What is Depakote
Depakote (valproic acid) is a drug intended for the treatment of certain types of seizures, although your health care provider may also recommend taking it for the treatment of mania, as well as prevention of migraine headaches. However, this drug is unlikely to treat the headache once it has started.
How to use Medicine
How to determine Depakote dosage
You may be started on a lower dose that can be later increased depending on how your body responds to the treatment. If you are taking the syrup form you need to remember that, unlike other liquid forms of different medications, it must not de missed with any carbonated drinks. Ask your pharmacist about the best way to take this form of Depakote.
Talking to your health care provider before taking Depakote
Make sure you keep all of the appointments you have with your doctor, as this way you will avoid serious reactions of your body. This will also allow detecting any problems at early stage and dealing with them properly for you to benefit from the treatment as much as possible. Make sure you avoid getting pregnant while taking Depakote, as it has been reported to cause serious birth defects in newborn children whose mothers took this medication. Use reliable methods of birth control and discuss their efficiency with your doctor to make sure everything is going just as planned. In some rare cases this drug can cause damage to the liver. This risk is higher in young children (under 2 years of age), in people taking certain medications, as well as those diagnosed with seizure disBuy, mental retardation or liver disease. Do not stop taking this medication without your doctor's consent, as if you do so, you may experience severe and life-threatening seizures that you will be unable to control. If you need to withdraw from the treatment because of any reasons, a withdrawal plan should be discussed with the doctor that prescribed you this medication. Let your doctor know if you ever had episodes of vomiting, coma, difficulty coordinating, cytomegalovirus, hyperlipidemia, kidney disease, mental retardation, human immunodeficiency virus, or other conditions that may affect your treatment in any way.
Side effects to know about
Mild side effects are likely – especially while your body is adjusting to the dosage prescribed. The following mild side effects are possible: drowsiness, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, weight changes, back pain, mood swings, memory loss, loss of coordination, stuffed or runny nose, sore throat, or hair loss. More serious side effects are also possible and can include: unusual bruising, fever, blisters or rash, itching, hives, confusion, difficulty breathing, trouble swallowing, swollen glands, depression, and suicidal thoughts. While mild side effects are not supposed to be reported unless they become bothersome, serious side effects are to be reported directly to your doctor as they are likely to get worse with time. Depakote can make you drowsy. Make sure you do not have to get involved into any activities that require you to be alert and concentrated, as Depakote may affect your ability to do so. You need to be sure that this drug does not cause this kind of reaction in you – otherwise you may be putting other people's lives at risk (when operating machinery). This medicine can sometimes cause stomach upset. To avoid this symptom you can take it with some food – this way the probability of developing a stomach upset is the lowest. Be careful when you first start taking this medication, as in very rare cases the treatment goes not quite as planned, and the patients may display some of the following symptoms: panic attacks, restlessness, irritability, anxiety, mania, difficulty falling or staying asleep, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
Depakote drug interactions
Report any of the medications you are taking to your health care provider before you start the treatment. Any of the following should be considered before you start using Depakote: rifampin, sedatives, sleeping pills, anticoagulants, antidepressants, anxiety or mental illness medications, aspirin, acyclovir, phenobarbital, phenytoin, medications for seizures, tolbutamide, or any tranquilizers.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Depakote?
If you happened to miss a dose of Depakote, make sure you take this medication as soon as possible unless it's time for the next dose already. In that case skip the dose missed and go back to the regular dosing schedule.
In case you overdose Depakote
Never take too much of this medication than necessary, as this is not going to make your treatment more effective and can result in a number of serious side effects. Symptoms of overdose may include: sleepiness, irregular heartbeat, or coma. Make sure you seek emergency medical help if you think you may have taken too much of this medicine, as otherwise your condition may only get worse.