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Depakote

What is Depakote

Depakote affects chemicals in the body that may be involved in causing seizures, migraines, and mania. The exact way that it works is unknown.

Depakote is used to treat various types of seizure disorders, to prevent migraine headaches, and to control mania associated with bipolar disorder.

Depakote may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Depakote

In rare cases, Depakote has caused liver failure, sometimes resulting in death. Children younger than 2 years of age, especially those taking multiple seizure medicines, those with metabolic diseases, those with mental retardation, and those with organic brain disease are at the highest risk of liver failure. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop loss of seizure control, weakness, fatigue, swelling of the face, vomiting, or loss of appetite. These symptoms may be early signs of liver damage.

In rare cases, Depakote has also caused severe, even fatal, cases of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Some of the cases have progressed rapidly from initial symptoms to death. Cases have been reported soon after starting treatment with Depakote, as well as after several years of use. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or loss of appetite. These symptoms may be early signs of pancreatitis.

Do not stop taking this medication if you have a seizure disorder, even if you feel better. It is important to continue taking Depakote to prevent the seizures from recurring.

Do not crush, chew, or break the capsules or delayed- or extended-release tablets (Depakote, Depakote ER). Swallow them whole.

Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking this medicine in the case of an emergency.

Depakote may interact with other drugs that cause drowsiness, including alcohol, antidepressants, antihistamines, pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Dangerous sedation, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur if Depakote is taken with alcohol or any of these medications. Talk to your doctor before taking Depakote in combination with alcohol or any other medicines, including herbal products.

What you should find out before taking Depakote

Do not take Depakote if you have liver disease or a urea cycle disorder.

Depakote is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that it is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Malformations of the face and head, heart, and nervous system have been reported. Do not take Depakote without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Depakote passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. Do not take Depakote without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Children younger than 2 years of age are at an increased risk for liver damage, especially if Depakote is taken with other seizure medicines.

How should take Depakote

Take Depakote exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Take Depakote with food if it causes stomach upset.

Do not crush, chew, or break the capsules or delayed- or extended-release tablets (Depakote, Depakote ER). Swallow them whole.

The sprinkle capsules can either be swallowed whole or opened and sprinkled onto some soft food such as applesauce or pudding.

Your doctor may want you to have blood tests during treatment. It is important for your doctor to know how much medication is in your blood and how well your liver is working.

Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking this medicine in the case of an emergency.

Do not stop taking this medication if you have a seizure disorder, even if you feel better. It is important to continue taking Depakote to prevent the seizures from recurring.

Store Depakote at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a Depakote overdose include unconsciousness, sleepiness or drowsiness, faint or no heartbeat, decreased breathing, or stopped breathing.

Avoid while taking Depakote

Depakote may interact with other drugs that cause drowsiness, including alcohol, antidepressants, antihistamines, pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Dangerous sedation, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur if Depakote is taken with alcohol or any of these medications. Talk to your doctor before taking Depakote in combination with alcohol or any other medicines, including herbal products.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Depakote may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Possible side effects of Depakote

In rare cases, Depakote has caused liver failure, sometimes resulting in death. Children younger than 2 years of age, especially those taking multiple seizure medicines, those with metabolic diseases, those with mental retardation, and those with organic brain disease are at the highest risk of liver failure. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop loss of seizure control, weakness, fatigue, swelling of the face, vomiting, or loss of appetite. These symptoms may be early signs of liver damage.

In rare cases, Depakote has also caused severe, even fatal, cases of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Some of the cases have progressed rapidly from initial symptoms to death. Cases have been reported soon after starting treatment with Depakote, as well as after several years of use. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or loss of appetite. These symptoms may be early signs of pancreatitis.

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Depakote and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- a rash;
- unexplained lethargy (fatigue), vomiting, or changes in mental status;
- unusual bleeding or bruising; or
- double vision or back-and-forth movements of the eyes.

Other, less serious side effects may also occur. Continue to take Depakote and notify your doctor if you experience
- tremor (shaking);
- weight gain;
- menstrual changes;
- hair loss;
- drowsiness or weakness;
- depression or other psychiatric changes;
- headache; or
- low red blood cells (anemia).

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 other drugs will affect Depakote

Other drugs used to treat seizures such as phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), felbamate (Felbatol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), clonazepam (Klonopin), and others may increase or decrease the effects of Depakote and may themselves have increased or decreased effectiveness. Tell your doctor about all other medications that you are taking.

Before taking Depakote, tell your doctor if you are taking warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin. Depakote may interact with these medications and affect the clotting of your blood. You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking either of these drugs.

Depakote may interact with other drugs that cause drowsiness, including alcohol, antidepressants, antihistamines, pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Dangerous sedation, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur if Depakote is taken with alcohol or any of these medications. Talk to your doctor before taking Depakote in combination with alcohol or any other medicines.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Depakote. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

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B
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C
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D
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F
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G
gabapentin gamimune gemfibrozil gemzar glipizide glucophage glucotrol glucovance glyburide glyburide guaifenesin guaifenex 
H
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
I
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
K
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
L
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
M
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N
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O
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P
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S
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T
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U
ultane ultracet ultram uroxatral
V
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W
warfarin wellbutrin  
X
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Y
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