Valproic Acid, Divalproex Sodium delayed-release tablets or sprinkle capsules
What do divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets or capsules do?
DIVALPROEX SODIUM (Depakote(R)) can help with seizure (convulsion) control in certain types of epilepsy. This drug also is used for other conditions, such as treatment of bipolar disorder, mania, migraines, and behavioral problems associated with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
What should my health care professional know before I take divalproex sodium?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• blood disease
• brain damage or disease
• kidney disease
• liver disease
• low blood proteins
• an unusual or allergic reaction to divalproex sodium, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take divalproex sodium tablets or capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water; do not crush or chew. The capsules can be swallowed whole or opened carefully and the contents sprinkled on about one teaspoonful of applesauce or pudding. This mixture must be swallowed immediately; do not chew or store for later use. If divalproex sodium upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk; do not take with carbonated drinks. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you take only one dose each day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the missed dose and go on with your regular schedule. Do not take double or extra doses. If you take more than one dose a day and miss a dose, take it if you remember within 6 hours. Space the other doses for that day at regular intervals, do not take two doses at once.
What other medicines can interact with divalproex sodium?
• agents that dissolve blood clots
• antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen)
• barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures (convulsions)
• blood thinners
• medicines for mental depression
• medicines for mental problems and psychotic disturbances
• other seizure (convulsion) or epilepsy medicines
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking divalproex sodium?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• agitation, restlessness, irritability, or other changes in mood
• blurred or double vision or uncontrollable eye movements
• changes in the frequency or severity of seizures
• double vision, or involuntary eye movements
• redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
• skin rash or itching
• stomach pain or cramps
• trembling of hands or arms
• unusual bleeding or bruising or pinpoint red spots on the skin
• unusual swelling of the arms or legs
• unusual tiredness or weakness
• yellowing of skin or eyes
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• breast enlargement, unusual production of breast milk
• changes in menstrual periods
• clumsiness or unsteadiness
• diarrhea or constipation
• difficulty speaking
• dizziness or drowsiness
• increased sensitivity to sun or ultraviolet light
• irregular menstrual cycle
• loss of bladder control
• loss of hair or unusual growth of hair
• loss or increase in appetite
• nausea or vomiting
• skin rash, itching
• weight gain or loss