The reference site for Divalproex

Valproate (VPA), and its valproic acid, sodium valproate, and divalproex sodium forms, are medications primarily used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches.

WHAT IS DIVALPROEX?

Divalproex acid is a chemical compound that has found clinical use as an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing drug primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder, but also used to treat migraine headaches and schizophrenia.

In epileptics, divalproex acid is used to control absence seizures, tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal), complex partial seizures, and the seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Divalproex is also used to control mania associated with bipolar disorder.

 

Brand Name(s): Depakote; Depakote Sprinkles; Depakote ER; Valproic Acid

CAS nº: 76584-70-8
(dye val pro ex )

 

Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to divalproex and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Divalproex, formally know as divalproex sodium and more commonly known by its brand name Depakote®, was first approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1983 for the treatment of epilepsy.

More recently, on May 10th 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved safety labeling revisions to advise of the risk for fetal harm associated with use of divalproex sodium-coated particles in capsules during pregnancy, as well as the risk for hyperammonemia with or without encephalopathy in patients treated with divalproex sodium who receive concurrent topiramate therapy.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Divalproex acid is a chemical compound that has found clinical use as an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing drug, primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder, but also used to treat migraine headaches and schizophrenia.

In epileptics, divalproex acid is used to control absence seizures, tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal), complex partial seizures, and the seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Divalproex is also used to control mania associated with bipolar disorder, and control of behavioral problems linked with dementia.

Other uses for this medicine

Divalproex is an inhibitor of the enzyme called histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1). HDAC1 is needed for HIV to remain in infected cells. A study published in August 2005 revealed that patients treated with valproic acid (divalproex) in addition to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) showed a 75% reduction in latent HIV infection. This may one day lead to a cure for HIV and AIDS.

Another potential indication may be for the treatment of leukemia in juvenile patients. Studies conducted by several European centres are ongoing and, although it is too early to make a definitive statement, preliminary results are encouraging.

Dosage and using this medicine

USAGE

For patients taking the capsule form of valproic acid: swallow the capsule whole without chewing, crushing, or breaking. This is to prevent irritation of the mouth or throat.

For patients taking the delayed-release capsule form of divalproex: swallow the capsule whole, or sprinkle the contents on a small amount of soft food, such as applesauce or pudding, and swallow without chewing.

For patients taking the delayed-release tablet form of divalproex: swallow the tablet whole without chewing, breaking, or crushing. This is to prevent damage to the special coating that helps lessen irritation of the stomach.

For patients taking the syrup form of valproic acid: the syrup may be mixed with any liquid or added to food for a better taste.

For patients taking the oral dosage forms of valproic acid and divalproex: these medicines may be taken with meals or snacks to reduce stomach upset.

DOSAGE

For seizures, therapy is initiated at 10-15 mg/kg/day and increased by 5-10 mg/kg/day every week to achieve the desired response. Response is usually seen when the blood concentration of valproic acid is 50-100 mcg/mL.

For acute mania due to bipolar disorder, treatment is started at 750 mg per day of divalproex delayed-release tablets in divided doses. The dose should be increased rapidly to achieve the desired effect. The maximum dose is 60 mg/kg/day.

The recommended dose for prevention of migraines is 250 mg twice daily of divalproex delayed-release tablets. The maximum recommended dose is 1000 mg/day. When using divalproex ER tablets, the recommended dose is 500-1000 mg given once daily.

What special precautions should I follow?

BEFORE TAKING DIVALPROEX:

Tell your doctor if you have any of the following: a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; a history of head injury, brain disorder, or coma; a family history of a urea cycle disorder; a family history of infant deaths with unknown cause; or HIV or CMV (cytomegalovirus) infection.

In rare cases, divalproex has caused life-threatening liver failure, especially in children younger than 2 years old. Children of this age may be at even greater risk of liver problems if they use more than one seizure medication, if they have a metabolic disorder, or if they have a brain disease causing mental impairment (such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, Huntington disease, multiple sclerosis, or a brain injury or infection).

Divalproex has also caused rare cases of life-threatening pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Pancreatitis can come on suddenly and symptoms may start even after you have been taking divalproex for several years. Do not take divalproex if you have liver disease or a urea cycle disorder.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use divalproex, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Under the FDA, this medication is in pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use divalproex without your doctor’s consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment and use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication.

Divalproex passes into breast milk and could harm a nursing infant. Do not take divalproex without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Divalproex should not be given to a child younger than 2 years of age without a doctor’s consent.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.

NEVER take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Side effects from divalproex include:

abdominal or stomach cramps (mild)
change in menstrual periods
diarrhea
hair loss
indigestion
loss of appetite
nausea and vomiting
trembling of hands and arms
unusual weight loss or gain

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

drowsiness or weakness
diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach
depression, anxiety, or other emotional changes
changes in your menstrual periods
enlarged breasts
tremor (shaking)
hair loss
weight changes
a red, blistering, peeling skin rash
vision changes
unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

signs of an allergic reaction (hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat)
unexplained weakness with vomiting and confusion or fainting
easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness
fever, skin rash, swollen glands
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
urinating less than usual
blood in your urine
hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t there)
weakness, lack of coordination
a red, blistering, peeling skin rash
extreme drowsiness
unusual bleeding or bruising
double vision or back-and-forth movements of the eyes

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Always keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed and, if necessary, please talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In the case of an overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

sleepiness or drowsiness
shallow breathing
weak pulse
loss of consciousness

Product Images

PICTURES OF DIVALPROEX PILLS

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of divalproex that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes and manufacturers.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Name: DEPAKOTE®
Strength(s): 125 MG
Imprint: NT
Manufacturer: ABBOTT LABS.

Name: DEPAKOTE®
Strength(s): 250 MG
Imprint: NR
Manufacturer: ABBOTT LABS.

Name: DEPAKOTE®
Strength(s): 250 MG
Imprint: HF
Manufacturer: ABBOTT LABS.

Name: DEPAKOTE®
Strength(s): 500 MG
Imprint: NS
Manufacturer: ABBOTT LABS.

Name: DEPAKOTE®
Strength(s): 500 MG
Imprint: HC
Manufacturer: ABBOTT LABS.

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