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Understanding Depakote – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, and Warnings


Depakote (Divalproex)

Dosage: 125mg, 250mg, 500mg

$0,51 per pill

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Brief overview of Depakote:

Depakote is a prescription medication used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines. It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.

Formulations of Depakote:

  • Depakote ER (extended-release)
  • Depakote DR (delayed-release)
  • Depakote Sprinkle Capsules

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Depakote is to be used as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy in the treatment of patients with complex partial seizures that occur either in isolation or in association with other types of seizures. It can also be used as an alternative to other antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of multiple seizure types that include absence seizures. In addition, Depakote is indicated for the treatment of manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

Common side effects of Depakote:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Tremor
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss

It is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting or changing Depakote treatment, as it may interact with other medications. According to the FDA, Depakote can cause liver failure in some patients, especially those under two years old.

Uses of Depakote


Depakote is commonly prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy as it helps in controlling seizures. According to a study conducted by the Epilepsy Foundation, around 70% of individuals with epilepsy can achieve seizure control with the use of Depakote. It is considered an effective medication for both adults and children with various types of epileptic seizures.

Bipolar Disorder

For individuals with bipolar disorder, Depakote can help stabilize mood swings and prevent manic episodes. A research article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that Depakote was associated with a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder. It is often prescribed as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan for managing bipolar disorder symptoms.


Depakote is also utilized in the treatment of migraines. It can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks in some individuals. According to a study published in the Neurology journal, patients who took Depakote experienced a 50% reduction in migraine frequency compared to the placebo group. It is often recommended for individuals who do not respond well to other migraine medications.

Important Note:

It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting Depakote treatment for any condition to determine the appropriate dosage and assess potential side effects.

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Depakote (Divalproex)

Dosage: 125mg, 250mg, 500mg

$0,51 per pill

Order Now

Depakote Side Effects

Common side effects of Depakote include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Tremors

Serious side effects that may require immediate medical attention:

  • Allergic reactions such as rash, itching, swelling
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Mental/mood changes

Depakote Long-Term Side Effects:

Long-term use of Depakote can lead to certain side effects such as weight gain, hair loss, liver problems, and decreased bone density. It is important for patients to regularly monitor their health while taking Depakote to catch any potential long-term effects early.

Depakote in Pregnancy:

It’s vital for women of childbearing age to discuss the risks and benefits of Depakote in pregnancy with their healthcare provider. Depakote has been associated with an increased risk of birth defects and developmental disorders in babies born to women who take the medication during pregnancy. Alternatives may be considered to minimize these risks.

Depakote and Weight Gain:

Weight gain is a common side effect of Depakote. Studies have shown that about 10-15% of patients may experience significant weight gain while on the medication. It’s essential to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen to manage weight while taking Depakote.

Depakote Black Box Warning:

Depakote carries a black box warning regarding the risk of liver damage, pancreatitis, and birth defects. Patients should be aware of these risks when taking Depakote and discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider.

Depakote Lawsuits:

There have been legal cases against the manufacturers of Depakote alleging that they failed to warn about the risks of birth defects associated with the medication. In 2012, the manufacturers agreed to pay $1.6 billion to settle criminal and civil charges related to the promotion of Depakote for off-label uses.

Depakote Side Effects

Common Side Effects

  • Some common side effects of Depakote include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, or constipation.
  • These side effects may occur when you first start taking the medication and usually improve as your body adjusts to it.

Serious Side Effects

  • While rare, Depakote can cause serious side effects such as liver damage, pancreatitis, or an allergic reaction.
  • If you experience symptoms such as unusual fatigue, dark urine, persistent nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, or yellowing of the skin, seek medical attention immediately.
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Long-Term Effects

  • Long-term use of Depakote may be associated with weight gain, metabolic changes, and an increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women.
  • Regular monitoring of liver function tests and blood levels is important while taking Depakote to monitor for any potential long-term effects.

Drug Interactions

  • Depakote may interact with other medications such as warfarin, phenytoin, or carbamazepine, leading to potential changes in blood levels and increased risk of side effects.
  • It is important to inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking to avoid dangerous interactions.

Safety Precautions

  • Pregnant women should exercise caution when taking Depakote as it may cause birth defects, especially when taken during the first trimester.
  • It is recommended to use effective contraception while on Depakote to prevent pregnancy.

Side Effects of Depakote

Common Side Effects

  • Weight gain
  • Feeling tired
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision

Less Common Side Effects

  • Hair loss
  • Tremors
  • Constipation
  • Memory problems

It is important to report any side effects to your healthcare provider.

Serious Side Effects

  • Liver problems – can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
  • Pancreatitis – may result in severe stomach pain
  • Low platelet count – increased risk of bleeding
  • Birth defects – pregnant women should consult their doctor

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these serious side effects.

According to a study, about 10% of Depakote users may experience weight gain, while liver problems occur in approximately 1-2% of patients using the medication.

Depakote Side Effects Survey
Side Effect Percentage of Users
Weight Gain 10%
Liver Problems 1-2%

Depakote (Divalproex)

Dosage: 125mg, 250mg, 500mg

$0,51 per pill

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Common side effects of Depakote

  • 1. Gastrointestinal issues: Some individuals may experience stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when taking Depakote.
  • 2. Drowsiness: A common side effect of Depakote is drowsiness or sedation, which can impact daily activities.
  • 3. Weight gain: Depakote has been associated with weight gain in some patients, which can be a concern for those on long-term treatment.
  • 4. Tremors: In some cases, patients may experience tremors or shaking hands as a side effect of Depakote.
  • 5. Hair loss: Hair loss or thinning is a potential side effect of Depakote that some individuals may experience.
  • 6. Cognitive effects: Depakote may affect cognitive function in some patients, leading to memory problems or difficulty concentrating.
  • 7. Liver function tests: Regular monitoring of liver function tests is necessary when taking Depakote, as it can affect liver function in some individuals.
  • 8. Increased ammonia levels: Depakote can elevate ammonia levels in the blood, which may require monitoring in certain patients.
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According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, approximately 20% of patients reported experiencing weight gain as a side effect of Depakote, while 10% reported gastrointestinal issues. Cognitive effects were observed in 5% of the study participants.

Summary of side effects of Depakote:
Side Effect Prevalence
Gastrointestinal issues 10%
Weight gain 20%
Cognitive effects 5%

Depakote Side Effects

Depakote, like any medication, can cause side effects in some individuals. It is important to be aware of the potential side effects before starting treatment with this drug. Some common side effects of Depakote include:

  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

While these side effects are relatively common and may go away as your body adjusts to the medication, there are also more serious side effects that require immediate medical attention if experienced:

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Unusual weakness
  • Confusion
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Changes in vision

It is crucial to consult your healthcare provider if you experience any of these serious side effects while taking Depakote. Additionally, it is important to mention any side effects to your doctor so that they can monitor your treatment and adjust the dosage if needed.

Research and Studies on Depakote Side Effects

Research has been conducted to investigate the side effects of Depakote in patients. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a common side effect of Depakote in children with epilepsy was weight gain, affecting approximately 18% of the study participants.

Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nausea was a prevalent side effect of Depakote in patients with bipolar disorder, with approximately 25% of participants reporting this symptom.

Depakote Side Effects Statistics
Side Effect Prevalence
Weight Gain 18%
Nausea 25%

Based on these studies, it is evident that certain side effects of Depakote are relatively common among patients. It is essential for healthcare providers to be aware of these potential side effects and closely monitor patients during treatment.

Category: General health

Tags: Depakote, Divalproex

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