Generic Name/ Manufacturer
Depakote is a brand name of the prescription drug divalproex sodium (sodium valproate plus valproic acid). It is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories of Abbott Park, Illinois.
Depakote is used to treat migraine
, and the mania
associated with bipolar disorder
To quote the manufacturer, "The mechanisms
by which valproate (Depakote's active ingredient
) exerts its therapeutic effects have not been established". Though Abbott Labs
suggests that the benefits may have something to do with increased GABA
levels in the brain, little is understood about sodium valproate's pharmacodynamics
Depakote is not an easy drug to take. Some side effects reported include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, sleepiness, ataxia, headache, nystagmus, double vision, dysarthria, dizziness,
confusion, hypoesthesia, vertigo, alopecia, rash, depression, hallucinations, hyperactivity, menstrual irregularities, galactorrhea, enuresis, pancreatitus and hearing loss. Blood-related problems associated with Depakote include thrombocytopenia, petechiae, bruising, weight gain, hematoma formation,
epistaxis, and hemorrhaging. Patients with liver or renal problems must be particularly cautious when taking Depakote as they may be unable to efficiently flush the drug from their bodies. Pregnant women are urged to avoid Depakote due to the risk of harm to the fetus.
Depakote may reduce the efficacy of protein-binding medications, including phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), warfarin (Coumadin), and tolbutamide (diabetes drug Orinase).