Depakote is a brand name of a generic medication called Valproate. This drug contains valproic acid which is an organic substance.
How It Works
As an anticonvulsant medicine, Depakote provides protection against seizures that are caused by a reduction in phosphatidylinositol triphosphate (PIP3). It also obstructs the process of sodium channels dependent on high voltage and increases concentrations of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA); a neurotransmitter responsible for easing nervous activity in the brain. The exact mechanism of how Depakote affects your body to prevent or treat epilepsy is yet to be discovered. However, it is understood that divalproex sodium; the active ingredient in Depakote affects chemicals in the body that cause seizures.
This drug is used to treat a number of conditions. Different types of seizures, migraine headaches and manic depression associated with bi polar disorder are some of them.
Do not take this drug unless it is prescribed to you by a doctor. Follow the precise instructions given to you in administering its dose.
Do not crush the tablet. Swallow it whole with a full glass of water. It may be taken with food if preferred.
The quantity prescribed to you is based on body weight, health conditions and capacity for tolerance.
The initial dose for persons above 10 years of age suffering from complex partial seizures is 10 to 15 mg/kg per day. Increments up to 10 to 15 mg/kg can be made on a weekly basis.
The suggested starting dose for simple and complex absence seizures is 15 mg/kg per day. It can be increased every week according to your doctor’s instructions. A dose exceeding 250 mg/kg a day should be administered in divided doses.
The initial dosage for persons suffering from bi polar disorder is 750 mg daily which is to be taken in divided doses.
To treat adults with Migraine headaches, a starting dose of 250 mg can be taken twice a day.
Certain after effects may manifest when Depakote is taken. The most common side effects of this drug are:
Black and tarry stools
Loss of appetite
Feeling of discomfort
Weight gain or loss
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience suicidal inclinations, irregular heartbeats, involuntary eye movements or unconsciousness.
A serious allergy to Depakote may cause skin rashes, swelling of the face, tongue or throat and shortness of breath. These symptoms are known to disappear in time but, if they become bothersome, seek medical care at once.
If you are an expectant mother, do not take Depakote to treat migraine headaches.
Some conditions that your doctor should be made aware of before taking this drug are:
A disorder called Alpers’ disease
History of mental illness
Infections such as HIV
Addiction to alcohol
When taking this medicine avoid the consumption of alcohol and exposure to sunlight. Divalproex sodium can adversely increase the effects of sun burning. Make sure to wear clothing that conceals your body or use a shield such an umbrella when going out under the sun.