Depakote: Overview

Depakote (a compound of divalproex sodium and valproic acid) is a commonly prescribed seizure medication used to treat various types of seizure disorders and manic episodes of bipolar disorder. In the U.S., it is also used to treat chronic pain, migraine headaches, epilepsy and neuropathy. Depakote is manufactured by the drug company Abbott Laboratories.

Treatment of Mania

Depakote is an effective treatment for the manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, as established in a 3-week trial with patients meeting the DSM-III R criteria. However, the effectiveness of this drug has not been tested beyond three weeks, and so its safety and usefulness has not been ascertained from long-term controlled clinical trials. Physicians are therefore advised to continually reevaluate the effectiveness of the drug for each individual patient.

Treatment for Migraines

There is no evidence that Depakote is useful for the acute treatment of migraine headaches. Physicians are advised to discuss the risks of Depakote use with pregnant patients as there are substantial risks for birth defects.

Treatment for Epilepsy

Depakote is indicated in use as therapy for the treatment of patients with complex partial seizures that occur in isolation or with other types of seizures. It is also indicated for use as therapy for the treatment of simple and complex absence seizures, as well as for the treatment of patients with multiple seizure types that include absence seizures.

While Depakote can successfully treat certain problems, it is not without risks. Depakote can be particularly dangerous for unborn fetuses. Pregnant women should be advised by their physicians about the use of Depakote during pregnancy. If you or someone you love has been injured by the use of Depakote, seek legal counsel immediately. There is no cost or obligation. If you delay, however, you may lose your right to seek compensation due to state-imposed time limits on the filing of Depakote lawsuits.