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Depakote is used to treat seizures and a variety of seizure disorders by affecting certain chemicals in the body. It may be used together with other seizure medications.
Other Depakote uses: Bipolar disorder (manic episodes), migraine prevention, and other uses.
Follow your doctor’s instructions and any included instructions carefully. Your dosage may be adjusted. Drink plenty of water while taking this medication.
You can break open the capsule and sprinkle the medication into pudding or applesauce. Do not save the Depakote sprinkles for later. Do not break open delayed release or extended-release (Depakote ER).
Regular blood testing may be required.
Wear medical identification and inform all health-care providers that you use Depakote.
If you miss a dose, take the medicine as soon as possible, but skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next dose. Do not cease use without doctor’s instruction, even if you feel well. Sudden stopping of Depakote can cause life-threatening seizures.
Store this medicine at room temperature away from heat and moisture.
This medication may cause fatal liver failure, especially among children under 2 and people with liver problems.
Youth may experience suicidal thoughts when first starting Depakote. Patients and caregivers should take note of any mood or behavior changes.
Inform your doctor if you’ve experienced: liver problems caused by a genetic mitochondrial disorder, a history of mental illness, suicidal ideation, family history of urea cycle disorder, family history of infant deaths with unknown cause, HIV, or CMV infection.
Do not use if you are allergic to Depakote or if you have liver disease, a urea cycle disorder, low platelet count, or certain genetic disorders.
Inform your doctor if you become pregnant or plan to be pregnant. Depakote may affect the unborn baby. Do not use Depakote for migraines during pregnancy.
Depakote and alcohol taken together may increase Depakote side effects.
Avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving, until you know how this medicine affects you.
Contact your doctor immediately if there are signs of liver or pancreas problems, including appetite loss, upper stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, dark urine, face swelling, and jaundice.
Get emergency medical help if you suspect an allergic reaction, severe skin reaction, or other serious side effects such as:
signs of a liver or pancreas issue (see above), confusion, fatigue, coldness, vomiting, change in mental state, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red pinpoint spots beneath the skin, severe drowsiness, worsening seizures, or signs of inflammation.
Inform your doctor of mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, sleeping difficulties, impulsivity, aggression, or thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
Other side effects of Depakote include:
nausea and vomiting, mild stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, mild dizziness, weakness, tremors, balancing and walking issues, blurred or double vision, changes in appetite, and weight gain.
Depakote may increase sensitivity to sunburn. Use a sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) and avoid tanning beds.
Note that the side effects listed here are not exhaustive.
Depakote may interact with other drugs, such as antidepressants. Tell your doctor other drugs you use, including herbs, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter, and recreational drugs.