Depakote is a drug that is used for treating epilepsy. It is also used in the treatment of specific mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and episodic depressive disorders. This anticonvulsant comes in tablet form and can be obtained only with a medical prescription.
How it Works
Depakote works to increase the amount of certain neurotransmitters present in the brain, specifically GABA. This neurotransmitter is generally responsible for soothing overstimulated nerves. Epileptic seizures occur as a result of abnormal electrical impulses in the brain. Depakote helps to restore normal functioning. The neurotransmitters released also help to stabilize mood, which makes it useful in certain mood disorders.
This medication is primarily given to people who have epilepsy and those who are dealing with a mood disorder. Depakote is also sometimes prescribed to combat serious migraines.
Depending on your particular condition and the symptom severity, your doctor will have to determine an appropriate dosage. Depakote comes in several quantities to suit your particular need. Patients will start with a minimum dosage and then proceed to gradually increase until the ideal dosage determined by the doctor is reached.
You must not change your dosage or stop taking Depakote without discussing it with your doctor first. It can be dangerous to suddenly stop taking the drug. Your doctor will have to develop an appropriate schedule to taper the drug before stopping.
It is possible to experience some side effects with this medication. These minor side effects may occur as your body grows accustomed to the medication:
Loss or thinning of hair
Weight gain or loss
There may be more severe side effects including the following:
Black or tarry stools
Blood in urine or stools
Seek medical assistance if any of these side effects occur or if you experience any other side effect not listed here.
Certain people are advised not to take Depakote. If you have a liver disease, a urinary disorder, or a genetic mitochondrial disorder, this medication is not advised. This is why it is always best that you speak with your doctor. You should inform him or her of all past medical problems and medications or recreational drugs you have taken.
Avoid taking this drug if you have had depression and thoughts of suicide. It is also not advised for migraine control in pregnant women. Do not suddenly stop or start taking the medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding. This can be highly dangerous for mother and child.
It is advised to closely follow the doctor’s prescription and not to change dosage in any way unless recommended by the physician. Stopping the drug suddenly can cause withdrawal effects, while changing the dosage without permission can be dangerous for the condition.
Keep Depakote pills safely stored in a dry, cool place. Make sure to follow the doctor’s advice and inform him or her about side effects and any other concerns you may have while taking the drug.