Depakote FAQ


Get the Answers You're Looking For

What are the most common side effects experienced with Depakote?
Does Depakote have serious side effects?
Should I be concerned about weight gain?
What about women who are planning a pregnancy or become pregnant while taking Depakote?
Does Depakote interact with oral contraceptives?
 
Does Depakote interact with other medications?
Are any foods or alcohol off-limits?
How do I safely store Depakote?
What should I do if I miss a dose?
What time of day should I take Depakote?
Can I stop taking Depakote at any time?
DEPAKOTE SAFETY FACTS
  • Important
    Safety
    Information
  • Do Not
    Take If
  • Before Taking Depakote
  • Tell Your Healthcare Provider
  • Side Effects
  • Uses
  • Useful Resources

The most important information about Depakote is:

Do not stop taking Depakote without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping Depakote suddenly can cause serious problems.

Depakote can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Serious liver damage that can cause death, especially in children younger than 2 years old. The risk of getting this serious liver damage is more likely to happen within the first 6 months of treatment. In some cases, liver damage may continue despite stopping the drug. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms: nausea or vomiting that does not go away, loss of appetite, pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen), dark urine, swelling of your face, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
  • Depakote may harm your unborn baby. If you take Depakote during pregnancy for any medical condition, your baby is at risk for serious birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord and are called spina bifida or neural tube defects. These defects occur in 1 to 2 out of every 100 babies born to mothers who use this medicine during pregnancy. These defects can begin in the first month, even before you know you are pregnant. Other birth defects that affect the structures of the heart, head, arms, legs, and the opening where the urine comes out (urethra) on the bottom of the penis can also happen. Birth defects may occur even in children born to women who are not taking any medicines and do not have other risk factors. Taking folic acid supplements before getting pregnant and during early pregnancy can lower the chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect. If you take Depakote during pregnancy for any medical condition, your child is at risk for having a lower IQ. There may be other medicines to treat your condition that have a lower chance of causing birth defects and decreased IQ in your child. Women who are pregnant must not take Depakote to prevent migraine headaches. All women of childbearing age should talk to their healthcare provider about using other possible treatments instead of Depakote. If the decision is made to use Depakote, you should use effective birth control (contraception). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking Depakote. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will continue to take Depakote while you are pregnant. Pregnancy Registry: If you become pregnant while taking Depakote, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy.
  • Inflammation of your pancreas that can cause death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms: severe stomach pain that you may also feel in your back, nausea or vomiting that does not go away.
  • Like other antiepileptic drugs, Depakote may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Call a healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you: thoughts about suicide or dying; attemps to commit suicide; new or worse depression, new or worse anxiety; feeling agitated or restless; panic attacks; trouble sleeping (insomnia); new or worse irritability; acting aggressive, being angry, or violent; acting on dangerous impulses; an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania); other unusual changes in behavior or mood.

Click to view full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

References:
1. Depakote [package insert].
2. Depakote ER [package insert].
3. Depakote Sprinkle Capsules [package insert].

744-1797930

Do not take Depakote if you:

  • have liver problems
  • have or think you have a genetic liver problem caused by a mitochondrial disorder (e.g., Alpers Huttenlocher Syndrome)
  • are allergic to divalproex sodium, valproic acid, sodium valproate, or any of the ingredients in Depakote
  • have a genetic problem called urea cycle disorder
  • are pregnant and taking Depakote for the prevention of migraine headaches

Click to view full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

References:
1. Depakote [package insert].
2. Depakote ER [package insert].
3. Depakote Sprinkle Capsules [package insert].

744-1797930

Before taking Depakote, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have a genetic liver problem caused by a mitochondrial disorder (e.g., Alpers Huttenlocher Syndrome)
  • drink alcohol
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding since Depakote can pass into breast milk. Ask your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby.
  • have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • have any other medical condition

Click to view full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

References:
1. Depakote [package insert].
2. Depakote ER [package insert].
3. Depakote Sprinkle Capsules [package insert].

744-1797930

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements.

Taking Depakote with certain other medicines, even for a short period of time, can cause side effects or affect how well they work. Do not start or stop other medicines without talking to your healthcare provider.

Click to view full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

References:
1. Depakote [package insert].
2. Depakote ER [package insert].
3. Depakote Sprinkle Capsules [package insert].

744-1797930

Depakote can cause other serious side effects, including:

  • Bleeding problems: red or purple spots on your skin, bruising, pain and swelling into your joints due to bleeding or bleeding from your mouth or nose.
  • High ammonia levels in your blood: feeling tired, vomiting, changes in mental status.
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia): drop in your body temperature to less than 95º F, feeling tired, confusion, coma.
  • Allergic (hypersensitivity) reactions: fever, skin rash, hives, sores in your mouth, blistering and peeling of your skin, swelling of your lymph nodes, swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat, trouble swallowing or breathing.
  • Drowsiness or sleepiness in the elderly. This extreme drowsiness may cause you to eat or drink less than you normally would. Tell your doctor if you are not able to eat or drink as you normally do. Your doctor may start you at a lower dose of Depakote.

Common side effects of Depakote include: nausea, headache, sleepiness, vomiting, weakness, tremor, dizziness, stomach pain, blurry vision, double vision, diarrhea, increased appetite, weight gain, hair loss, loss of appetite, and problems with walking or coordination.

Click to view full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

References:
1. Depakote [package insert].
2. Depakote ER [package insert].
3. Depakote Sprinkle Capsules [package insert].

744-1797930

Depakote comes in different dosage forms. Depakote® (divalproex sodium) tablets for oral use, and Depakote® ER (divalproex sodium) extended-release tablets, for oral use, are prescription medications used:

  • to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder
  • alone or with other medicines to treat:
    • complex partial seizures in adults and children 10 years of age and older
    • simple and complex absence seizures, with or without other seizure types
  • to prevent migraine headaches

Depakote® Sprinkle Capsules (divalproex sodium delayed release capsules), for oral use, is a prescription medicine used alone or with other medicines to treat:

  • complex partial seizures in adults and children 10 years of age and older
  • simple and complex absence seizures, with or without other seizure types

Click to view full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

References:
1. Depakote [package insert].
2. Depakote ER [package insert].
3. Depakote Sprinkle Capsules [package insert].

744-1797930

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org for assistance.

Click to view full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

References:
1. Depakote [package insert].
2. Depakote ER [package insert].
3. Depakote Sprinkle Capsules [package insert].

744-1797930

Depakote can cost as little as $5

The Depakote Savings
Program may help reduce
prescription costs.

Learn more

*See eligibility restrictions below.

What consistent
treatment looks like

Understand the
importance of a
daily routine.

Learn more
†Epilepsy Therapy Project: "Managing Seizure triggers: Tips for Lifestyle Modification." adapted from the Comprehensive
Epilepsy Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts and the journal Clinical Nursing
Practice in Epilepsy
, Spring 1994.
†Epilepsy Therapy Project: "Managing Seizure triggers: Tips for Lifestyle Modification." adapted from the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts and the journal Clinical Nursing Practice in Epilepsy, Spring 1994.
*Eligibility: Offer not valid in Massachusetts. Available to patients with commercial prescription insurance coverage for Depakote. Co-pay assistance program is not available to patients receiving prescription reimbursement under any federal, state or government-funded insurance programs (for example, Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, Department of Defense or Veteran’s Affairs programs) or where prohibited by law. Offer subject to change or discontinuance without notice. Restrictions, including monthly maximums, may apply. This is not health insurance.

1906086-1795646
   ©2015 AbbVie Inc. North Chicago, IL 60064
+ - Uses of Depakote Products1-3

Depakote comes in different dosage forms. Depakote® (divalproex sodium) tablets, for oral use, and Depakote® ER (divalproex sodium) extended-release tablets, for oral use, are prescription medications used:

  • to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder
  • alone or with other medicines to treat:
    1. – complex partial seizures in adults and children 10 years of age and older
    2. – simple and complex absence seizures, with or without other seizure types
  • to prevent migraine headaches

Depakote® Sprinkle Capsules (divalproex sodium delayed release capsules), for oral use, is a prescription medicine used alone or with other medicines to treat:

  • complex partial seizures in adults and children 10 years of age and older
  • simple and complex absence seizures, with or without other seizure types




+ - Important Safety Information
The most important information about Depakote is:

Do not stop taking Depakote without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping Depakote suddenly can cause serious problems.

Depakote can cause serious side effects, including:
  • Serious liver damage that can cause death, especially in children younger than 2 years old. The risk of getting this serious liver damage is more likely to happen within the first 6 months of treatment. In some cases, liver damage may continue despite stopping the drug. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms: nausea or vomiting that does not go away, loss of appetite, pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen), dark urine, swelling of your face, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
  • Depakote may harm your unborn baby. If you take Depakote during pregnancy for any medical condition, your baby is at risk for serious birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord and are called spina bifida or neural tube defects. These defects occur in 1 to 2 out of every 100 babies born to mothers who use this medicine during pregnancy. These defects can begin in the first month, even before you know you are pregnant. Other birth defects that affect the structures of the heart, head, arms, legs, and the opening where the urine comes out (urethra) on the bottom of the penis can also happen. Birth defects may occur even in children born to women who are not taking any medicines and do not have other risk factors. Taking folic acid supplements before getting pregnant and during early pregnancy can lower the chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect. If you take Depakote during pregnancy for any medical condition, your child is at risk for having a lower IQ. There may be other medicines to treat your condition that have a lower chance of causing birth defects and decreased IQ in your child. Women who are pregnant must not take Depakote to prevent migraine headaches. All women of childbearing age should talk to their healthcare provider about using other possible treatments instead of Depakote. If the decision is made to use Depakote, you should use effective birth control (contraception). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking Depakote. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will continue to take Depakote while you are pregnant. Pregnancy Registry: If you become pregnant while taking Depakote, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy.
  • Inflammation of your pancreas that can cause death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms: severe stomach pain that you may also feel in your back, nausea or vomiting that does not go away.
  • Like other antiepileptic drugs, Depakote may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Call a healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you: thoughts about suicide or dying; attempts to commit suicide; new or worse depression; new or worse anxiety; feeling agitated or restless; panic attacks; trouble sleeping (insomnia); new or worse irritability; acting aggressive, being angry, or violent; acting on dangerous impulses; an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania); other unusual changes in behavior or mood.
Do not take Depakote if you:
  • have liver problems
  • have or think you have a genetic liver problem caused by a mitochondrial disorder (e.g., Alpers Huttenlocher Syndrome)
  • are allergic to divalproex sodium, valproic acid, sodium valproate, or any of the ingredients in Depakote
  • have a genetic problem called urea cycle disorder
  • are pregnant and taking Depakote for the prevention of migraine headaches
Before taking Depakote, tell your healthcare provider if you:
  • have a genetic liver problem caused by a mitochondrial disorder (e.g., Alpers Huttenlocher Syndrome)
  • drink alcohol
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding since Depakote can pass into breast milk. Ask your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby.
  • have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • have any other medical condition

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements. Taking Depakote with certain other medicines, even for a short period of time, can cause side effects or affect how well they work. Do not start or stop other medicines without talking to your healthcare provider.

Depakote can cause other serious side effects, including:

  • Bleeding problems: red or purple spots on your skin, bruising, pain and swelling into your joints due to bleeding or bleeding from your mouth or nose.
  • High ammonia levels in your blood: feeling tired, vomiting, changes in mental status.
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia): drop in your body temperature to less than 95º F, feeling tired, confusion, coma.
  • Allergic (hypersensitivity) reactions: fever, skin rash, hives, sores in your mouth, blistering and peeling of your skin, swelling of your lymph nodes, swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat, trouble swallowing or breathing.
  • Drowsiness or sleepiness in the elderly. This extreme drowsiness may cause you to eat or drink less than you normally would. Tell your doctor if you are not able to eat or drink as you normally do. Your doctor may start you at a lower dose of Depakote.

Common side effects of Depakote include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • weight gain
  • problems with walking or coordination
  • headache
  • weakness
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • hair loss
  • sleepiness
  • tremor
  • blurry vision
  • increased appetite
  • loss of appetite

Please see the full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide, for additional information about Depakote. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you cannot afford your medication, contact: www.pparx.org for assistance.


References: 1. Depakote [package insert]. 2. Depakote ER [package insert]. 3. Depakote Sprinkle Capsules [package insert].


744-1797930