Table of Contents > Drug > Valproic Acid and Derivatives Print

Valproic Acid and Derivatives

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes
  • Refer to route specific

Related terms
  • Brand Names: U.S.: Depacon®;Depakene®;Depakote®;Depakote® ER;Depakote® Sprinkle;StavzorT
  • Brand Names: Canada: Alti-Divalproex;Apo-Divalproex®;Apo-Valproic®;Depakene®;Dom-Divalproex;Epival® I.V.;Gen-Divalproex;Mylan-Divalproex;Mylan-Valproic;Novo-Divalproex;Nu-Divalproex;PHL-Divalproex;PHL-Valproic Acid;PHL-Valproic Acid E.C.;PMS-Valproic Acid;PMS-Valproic Acid E.C.;ratio-Valproic;ratio-Valproic ECC;Rhoxal-valproic;Sandoz-Valproic
  • Mexican Brand Names: Epival;Vematina
  • Pharmacologic Category: Anticonvulsant, Miscellaneous;Antimanic Agent;Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor

Uses
  • It is used to stop migraine headaches.
  • It is used to stop or control seizures.
  • It is used to treat problems with how one acts.
  • It is used to treat manic low mood (depression).
  • It is used to help diabetic nerve pain.
  • Valproic acid and derivatives help clear thinking.
  • It raises a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric in the brain. This chemical calms the brain.
  • It helps steady mood.

Dosing

How to take

  • Take as you have been told, even if you are feeling better.
  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Swallow capsule whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • You may sprinkle contents of Depakote® Sprinkle® capsule on soft food or liquid. Do not chew.
  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • There is a liquid (syrup) if you cannot swallow pills.
  • Those who have feeding tubes may also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after this drug is given. Do not mix with carbonated drinks.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
  • Shot:
  • It is given as a shot into a vein.

Missed Dose

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. This could cause seizures. Talk with your doctor.

Storage

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect capsules from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.
  • The shot will be given to you in a hospital or doctor's office. You will not store it at home.

Safety



Warnings

  • This drug may cause liver problems. Call your doctor if you see dark urine, are feeling tired, are not hungry, have an upset stomach, are throwing up, or have yellowing of the skin or eyes. Do not take this drug if you are pregnant. This drug may irritate the pancreas (pancreatitis). This could happen in children or adults at any time during care. Signs of pancreatitis include belly pain, upset stomach, throwing up, or not feeling hungry. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs.

Avoid

  • If you have an allergy to valproic acid or any other part of this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have liver disease.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
  • If you are breast-feeding.

Precautions

  • Do not run out of this drug.
  • Wear disease medical alert ID (identification).
  • Follow laws about driving with a seizure problem.
  • If you have been taking this drug for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this drug.
  • Have your blood work checked. Talk with your doctor.
  • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
  • You may not be alert. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Avoid beer, wine, mixed drinks, or other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to stop pregnancy while taking this drug.

Side Effects

  • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
  • Loose stools.
  • Belly pain.
  • Hair loss.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Not able to sleep.

Contact a healthcare provider

  • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
  • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Not able to eat.
  • Big change in balance.
  • Any bruising or bleeding.
  • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • If seizures are worse or not the same after starting this drug.
  • For women, if you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
  • Any rash.
  • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

General Statements

  • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
  • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

Author information
  • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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