There are many different types of seizures, depending on the part of the brain that is affected. Seizures are divided into two major categories: partial seizures (also called focal seizures) and generalized seizures. Sometimes, two or more different medications are used to treat different types of seizures.
Partial seizures occur when there is abnormal activity in a specific area on only one side of the brain. Partial seizures are the most common seizure type in people with epilepsy.
do not cause loss of consciousness. These seizures may cause sudden jerking and last about 90 seconds. After the seizure, the person may feel weak.
cause a loss or change of consciousness. These seizures may cause behaviors like lip smacking, picking at clothes, or fumbling, usually lasting 1 or 2 minutes. After these types of seizures, the person may be confused or sleepy.
Partial seizures may spread to other parts of the brain, causing a generalized seizure. Generalized seizures occur when there is abnormal activity on both sides of the brain. These seizures may cause loss of consciousness.
(also called "petit mal seizures") cause a lapse of awareness. Sometimes the person will just stare for a few seconds or their eyes will flutter. They are sometimes so brief that they are hard to detect, especially in children.
produce a sudden loss of muscle tone. They may produce loss of posture, head dropping, or even collapse. They are sometimes called "drop seizures."
are quick contractions of muscles, usually on both sides of the body. Sometimes they only involve one arm or one foot.
(also called "grand mal seizures") are the most common type of generalized seizure. They start with stiffening of legs and arms (the tonic phase), followed by jerking of limbs and face (the clonic phase).
Depakote, Depakote ER, and Depakote Sprinkle Capsules are prescription medications 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
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.
- Taking Depakote during pregnancy for any medical condition puts your baby at risk for serious birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord and are called spina bifida or neural tube defects. Other birth defects can affect the structures of the heart, head, arms, legs, and penis and can lower IQ. All women of child-bearing 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.
- Inflammation of your pancreas that can cause death.
- Increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions. Pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings.
- Call your doctor right away with any changes in your condition.
DO NOT TAKE Depakote:
- If you have liver problems, including genetic liver problems (e.g. Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome); are allergic to the ingredients or have a genetic disorder called Urea Cycle Disorder (UCD)
- For the prevention of migraine headaches if you are pregnant