Generic Depakote (divalproex sodium) affects chemicals in the body and brain. This is a type of medicine called a mood stabilizer. It is used for a variety of different health issues. Depakote is one of Abbott Laboratories' best-selling drugs mainly prescribed for seizures & countless off-label uses.
Depakote is also marketed as Depakote ER, Depakote Sprinkles, valproate, and divalproex sodium.
*Depakote® is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories.
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- How to take
- Side effects
- Drug interactions
- Missed dose
Generic Depakote is a medication that works in the brain to treat bipolar disorder. It is approved for the treatment of seizures (epilepsy) in adults and children; migraine headaches and acute mania associated with bipolar. Bipolar disorder involves episodes of depression and/or mania.
Take Generic Depakote exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Drink plenty of water while you are taking this medication. Your dose may need to be changed if you do not get enough fluids each day.
You may open the Generic Depakote sprinkle capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of pudding or applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open a delayed-release or extended-release tablet or capsule. Swallow it whole.
To be sure Generic Depakote is not causing harmful effects, your liver function will need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Do not stop using Generic Depakote without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine.
Seek emergency medical attention if the person taking Generic Depakote has nausea, vomiting, upper stomach pain, or loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). These symptoms may be early signs of liver damage or pancreatitis.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Generic Depakote: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:
- unexplained weakness with vomiting and confusion or fainting;
- easy bruising or bleeding, blood in your urine;
- fever, chills, body aches, swollen glands, flu symptoms;
- urinating less than usual;
- extreme drowsiness, lack of coordination, hallucinations;
- double vision or back-and-forth movements of the eyes; or
- severe skin reaction - fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious Generic Depakote side effects may include:
- mild drowsiness or weakness;
- diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach;
- changes in your menstrual periods;
- enlarged breasts, weight changes;
- tremor (shaking);
- hair loss;
- vision changes; or
- unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
To make sure you can safely take Depakote, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
- a history of head injury, brain disorder, or coma;
- a family history of a urea cycle disorder or infant deaths with unknown cause; or
- HIV or CMV (cytomegalovirus) infection.
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Generic Depakote. Generic Depakote may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Generic Depakote can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by Generic Depakote. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these medicines, or any other seizure medication.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
- topiramate (Topamax);
- tolbutamide (Orinase);
- a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
- aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol);
- zidovudine (Retrovir);
- clozapine (Clozaril, FazaClo);
- diazepam (Valium);
- meropenem (Merrem) or imipenem and cilastatin (Primaxin);
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater); or
- ethosuximide (Zarontin).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Generic Depakote.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep out of reach of children and pets.