Divalproex is prescribed for the management of seizure disorders, mental and mood conditions, and as a preventive measure for migraine headaches. Its mechanism of action involves restoring the equilibrium of specific naturally occurring substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
Uses and Dosage
Take this medication orally once daily or as instructed by your doctor. If you experience stomach upset, it is acceptable to take it with food. Swallow the tablets whole and avoid crushing or chewing them, as doing so can result in the rapid release of the entire dose, increasing the risk of side effects.
The prescribed dosage of this medication is determined by various factors, including your age, weight, medical condition, response to treatment, and concurrent use of other medications.
Regular and consistent use of this medication is crucial to derive maximum benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time every day to maintain a constant level of the medication in your bloodstream.
If this medication is prescribed for seizures, do not discontinue it without consulting your doctor. Sudden discontinuation of the drug may exacerbate your condition. Your dose may need to be gradually reduced under medical supervision.
Divalproex sodium does not provide relief for acute migraine headaches. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the use of other medications specifically for acute migraine attacks.
If your condition does not improve, please inform your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- increased appetite
- indigestion or heartburn
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- changes in hair (hair loss or increased hair on face, chest, and back)
- decreased coordination, loss of motor skills
- difficulty speaking, reading, or understanding
- increase in seizures
- memory loss
- nausea or vomiting (continuing)
- fever or a general feeling of being unwell
- urinary incontinence
- thoughts of hurting yourself or others
Prior to initiating treatment with divalproex sodium, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any known allergies, including allergies to divalproex sodium, valproic acid, valproate sodium, or any other substances. This medication may contain inactive ingredients that can potentially cause allergic reactions or other complications.
Before using this medication, disclose your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of liver disease, pancreatitis, certain metabolic disorders, alcohol abuse, bleeding disorders, brain disease (dementia), kidney disease, dehydration, or poor nutrition.
To minimize the risk of cuts, bruises, or injuries, exercise caution when handling sharp objects such as razors and nail cutters, and avoid engaging in activities that involve contact sports.
This medication may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Consumption of alcohol or marijuana can intensify these effects. Refrain from driving, operating machinery, or performing tasks that require alertness or clear vision until you can safely do so.
Children under the age of 6 may face a higher risk of liver problems and pancreatitis.
Older adults may be more susceptible to the side effects of this medication, particularly drowsiness, dizziness, unsteadiness, or tremors. These effects can increase the risk of falling.
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using divalproex sodium, as it may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant, promptly consult your doctor regarding the risks and benefits associated with this medication.
This medication passes into breast milk. Although no harm to nursing infants has been reported, consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Depakote Sprinkles is available in the following forms and strengths:
Depakote Sprinkles delayed-release capsule:
Is Depakote a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic?
Depakote is a mood stabilizer medication that works in the brain.
Do you gain weight on Depakote?
Weight gain is possible with Depakote. This was a common side effect in clinical trials.