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What is Depakote and its side effects?


Depakote« (divalproex sodium) is a medication that's commonly prescribed to control seizures. It's also prescribed to prevent migraine headaches and to treat chronic pain and mood disorders such as bipolar disorder.

Common side effects of Depakote« include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, dizziness, drowsiness, tremors, and weakness. These side effects usually become milder as treatment continues and your body adjusts to the medicine. Taking Depakote« with food can help prevent upset stomach. Since Depakote« causes drowsiness, make sure you know how you react to it before driving or operating machinery. Infrequently, Depakote« can cause liver damage. This effect is usually mild and temporary, but may become permanent or severe. When it does happen, this effect usually occurs during the first six months of Depakote« therapy. Early symptoms of liver damage include weakness, tiredness, swelling in the face, and loss of appetite. If you experience these symptoms, particularly during the first six months of Depakote« therapy - please continue to take your medicine - but contact your doctor as soon as possible. Contact your doctor if you have severe stomach pain, confusion, or double vision. You may need an adjustment in your Depakote« dose. Also notify your doctor if you're taking Depakote« for seizures and notice an increase in the number of seizures.

Get more information on seizures in our Health Encyclopedia.

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