Divalproex Sodium | Uses | Dosage | Side Effects | Drug Warnings | Precautions
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Divalproex Sodium - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

Published on Dec 31, 2020 and last reviewed on Jun 12, 2023   -  5 min read


Divalproex Sodium is a drug given for manic episodes. Learn about its uses, dosage, drug warnings, side effects, precautions, drug interactions, and more.

Divalproex Sodium - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions


Divalproex Sodium is an anti-epileptic drug. It is used to prevent certain seizure episodes. It can also cure migraine headaches. This medication is a prescription drug and is not available over the counter. It is available as a tablet and capsule.

Drug Group:

Divalproex Sodium is a drug belonging to a group of drugs called anti-epileptics. It is given to control seizures in some patients. The drug should be used more carefully in children. If the child has a seizure attack, then the parents should be more careful.

What Is Divalproex Sodium Used For?

Divalproex Sodium is used in the treatment of:

Divalproex Sodium is used for treating many manic episodes and many mental health conditions. The characteristic effect of this drug is the ability to treat bipolar disorder. This drug can be less dangerous than other drugs when it comes to mental illness. The healing of migraine, seizures, and epilepsy are notable positive effects. The advantageous effect of this drug for epilepsy makes this drug get the name of the group as an anti-epileptic drug.

How Does Divalproex Sodium Work?

Divalproex Sodium is a compound that contains sodium valproate and valproic acid. Bipolar disorder, migraines, seizures, and other disorders that are related to mental health have one thing in common. It is a reduction in the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid. This amino acid component acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. This neurotransmitter helps in maintaining the proper functioning and excitability of the neurons in the brain. It mainly acts by inhibiting the excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain. Any derangement in the levels of Divalproex sodium can cause a certain degree of unhappy feeling. The ease of the patient might be lost in some patients. So, it is necessary that the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid should be present in the correct levels. The medications, such as Divalproex Sodium that are given to enhance the depressive states and manic episodes.

Onset Of Action:

The onset of actions varies depending on the route of administration. The intravenous route can act immediately. The syrup form of medication can start its action from fifteen minutes to two hours. Bioavailability is the amount of drug that reaches the circulation of the body after it is administered. The bioavailability of this drug is the same for all forms of administration.


There is no addiction caused by this drug. But, if you have started taking these tablets for the cause of seizures and epilepsy, you might tend to get the symptoms back. So, it is necessary that you do not stop the drug abruptly.

Expiry Date:

The expiry date of the particular drugs will be mentioned on the back of the pack. It is important that you get advice from your doctor before using these tablets.

What Is the Dosage of Divalproex Sodium?

Divalproex Sodium for adults:

Divalproex Sodium for adults

Divalproex Sodium for children:

Divalproex Sodium for children:

How to Use Divalproex Sodium?

Divalproex Sodium is taken in the form of a tablet. It can be either extended-release tablets and delayed-release tablets. It can be used along with other anticonvulsant tablets. You should get a recommendation from the doctor to take an adequate dosage.

Missed Dose:

It is not advisable to take the dose when you are reminded of it. If you happen to miss a dose, it is not advisable to take it after that. You should get advice from your doctor before taking it again.

What Are the Drug Warnings and Precautions?

Look for the warning signs of the drug and take proper precautions while using it.

  • Pregnancy - Divalproex Sodium drug might not be safe to take during pregnancy and it is absolutely contraindicated. So, do not use it unless it is absolutely necessary. Divalproex Sodium should not be taken without the advice of your doctor.

  • Breastfeeding - Divalproex Sodium can reach the baby through breast milk. It might be in small quantities, but still, it is harmful. It is totally not safe to take while breastfeeding. Ask your doctor to explain the risks before taking it.

  • Liver problems: Serious damage can happen to the liver. To avoid this, kindly consult with your doctor if you have any restrictions on the drug.

  • Depression: Even a slight increase in the dosage of this drug can cause severe problems such as depression.

  • HIV patients: The severity of the infection increases when a person is exposed to Divalproex sodium. Consult your doctor before taking these medications.

What Are the Side Effects of Divalproex Sodium?

The symptoms of side effects can be both mild and severe. It might vary depending on the condition of the individual. The common symptoms are:

  • Fever, headache, nausea.

  • Black stools and bloody urine.

  • Diarrhea.

  • Bleeding gums.

  • Hoarseness.

  • Confusion and crying.

  • Cough.

  • Delusions.

  • Difficult in breathing.

  • Dysphoria.

  • Feeling of unreality.

  • Joint pain, muscle aches, lower back pain.

  • Chills.

  • A feeling of discomfort or illness.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Depression.

  • Sleepiness and drowsiness.

  • Sore throat.

  • Sweating.

  • Tightness in the chest


If the drugs are taken in a higher dosage than normal, then the side effects start showing up. Sometimes, it can result in serious effects. Contact your doctor immediately in such cases.

What Are the Interactions of Divalproex Sodium?

Divalproex Sodium interacts with other drugs, health conditions, and food items. Consult your doctor before taking them.

The common interactions of Divalproex Sodium are:

With medicine -

  • Levothyroxine.

  • Valproic acid.

  • Duloxetine.

  • Albuterol.

  • Escitalopram.

  • Pregabalin.

  • Metoprolol.

  • Atorvastatin.

  • Quetiapine.

  • Lurasidone.

  • Acetaminophen.

  • Aripiprazole.

  • Aspirin.

With disease -

  • HIV infection.

  • Depression.

  • Liver disease.

  • Renal function.

  • Thrombocytopenia.

  • Thyroid problems.

With alcohol -

Consumption of alcohol can cause huge damage to the liver. Therefore, cessation of alcohol habits is the best choice.

What Are the Common Brand or Trade Names of Divalproex Sodium?

The common brand or trade names of Divalproex Sodium are:

  1. Tablet Depakote 250 mg.

  2. Tablet Diepirate 500 mg.

  3. Tablet Divalin 250 mg.

  4. Tablet Divalin 250 mg.

  5. Tablet Dieprate 500 mg.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Divalproex Used For?

Divalproex sodium is composed of valproic acid and sodium valproate used to cure manic episodes associated with epilepsy, bipolar disorder. Divalproex sodium is manufactured under different brand names, such as Depakote, Depakote Sprinkles, and Depakote ER.


What Are the Side Effects of Divalproex Sodium?

The common side effects that can occur while consuming Divalproex sodium are:
- Headache.
- Nausea.
- Vomiting.
- Sleepiness.
- Tremor.
- Weakness.
- Stomach pain.
- Blurry or double vision.
- Dizziness.
- Loss of appetite or increased appetite.
- Diarrhea.
- Weight loss
- Weight gain.
- Problems with coordination or walking.
- Hair loss.


What Does Divalproex Do to the Brain?

Divalproex sodium operates to enhance the volume of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. The human body produces gamma-aminobutyric acid naturally. It is a brain messenger or chemical neurotransmitter. The amount and speed at which the transmission takes place should be ideal. If there is any imbalance, mental stability and wellness will be lost.


How Long Does Divalproex Sodium Take to Work?

Divalproex sodium or Depakote takes a minimum of three hours to reach a peak. Food can delay the absorption of Depakote because food has a strong effect on the tablets compared with the sprinkles. It may take over a couple of weeks of regular dosing before any impact on seizure frequency or mood is reported.


Does Divalproex Help With Anxiety?

Divalproex will show significant improvement in curing mood instability, depressive and anxiety symptoms. Divalproex sodium helps to treat patients with concomitant mood instability and panic disorder, refracting from conventional treatment.


What Happens If You Stop Taking Divalproex?

It is not advisable to stop taking Depakote medication without consulting with your doctor or healthcare provider. Stopping a seizure medication like Depakote can lead to withdrawal symptoms or other problems. If a patient with epilepsy quits suddenly, it can induce seizures that will not stop (status epilepticus). Depakote's most common withdrawal symptoms are anxiety, irritability, depressive symptoms, or the return of manic, tremors, and dizziness.


What Does Divalproex Do to You?

Divalproex sodium or Depakote affects chemicals in our body, which might lead to seizure disorders. Depakote is used to cure several types of seizure disorders. Depakote capsules are also used in adults to treat manic episodes related to bipolar disorder (manic depression) or to prevent migraine headaches.


How Do I Stop Taking Divalproex Sodium?

It is not advisable to stop taking Depakote medication without consulting with your doctor or healthcare provider. Immediate stopping of Depakote medication suddenly can cause severe issues to your body, including seizures that do not stop. It is also known as "status epilepticus." Depakote's most common withdrawal symptoms are anxiety, irritability, depressive symptoms, or the return of manic, tremors, and dizziness.


Does Divalproex Cause Memory Loss?

Divalproex treatment was associated with an increase in brain volume loss over one year and possibly with greater cognitive impairment. The long-term clinical effects of these changes are not known.


Does Divalproex make you gain weight?

Divalproex sodium (Depakote) used to treat bipolar disorder. These medications are well known to enhance the risk of weight gain except lamotrigine.


How Can I Avoid Gaining Weight on Antidepressants?

Apply some strategies that would be used to control weight with or without medication's added effects. Choose foods that have low-calorie like fresh vegetables and fruits, eat fiber-rich foods, and drink lots of water.


Can Antidepressants Cause Dementia?

The use of antidepressants significantly correlated with an increased risk of progressing dementia. Therefore, physicians suggest prescribing antidepressants, especially in elderly patients. Additionally, treatment must be stopped if any signs related to dementia are noticed.


Is Divalproex a Depakote?

The brand name of divalproex sodium is Depakote, also known as valproic acid, an anti-seizure drug used to treat some mood disorders (like bipolar disorder), migraine headaches, and epilepsy. In 1983, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) confirmed the use of Depakote for epilepsy treatment.


Is Divalproex Sodium an Antipsychotic?

Abilify (aripiprazole) and Depakote (divalproex sodium) are used to cure manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Divalproex sodium or Depakote is also used to treat migraine headaches and epilepsy. Abilify is a psychotropic drug (antipsychotic), and Depakote is an anticonvulsant.


Does Depakote Make You Sleepy?

Common side effects experienced with Depakote include nausea, drowsiness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, tremors, low platelet count, hair loss, and tiredness.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
12 Jun 2023  -  5 min read




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