Divalproex sodium affects chemicals in the body that may be involved in causing seizures. It is used to treat various types of seizure disorders. Divalproex sodium is sometimes used together with other seizure medications. Divalproex sodium may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Take each dose with a full glass of water. Drink plenty of water while you are taking this medication. Your dose may need to be changed if you do not get enough fluids each day. To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your liver function will need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor. Do not stop taking the medication even if you feel better. It is important to take divalproex sodium regularly to prevent seizures from recurring. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. Call your doctor promptly if this medicine does not seem to be working as well in preventing your seizures. Do not crush, chew, break, or open a delayed-release or extended-release tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking or opening the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking divalproex sodium, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking divalproex sodium. Store divalproex sodium at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Symptoms of a divalproex sodium overdose may include sleepiness or drowsiness, shallow breathing, weak pulse, or loss of consciousness.
Seek emergency medical attention if the person taking this medicine has nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). These symptoms may be early signs of liver damage. Some of these symptoms may also be early signs of pancreatitis. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects: unexplained weakness with vomiting and confusion or fainting; easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness; fever, skin rash, swollen glands; fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; urinating less than usual; blood in your urine; hallucinations (seeing things that aren't there); weakness, lack of coordination; a red, blistering, peeling skin rash; extreme drowsiness; unusual bleeding or bruising; or double vision or back-and-forth movements of the eyes.
Divalproex sodium tablets are for oral administration. DEPAKOTE tablets are supplied in three dosage strengths containing divalproex sodium equivalent to 125 mg, 250 mg, or 500 mg of valproic acid. DEPAKOTE tablets: cellulosic polymers, diacetylated monoglycerides, povidone, pregelatinized starch (contains corn starch), silica gel, talc, titanium dioxide, and vanillin.
Divalproex sodium has the following structural formula: