Valproate: Right Drug For Right Patient

Valproate: Right Drug For Right Patient

Valproate is an anticonvulsant drug. This can be effective in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraine headaches. In 1978, FDA approves this for the treatment of seizures. However, it can have devastating side effects when not administered to a patient who truly needs it. In this blog post, we will discuss how to identify someone who can take valproate. We will also discuss all the impacts of this medicine.

What Is Valproate?

Valproate is a medication that can help to treat seizures and bipolar disorder. It comes in the form of a pill or liquid and can be taken with food. Furthermore, there are several different types of valproate, including sodium valproate, divalproex sodium, and valproic acid. This drug is typically prescribed for epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

This drug may have serious side effects so it must not be taken without medical supervision from your doctor.

What Does Valproate Treat?

Valproate helps to treat many disorders. It is not a cure for these conditions, but it may help to control the symptoms. Some of these are:

Bipolar Disorder

This is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. This medication may help to control the mood swings and help you to feel more stable.


Valproate may help to improve depression in some people. It is not a cure, but it may make you feel better.


This is an illness where seizures are experienced on a regular basis, sometimes more than once per day. Valproate may help to reduce the number of seizures you experience and lessen their severity. Valproate can also be used as part of another treatment plan for bipolar disorder or epilepsy.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are a type of headache that is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Valproate may help to reduce the number of migraine headaches you experience.

Weight Gain

Valproate can sometimes cause weight gain. However, this is more likely to happen if you take valproate along with other medications that can cause weight gain. If you notice that you are gaining weight while taking this medication, talk to your doctor. This is about the ways to manage this side effect.

Working of Valproate 

The exact way that valproate works are unknown. It is thought to work by increasing the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. However, GABA is a chemical that helps to calm nerve cells. It also prevents them from firing too quickly.

This medication is available under the following names:

  • Depakene (U.S.)
  • Valproic Acid (U.K., Australia, New Zealand)
  • Dépamote (France)
  • Valparin (Germany)
  • Hermal (Italy)

Directions To Use Valproate 

  • This medication comes in the form of a pill or liquid that you can take with food. It is important to follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have.
  • The dose of valproate that you take will depend on what condition you are taking it for and your age. Your doctor will tell you how much to take and when to take it.
  • Your doctor will start you on a low dose of valproate and may increase the dosage over time if it is needed. You should not stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor first.
  • It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor first.
  • Valproate can also be taken along with other medications, but it is important to talk to your doctor about the correct doses of each drug.

Considerations While Taking Valproate 

Before taking valproate, make sure your doctor knows if you have the following conditions. If you do not, then this treatment may cause serious problems for you. However, your healthcare provider will help decide whether or not it is safe for you to take valproic acid (Depakote).

These are medical concerns that must be considered:

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines that you take including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
  • Do not start a new medication without telling your healthcare providers first. Some products can interact with valproate, causing serious side effects.
  • Try to avoid drinking alcohol while taking valproate. Alcohol can increase the risk for some serious side effects.
  • Valproate may cause birth defects or problems with a developing baby if it is taken during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should not take this medication without talking to their healthcare provider first.
  • It is not known whether valproate passes into breast milk. However, professional recommends that breastfeeding women should avoid taking this drug. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you are taking valproic acid (Depakote).

Side-Effects of Valproate

There are many possible side effects of valproate. Some people may not experience any side effects, while others may have serious side effects.

The most common side effects of this medication include:

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • blurred vision
  • drowsiness

Some other less serious but still important side effects to be aware of include: weight gain, hair loss, and changes in menstrual periods.

Furthermore, if you experience any of the following side effects, call your doctor right away:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • rash
  • swelling
  • bruising

Storage And Disposal Of Valproate 

Keep this medication in the original container and store it at room temperature. Protect from moisture and light. Do not remove the desiccant (drying agent) that is inside the bottle. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about how to properly dispose of this medication.

Main Alternatives of Valproate

These are main alternatives of Valproate:

Carbamazepine (Tegretol)

This medication is also prescribed for epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines. This medication is also an anticonvulsant.

Lamotrigine (Lamictal)

This medication also helps in epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraine pain. It belongs to the class of anticonvulsants known as sodium channel blockers. This means it works by stopping nerve impulses in your brain that are causing seizures or other problems with moods. It’s an FDA-approved drug used along with other drugs to treat partial seizures in adults with epilepsy who have already taken another medicine called a “conventional” anti-seizure medicine without success. Lamotrigine can be given either alone or together with these medicines: carbamazepine, phenytoin (Dilantin), primed pine, valproate (Depakote), and phenobarbital. Lamotrigine can also be used together with these medicines to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome which is a specific type of epilepsy that begins in childhood.

Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)

This medication can also help in epilepsy and seizures. It belongs to a group of drugs called carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. This drug works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain which stops or prevents seizures from happening. Oxcarbazepine can be used alone or given together with other seizure medications such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), clonazepam, levetiracetam (Keppra), phenobarbital (Luminal) primidone (Mysoline). Side effects include nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and dizziness that may occur during this medicine’s start-up phase but they usually go away within a few weeks after taking it regularly each day.


Valproate is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for epilepsy and bipolar disorder. It’s also used to treat mood disorders. These are including seasonal affective disorder (SAD), pain syndromes. Some pain syndromes are neuropathic or somatic pains, migraine headaches, anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety syndrome (GAS), and panic attacks. The drug can help to reduce symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). People with seizure disorders may take valproate long-term to control their seizures; this can lead to side effects that include hair loss or weight gain. Some people experience a condition called “valproate toxicity”.

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