudine (Retrovir)

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