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Depakote Formulations

Depakote 125 mg, 250 mg and 500 mg
Depakote ER 250 mg and 500 mg
Depakote Sprinkle Capsules 125 mg

Depakote Tablets

Depakote tablets are "delayed-release," which means they have a special coating that prevents the drug from dissolving too early in the digestive tract. Available in three strengths, Depakote must be taken twice a day, as prescribed by your doctor. Talk with your doctor about the most appropriate treatment choice for you.

Depakote ER Tablets

The "ER" in Depakote ER stands for Extended Release. Available in two strengths, Depakote ER contains the same active ingredient as Depakote (divalproex sodium) but it is designed to slowly deliver the medication over a 24-hour period. This means that Depakote ER only has to be taken once a day. If you have been prescribed Depakote, ask your doctor if Depakote ER is right for you.

Depakote and Depakote ER should be swallowed whole and should not be crushed or chewed. Depakote tablets and capsules have a special coating to prevent the entire tablet from breaking down at the same time. This makes the tablet dissolve slowly, controlling the amount of medicine released into your system. Sometimes the shell does not completely dissolve and passes through your intestines with your stool. This is called a "ghost tablet," and may contain a trace, if any, amount of medicine. If you have a shortened intestine (ie, colostomy or ileostomy) or an intestinal disorder and diarrhea, you may not have received all your medicine from the tablet. Notify your doctor if you notice a ghost tablet in your stool.

Depakote Sprinkle Capsules

Available in 125 mg strength only, Depakote Sprinkle Capsules work in the same way as Depakote delayed-release tablets, although they are in a capsule form instead of a tablet. Some patients, for example those who have difficulty swallowing, may find it easier to take Depakote Sprinkle Capsules because the capsules can be swallowed whole or opened and the contents sprinkled on soft food. Talk with your doctor about the most appropriate treatment choice for you.

Depakote Sprinkle Capsules are only approved for the treatment of epilepsy.

  • Important
    Safety
    Facts
  • Do Not
    Use If
  • Before Using Depakote
  • Tell Your Doctor
  • Side Effects
  • Uses
  • Useful Resources

The most important information about Depakote:

Do not stop taking Depakote without first talking to your doctor. 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 serious liver damage is more likely within the first 6 months of treatment. Liver damage may continue despite stopping the drug. Call your doctor right away if you develop any of these symptoms: nausea or vomiting that doesn’t go away, loss of appetite, pain on the right side of your stomach, dark urine, swelling of your face, or yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes.

Depakote may harm your unborn baby. Taking Depakote during pregnancy puts your baby at risk for serious birth defects. The most common birth defects affect the brain and spinal cord, called spina bifida or neural tube defects, and occur in 1 to 2 out of every 100 babies born to mothers who use Depakote during pregnancy. These defects can begin in the first month, before you know you are pregnant. Other birth defects can also happen. If you take Depakote while you are pregnant, your child is at risk for having a lower IQ. Women who are pregnant must not take Depakote to prevent migraine headaches. All women of childbearing age should talk to their doctor about using other treatments instead of Depakote. There may be other medicines to treat your condition that have a lower chance of causing birth defects and decreased IQ in your child. If you use Depakote, use effective birth control. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking Depakote. Taking folic acid supplements before getting pregnant and during early pregnancy can lower the chance of having a baby with neural tube defects.

Inflammation of your pancreas that can cause death. Call your doctor right away if you develop severe stomach pain that you may also feel in your back, or nausea or vomiting that does not go away.

Depakote may cause suicidal thoughts and actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Be alert for any sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts or feelings. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new or worsen: thoughts of suicide or dying; attempting suicide; new or worse depression, anxiety or irritability; feeling agitated or restless, angry, aggressive, or violent; panic attacks; trouble sleeping; acting on dangerous impulses; or extreme increase in talking or activity.

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].

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 the ingredients, or have a genetic condition called urea cycle disorder, causing too much ammonia to build up in your body.

DO NOT TAKE Depakote for the prevention of migraine headaches if you are pregnant.

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].

BEFORE starting Depakote, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Have liver disease
  • Have a genetic liver problem caused by a mitochondrial disorder (e.g., Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome)
  • Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • Drink alcohol
  • Have depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Have a colostomy, ileostomy, or gastrointestinal disorder
  • Have any other medical condition
  • Take any medicines, including those with and without a prescription, vitamins, and herbal supplements and medicines

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].

Tell your healthcare provider right away if you develop:

  • Red or purple spots on your skin
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding from your mouth, teeth, or nose
  • Abnormal drowsiness, a feeling of being more tired or drowsy than usual
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion, difficulty thinking, or difficulty staying awake or waking up
  • An inability to eat or drink as you normally do, a loss of appetite or not wanting to eat or drink as you normally do
  • Call your doctor immediately if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant. If you want to become pregnant, let your doctor know before you begin trying
  • Tell your doctor if you notice the shell of the Depakote tablet or capsule in your stool

Or if you develop signs of an allergic reaction including the following: fever; skin rash; hives; blisters; sores in mouth; swelling of lymph nodes, face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat; or trouble swallowing or breathing

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].

Other serious side effects from taking Depakote include low blood platelet counts, high blood ammonia levels, hypothermia (body temperature less than 95º F), allergic reactions, or extreme drowsiness in some elderly patients, causing less than normal eating or drinking.

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

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].

Depakote comes in different dosage forms. Depakote® (divalproex sodium) Tablets, for Oral use and
Depakote® ER (divalproex sodium) Tablet, Extended Release for Oral use are prescription medications used:

  • To treat acute 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 coated particles in 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].

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 (1-800-332-1088).

If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org or call the toll free phone number (1-888-4PPA-NOW) (1-888-477-2669) 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].

Depakote can cost as little as $5

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prescription costs.

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