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Depakote is a delayed-release tablet also known as Depakote DR that can be prescribed for treating manic episodes linked to bipolar disorder and for complex partial seizures and simple or complex absence seizures, either as monotherapy or taken together with other meds to control multiple types of seizures.
The delayed-release formula of Depakote (called Epival in Canada) is enteric coated so the tablet passes through your stomach and remains intact until it reaches your intestines where it dissolves and the ingredients are released. Depakote does not work fast enough for preventing a migraine as it takes a while to work due to the enteric coating.
When taken as directed, Depakote or generic Divalproex Sodium is converted into Valproic Acid in your body and travels to your brain via the bloodstream. It is believed to work by increasing the concentration of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain. This is one of many chemical neurotransmitters that nerves use to communicate to each other.
In this instance, GABA has a calming effect and is able to decrease the risk of a seizure as well as reduce your agitation, distractibility, and hyperactivity that can occur during a manic episode of bipolar. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Epilepsy can start at any age but the highest rate of cases involve young children and seniors. A seizure occurs when the rhythmic process of brain activity is disrupted when too many neurons fire at once. This causes your brain to be unable to handle so many messages at once. The type of seizure you experience depends on where the over-activity is occurring in your brain.
There are several types of seizures that can affect your ability to work, go to school, travel by yourself, or interfere with any of your daily tasks. Depakote is effective for complex partial seizures that often involves automatisms, such as licking your lips, clenching and unclenching your fist, even walking and talking without making a conscious effort to carry out any of these actions.
Ask your doctor if Depakote delayed-release is safe to take if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breast feeding. List other medical conditions or allergies you have and tell your doctor about any OTC or Rx drugs you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and vitamin or dietary supplements. This will help your doctor determine if Depakote is the best choice of meds for you.
Do not skip any follow-up doctor appointments as it’s important to monitor your progress while taking Depakote. Keep this, and other drugs, out of children’s reach and never share any medications with someone else. Talk to your doctor before you start, stop, or change the dosage of any meds. Avoid any activities that may be considered unsafe until you know how you will react to Depakote.