Depakote is an anti seizure drug. It is used for treatment of seizure disorders. It acts by affecting chemicals causing seizure in human body. It is also used with other medicines for the treatment. It is used to cure various disorders related to mood or attacks.

Depakote is divalproex sodium. It consists of sodium valproate and valproic acid in equal molar relationship. It is a stable co-ordination compound and is formed by partial neutralization of valproic acid with 0.5 equivalent of sodium hydroxide. Its chemical name is sodium hydrogen bis (2-propylpentanoate). Divalproex sodium has the following structure:

Divalproex sodium is a white powder and has a distinct smell. Inactive ingredients in this medicine are cellulosic polymers, diacetylated monoglycerides, povidone, pregelatinized starch (contains corn starch), silica gel, talc, titanium dioxide, and vanillin. This medicine is given orally. It essentially contains valproic acid and comes in strength of 125 mg, 250 mg and 500 mg.

Uses of Depakote

It is used to treat different kinds of seizure disorders. It is used for other disorders as well than listed on the medical guide. It is mainly used to treat mania, epilepsy and migraine.

Mania

Mania is a mood disorder. In this patients have attacks of abnormally elevated or irritable mood. During this attack the patient experiences motor hyperactivity, lack of sleep, aggressiveness, pressure on speech and other hyperactive symptoms. Depakote ER is used to treat patients having manic episodes. It is a valporate and is also used to treat mixed episodes and bipolar disorders. In mixed episodes patients go through a maniac episode combined with major depressive episodes. It is good for short-term treatment, but in a long-term treatment, its benefits should be regularly monitored and evaluated.

Epilepsy

Depakote ER is also used to treat epilepsy patients above 10 years. It is also used with other medicines for the treatment. It is used for patients having partial seizure and multiple seizures.

In simple epilepsy seizure attacks can be explained as brief loss of consciousness and generalized epileptic discharges.  In complex seizures other symptoms can also prevail.

Migraine

Depakote ER is administered for migraine headache attacks too. But there is no evidence that Depakote ER can treat acute migraine headaches. It is harmful for fetus and infants, thus pregnant women, women planning to have a child and breast feeding mothers should consult a doctor before taking Depakote.

Precautions before taking Depakote

Important information about Depakote

Children especially below 2 years can develop liver problems with use of Depakote. They are at more risk with use of 2 or more seizure medicines at a time. Having a metabolic disorder, brain disease causing mental impairment are conditions, when taking Depakote can cause fatal harm. So, consult a doctor before giving this medicine. Some patients, who were using Depakote, have also suffered from Pancreatitis. These symptoms can occur while using the drug or even a long time after stopping the use. You should seek a doctor’s help if you have following symptoms after use of Depakote.

  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or loss of appetite
  • Low fever, dark urine
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice or other liver problems

These can be symptoms of liver damage. You should also consult a doctor before using Depakote if you have

  • Bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
  • Head injury, brain disorder, or coma or a past history of these disorders
  • Urea cycle disorder in family
  • History of infant deaths with unknown cause in your family
  • HIV or CMV (cytomegalovirus) infection
  • You are pregnant or planning to conceive
  • You are a breast feeding mother

Depakote can harm fetus and infants. Seek help from your doctor if you conceive while taking this medicine.