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Depakote (divalproex)

Overall Rating
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2.42
Rating:

2.42

** 1/2
(Out of 5 Stars)
Side Effects
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1.79
Pricing
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3.06
Average Price: $44.13 Thumbs down Recommended By
43% of reviewers (of 47 reviews)
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DepakoteŽ

Generic Name: Divalproex dye-VAL-pro-ex

Drug Class: Anticonvulsants, diavalproex

 

Contents

 

Description
This medicines primary use is to prevent seizures. (anticonvulsant) It is also approved to treat bipolar disorder and for prevention of migraine headaches.
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General Information
This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your healthcare provider. 

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Proper use of this medicine
Usual dosing is once daily. The tablets should be swallowed whole and not crushed or chewed. Depakote sprinkle capsules may be swallowed whole or capsule contents may be sprinkled onto any soft food. Carefully open capsule. Place ALL sprinkles into a small amount of food (about a teaspoonful) of soft food such as applesauce or pudding. Make sure all of the sprinkle/food mixture is swallowed immediately. Chewing should be avoided. Drink fluids right after for easier swallowing. Never store mixture for future use.
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Missed Dose
Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.
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Storage
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.
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Possible Side Effects
    • Talk to your doctor if these side effects become severe:
    • dizziness
    • drowsiness
    • nervousness
    • hair loss (alopecia)
    • If you experience other bothersome side effects, contact your health care provider.
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Warnings/Precautions
    • Divalproex should be used cautiously by patients with liver disease and by the elderly.
    • Also, this medication should NOT be abruptly discontinued, due to the possibility of life-threatening seizure activity.
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Overdose
Seek medical attention immediately. U.S. residents can call the national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.
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Drug Interactions
    • Divalproex effects may be increased by erythromycin, cimetidine, salicylates, and decreased by carbamazepine.
    • This drug may increase the effects of diazepam, phenytoin, and warfarin.
    • Before taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Pregnancy/Nursing
Divalproex can cause fetal damage during the first trimester and should not be used during pregnancy if other options are available. Small amounts of divalproex have been shown to be excreted in breast milk, so should be used with caution while breastfeeding.
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More Information

For more information about this medicine, talk to your healthcare provider.
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Copyright 2006 PharmClips, Inc. All rights reserved. www.pharmclips.com
This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This is general information and should not in any event be construed as specific instructions for individual patients. The publisher does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information or the consequences arising from the application, use, or misuse of any of the information contained herein, including any injury and/or damage to any person or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or otherwise. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made in regard to the contents of this material. The reader is advised to check with their health care provider before making any changes in their drug regimen.

Last reviewed:
  On 8 Aug 2006
  By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.


 

4213depakote.jpg

 

 

 

 





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Reviews
 
joannecowgirl
Newly Joined

Registered: March 2014
Location: California
Posts: 1
Wed April 9, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: my migraines aren't everyday
CONS: severe weight gain

I was put on this medication 4 years ago because I was trying to overcome a severely depressed episode that had made my migraines so severe I couldn't even function, ie..no light, sound, noise, smells. It was awful and was on this medication for 3 months and it subsided the migraines enough to where I was able to get the help I needed and get my depression under control. Only problem was the 80 pounds in 3 months. Tried every other medication there is out there for migraines and nothing has compared. My new doctor convinced me to try it again so I am back on it at a stronger dose twice a day, and in a weight loss clinic and losing weight slowly but at least I have a really positive mood and no migraines. I have been on it for over six months now and have lost 15 pounds so far, so it has been worth it to try it again!

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misskrome
Member

Registered: January 2014
Location: ...
Posts: 229
Mon January 20, 2014 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: wonderful treatment for epilipsy
CONS: debilitating side effects

Nice and cheap for both valoproic and depakote. I was on this one for years. Went off for years then back on. Made me very very slow, both cognitively and slow moving/slow reflexes. Not good when your job requires speed. Cost me 2 jobs and made me gain 100lbs in less than a year causing me to injure myself in an accident. Don't know why it didn't do that to me before. Stopped and lost most of the weight.

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magootoyou
New Member

Registered: October 2010
Posts: 4
Mon May 20, 2013 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: Great for anxiety
CONS: HUGE weight gain

The weight gain was ridiculous!

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magootoyou
New Member

Registered: October 2010
Posts: 4
Mon May 20, 2013 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 

 
PROS: Works well for anxiety
CONS: BIG weight gain

After having been on this POISON for 2 years and 8 months, my doctor finally said she would change the drug. It didn't happen fast enough, so I switched doctors, and went back on Lithium. Being monitored for kidney problems. My doctor was not "cool," after all. She denied that I gained any more than 15 pounds. Unbelievable. Extremely disappointed in this woman. She would not let me switch drugs, and made me wait so long. I was stupid to wait as long as I did.

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kathleen slattery
Member

Registered: March 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 178
Fri March 4, 2011 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: I think that depakote is a trustworthy and reliable drug, which although it doesn't produce awesome effects, prevents dramatic mood swings.
CONS: nails breaking below quick, drowsiness and fatigue, irregular sleeping patterns.

Drugs are drugs, and there are side effects to every drug, even a motrin. Although I hate the above-cited side effects, I still suspect that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. I've heard that lamictal is the new "wonder drug"; but look at the potential side effects....acne and possible deadly skin rashes! Plus unless you are particularly fussy with your diet, all of these drugs can be weight-gaining. IMO.

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flawlessimperfectionsmft
Member

Registered: February 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 167
Thu November 25, 2010 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: Cheap, Great mood stabilizer
CONS: Hair loss

I have been taking this medicine for over a month now and I am currently on 1000 mg of it. This medicine has greatly helped my mood and stabilizing it. However the extreme hair loss has been almost too much to handle. Though I would recommend this medication for anyone looking for a mood stabilizer because it has worked wonders and just because I am experiencing hair loss, does not mean the next person will experience it. This medicine has been of great help for me.

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rizzlesnort
New Member

Registered: October 2010
Posts: 1
Fri October 22, 2010 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: No Effect
CONS: No Effect

I am male, 46 years old, Bipolar Type 2 with a small tendency toward Bipolar Type 1. I have been on this medication for 60 days. In that time I've gained 20+ pounds, first my ripped stomach turned to a belly roll almost immediately, then swelling like a blimp from the knees to toes, the rest of my body is bloated greatly. Diareah, vomiting, hair falling out, nice skin turning 'old' looking. I still feel the same as before, if not more depressed. My doctor shrugged off symptoms and told me it was from old age. Lets see, until taking this medication I was getting a ripped and toned body, had lots of energy and went to gym daily. Now, I sit in my room and wont leave the house, couldn't care less if I take a bath or brush my teeth. Can't see any benefit whatsoever, doctor seems unconcerned and just says 'get used' to old age, you just had a birthday. I felt quite young and physically capable, now I'm weak, sleep constantly, and feel horrible because I'm fat and hurt from being all bloated up gaining one pound every two days with no end in sight. Again, the doctor says this is normal and not a side effect. I think he must own stock in the product. To say that my condition has been bettered in any way is a farce, I'm a whole lot worse physically and mentally and the doctor doesn't want to hear that. Whatever my doctor is taking that lets him live in such a nice dream world where everything is 'fine', give me some of that please !

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magootoyou
New Member

Registered: October 2010
Posts: 4
Mon October 4, 2010 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $20.00| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: seems to work so far (almost 2 months)
CONS: stomach upset, diarrhea, get overheated in heat (sun or high indoor temps), some acne

Had to switch from lithium because of possible kidney problems (on li for 19 years). I am very scared about possible future side effects like hair loss (which supposedly occurs in 20% of patients). Had pretty much the same side effects from Lithium (overheating problem and some acne). Lithium also caused some weight gain. Don't know what this pill will do in the future. My psychiatrist is great (very experienced and "cool"), and I trust her not to put me on a pill that is not yet proven to work or one that gives very bad side effects like Seroquel.

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Pditty
Member

Registered: August 2010
Location: North West Minnesota
Posts: 125
Sun August 8, 2010 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: Very new to this drug...Seems to have a slight positive effect
CONS:

Not been on it long but my Mood Changes seems a Bit less intense

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degas
Junior Member

Registered: July 2009
Posts: 9
Wed May 26, 2010 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $20.00| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: finally relief and clearness of thought
CONS: hair thinning

I am a female with bipolar2 who had suffered from long term depression which culminated in a suicide attempt. Several years of anti-depressants hadn't worked and I was hopeless that anything would. A new doctor put me on Depakote and within days I felt alive again. I have put on a few pounds but that brings me up to a normal weight range. Now, 4 months later the only side effect is some hair loss. Anyone know if that will subside?

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4alleternity
Newly Joined

Registered: February 2010
Fri February 26, 2010 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: helps mood swings
CONS:

i have been taking depakote basically for 2years and havent had to much problems with it. but when im off the depakote, my moods are off the walls.

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dirtbikediva
Newly Joined

Registered: October 2009
Fri October 16, 2009 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $50.00| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: It helped with my insomnia
CONS: side effects

I've never complained about a medication before. I've never gotten side effects that I could live with. This medicine was horrid.It 100% DESTROYED my hair.. its RUINED. I was blessed with great genetics and now hair is dry,corse, and I actually have patches of hair missing. I can't run a brush through it even with intense (expensive) conditioning. I'm only 21 and my hair was really nice before the second month of this medication. If you like your hair don't use this product

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seriynochi
New Member

Registered: December 2007
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 2
Wed September 30, 2009 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $25.00| Rating: 5 

 
PROS: none
CONS: huge horse pill, blood tests

cant do blood tests

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celli
Junior Member

Registered: August 2009
Location: The Northwest US
Posts: 14
Sun August 9, 2009 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: Brought me out of a PTSD-induced dissociative state during which I was actively, and fiercely, suicidal
CONS: Very darn minor: makes my urine small unusual and will require periodic blood panels (like, every 6 months?)

My psychiatrist prescribed Depakote when my delayed-onset PTSD broke through flagrantly with suicide attempts and eventually hospitalization in coma. I'm on a very low dose (250 mg morning and evening). Depakote worked quickly and effectively to bring me out of a six-months-long dissociated state for which I am still mostly amnesic. What I do remember is awful. For all the deservedly bad rap given pharmaceutical companies, I'm pretty grateful for Depakote, and more recently, for the Geodon he added to my personalized "PTSD cocktail."

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gordonsetter
Member

Registered: November 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 27
Sat June 6, 2009 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $384.00| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: helps to control my mania
CONS: weight gain, had lost some hair loss, very expensive

I did have some hair loss when I first starting taking it but I have been on this medication for 10 years and the hair loss stopped after the first year. It does a wonderful job at controlling my mania which can get quite severe. I have gained weight since starting it but am now losing that weight. It is very expensive!

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barbiemonroe
Newly Joined

Registered: April 2009
Location: Alabama
Thu April 9, 2009 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: no longer manic, or depressive
CONS: almost unemotional, weight gain, hair loss, skin problems

i have gained 25lbs over the past few months. up until a month ago my face was breaking out, and ive always had perfectly clear skin. not to mention the hair loss! that was fun. but since i started taking BIOTIN supplements, i no longer deal with the hair loss or skin issues. yaaay! the weight gain is not worth it. (wouldn't a doctor be worried that extreme weight gain might cause depression?!) and i'm pretty much a zombie. not happy, not unhappy. no emotions at all really. I'm glad my erratic behavior is gone, but i still want to...FEEL.

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Sat March 14, 2009 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: none
CONS: none - very much hungery,

If this causes weight gain - yet worked... I'd rather kill my self than take it

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Tinaleigh
Member

Registered: February 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 25
Thu February 5, 2009 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $6.00| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: none
CONS: huge weight gain, minimal help with mood regulation

I was on 2000mg. On this medication I gained over 60 pounds in the course of six months. I refuse to take it now and I would not recommend this to anyone. And the pills themselves are big enough for horses.

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AllIsNotWell
New Member

Registered: December 2008
Posts: 3
Tue December 16, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $1.00| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: No real side effects
CONS: Tired, sleepy

Have only been on a week so will report back. Take 250 mg in the am and 500 mg in the pm. Am taking in combination with 100 mg of Wellbutrin. Maybe I am going to be one of the lucky ones? The side effects posted sound horrible. I weigh 110 pounds and am only 5 feet tall. My metabolism is fast. If I become bothered by excessive weight gain, I will re evaluate. Was diagnosed with mild bi polar. Mostly am depressed. Do not display many manic traits, i.e staying up for days at a time. I sleep very well. However, am quick to anger at times. Hope to have better relationships with those close to me. Tend to drive ppl away.

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Mental/ADD-Mess Gal
Newly Joined

Registered: November 2008
Wed November 19, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: saved my life, totally stabilized my moods, got my sanity back!
CONS: none!

I am 27/female. Bipolar and severe ADD. Before being diagnosed with bipolar, I was put on anti-depressants which did nothing for my highs/mania, so was quite frustrated. When I was finally diagnosed for bipolar I was first put on Lithium, which was HORRIBLE. I felt like I was going crazy, and felt in a "fog". Doc took me off that and put me on Depakote ER. Within a month or so I started to notice major differences! Over the course of 3-4 months I was bumped up to taking 1,500mg daily (yes a very high dose). But I was taking two 500mg pills a day, but still struggled some with the moods. Adding a third 500mg tablet seemed to be just the right dose. I didn't experience ANY weight gain. I don't have ANY negative things to say about this drug. I have been amazed at the effectiveness -- and I've been on it steadily for about 5 years!! Changed my life! Sorry to hear so many people had problems with it.

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thancen
Junior Member

Registered: March 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 8
Fri March 7, 2008 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: stabilized mood somewhat
CONS: weight gain, tremors, nightmares, hair loss

Only stabilized my mood a little bit. Side effects were EXTREME weight gain (60 pounds in 4 months even on a monitored diet and exercise program), sleeping all the time, my hair falling out in clumps, tremors so bad I couldn't hold on to a juice glass, horrible nightmares.

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ehrhar
Member

Registered: December 2007
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 37
Wed January 16, 2008 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: mood stable
CONS: Weight gain

Gained 40 pounds which leads to poor self-esteem. Like I need that too.

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Barbarian
Newly Joined

Registered: November 2007
Fri November 30, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: An effective anti-manic drug.
CONS: Such a financial liability; you'll get so fat that you'll become a whale (literally); you'll get depressed b/c of your increased weight; you'll develop an increased appetite and thus have to buy much more food; you'll have to buy expandable clothing.

Compared to contemporary treatments for all aspects of bipolar disorder, this drug is the LEAST recommended! Okay, so Depakote is probably the most studied anti-manic drug to date. It IS effective for preventing manic episodes, but...other than the fact that it is effective for mania, the cons easily outweigh the ONLY pro. But its pro is nothing new. There are other drugs -- such as Lamictal, Seroquel, and lithium -- that are equally effective at treating mania, and without the massive weight gain. Massive weight gain was the most devastating side-effect -- at least for me. You'll also develop a much-increased sense of appetite. Unlike other medications, Depakote does not max out after a certain amount of months in terms of weight-gain. You'll continually get fat until you stop it. Even after I stopped taking Depakote, it took more than 6 months to return to my original weight.More on the weight gain...you might as well throw out the mirrors and weight scales. You'll keep gaining and gaining weight until you have had enough of it. I had to constantly buy expandable clothing and I was constantly hungry. And I had to take a crap almost everyday -- to the point where I overflowed the toilet almost daily. Highly unusual and unnecessary. I could spend, easily, $100 for food per week because my appetite skyrocketed. When you factor in the amount you spend on this medication, more expandable clothing, and extra food, this medication is a financial liability. Moreover, this medication can be substituted for Lamictal, which although expensive in itself, would be cheaper than getting the Depakote and its "3rd-party" effects. I HIGHLY recommend Lamictal over this putrid drug.I do NOT recommend this drug in ANY case. It would be better to not be treated. Gaining weight with it only increased my depression and self-esteem. And in my opinion, Lamictal is probably the best medication on the market to treat bipolar depression without throwing one into mania along with the fact that it prevents seizures AND manic episodes. Throw lithium in this mix and you've got yourself an unstoppable combination. And the best part of all, Lamictal has VERY FEW, if any, side-effects.Lamictal is considered as the only TRUE mood stabilizer along with lithium; in many cases, Lamictal is more effective than lithium, and with virtually no side effects. Lamictal is not only a POWERFUL mood stabilizer, but it also has POWERFUL anti-depressant properties as well. It is very expensive, however...but WELL WORTH IT! Be sure to talk to your doctor about the effectiveness of this drug versus Lamictal, Seroquel, and or lithium...

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Anonymous
Thu November 8, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $20.00| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: nothing.
CONS: weight gain.

I've been on Depakote for just over two months (in addition to Seroquel), and I've gained nearly 45 lbs. Also, it has not helped my moods at all. My mania and my depression are exactly the same as they were when I was prescribed this crap (in an outpatient program). I'm going off this treatment in the next month. Hopefully Lithium, Concerta, and Ativan will prove more effective.

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Gianna
New Member

Registered: October 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 1
Thu October 25, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: none
CONS: made me gain 70 lbs, made me stupid, did not help my psychological problmes

Causes polycystic ovary syndrome in young women which causes infertility. I know a lot of people that this has happened to.

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mattchicago
Newly Joined

Registered: October 2007
Thu October 18, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 5 

 
PROS: Less manic episodes
CONS: Weight Gain, Shaky Hands

Hard to say whether i recommend or not as this is the only drug I've been on since I've been diagnosed (3 plus years now). I feel like I've had less manic episodes, but feel like I've been more depressed as well. Weight gain (10-15 pounds) & shaky hands have been a side effect.

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dreamin
Newly Joined

Registered: October 2007
Location: Georgia
Tue October 16, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: It did help my mood/anger alot
CONS: weight gain

massive weight gain made me so much more severe depressed, so I stopped taking it. they had me up to 4000 mg a day! The Dr never warned me of the weight gain first and he knew one thing I was depressed over was my weight to begin with was my weight.

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BrazilMaster
New Member

Registered: August 2007
Posts: 4
Mon September 3, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: Helps to prevent Migraines and focus
CONS: expensive med .

My pdoc has prescribed this medication for treating the GAD. I can focus and especially concentrate better; ex. reading, writting, etc...Without it, it seems that my mind is "wandering" too much, and without proper functioning. The headaches also tend to re-appear if I dont take the med. I take 225-500/ day.

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drummergrl
Member

Registered: July 2007
Location: CA
Posts: 218
Fri July 6, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: none
CONS: shakes, weight gain, drowsy............

Depakote was the first original drug choice from my Psychiatrist after being diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder. After 6 mos. I was having too many episodes that weren't getting relieved, and I was finding alot of my thoughts jumbled and suicidal. Not a good drug to stabalize mood swings. Too unreliable. Too many nasty side effects.

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Psychotic_Phil
Veteran Member

Registered: February 2007
Location: Seattle WA USA
Posts: 303
Sat June 23, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: Relieved me of my moodiness symptoms that Lithium didn't treat
CONS: Weight gain, sedation makes my brain not work.

Depakote, while not being as bad as Lithium is still a mood stabilizer and a bad one too. Weight gain, sedation and making your mind shatter? This is not a good med. Stay away from all of the mood stabilizers!

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Bookish
Newly Joined

Registered: June 2007
Fri June 8, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: I felt subdu.ed somewhat. Less hyper
CONS: Nausea, Bloating, FAST WEIGHT GAIN !!! Early symptoms felt like morning sickness and lack of motivation. Very tired and listless.

I have now taken myself off of Depakote after about three months of treatment because the side effects are worse then the disorder. I have been diagnosed as having a mild case of Bipolar disorder with mild depression and more manic episodes. Now that I am drug free, I feel a sense of well being and freedom. Depakote is not a drug to take without first weighing the side effects verses the actual disorder it may be helping. In my case I was very unhappy with the weight gain and the perpetually tired look on my face. I felt fat, old and bloated.

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cherryblossom
Junior Member

Registered: April 2007
Posts: 15
Sat May 12, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $90.00| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: It helped me consentrate
CONS: upset my stomach

It had to have it raised a month ago.So the name change to Valproic Acid.know I feel alot better than I did.It really helps and I can even tell when I don't take my meds that I am relapsing.The price is so high that I can't afford my med's.My husband is worried that it will keep me from taking it like I am suppose to.But I am because I don't care anything about going back in the hospital.

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PiperWilson
Newly Joined

Registered: April 2007
Fri April 27, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: Helped my son's moods and migraines
CONS: Elevated ammonia blood levels

It worked well for him for a few years, but at one point he started throwing up for no apparent reason. The doctor's monitored his liver enzymes regularly. BUT, I was attending a conference and the presenter mentioned something about ammonia in the blood. I had my son tested, and his ammonia levels were at least 3 times higher than they should have been.

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meinghoh
Newly Joined

Registered: April 2007
Thu April 19, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: Ok mood stabilizer.
CONS: Weight gain, hair loss, skin issues

Sure, in the stabiliztion department it worked ok, however I gained 40 lbs in 6 months, my hair thinned out, and my skin looked....old? Dropped the medication, trying to loose the weight grow my hair back and attempt to revive my skin to a somewhat healthy level and appearence. It is difficult, but I am managing with taking a small dose of zoloft.It is sad that I wasn't told about these side effects before I was placed on them. From here on out, before I swallow another pill, I will throughly check it out - outside of the prescribing doctor.

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prime23
New Member

Registered: April 2007
Location: California
Posts: 5
Tue April 17, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $0.03| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: controls mania; no migraines
CONS: hair loss; no help for depression; occasional diarrhea and stomach upset

I've been on Depakote for almost seven years. It's a good mood stabilizer, but my hair has thinned and won't grow more than a few inches. I don't think this is due to other causes. I can count on one hand the number of headaches I've had since I started on this med, which is nice. This med is very expensive, but I'm Medi-Medi; so I get it for almost nothing. The worst thing about it is, if I get depressed, about all I can do is wait for it to go away. I don't do well on antidepressants, and Depakote doesn't work for depression.

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lunakit
Newly Joined

Registered: April 2007
Thu April 12, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: excellent mood stabilizer
CONS: none

I'm bipolar with a tendency toward dysphoric mania. Since taking this med I feel like a normal person (or what I imagine a normal person feels like!). It stabilizes my moods without inducing brainfog. I can think, I can work, I can play, I can sleep. I haven't gained any weight or lost any hair. I take 250mg 3x per day. My pdoc told me that most people who get extreme weight gain and/or hair loss side effects are taking too much. If you're considering trying this med, start with a low dose, titrate gradually and if you start gaining weight or losing hair, taper down a dose. If it doesn't work well enough for you at the lower dose, talk to your pdoc about combining it with a low dose of another med.

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tweak
New Member

Registered: February 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2
Tue April 10, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: I seemed to be able to focus on things better and it was calming.
CONS: Big time weight gain, gradually dried my skin out with discolorations and when my hair started coming out in clumps I quit using it.

Depakote really helped my hyper moods. I tend to talk to much and get angry off the cuff. What it did to my skin is very depressing, dried out with a plethora of different marks and spots. Already fighting the pounds all my life, this just put my eating out of control. I was always hungry. It's a real battle. After a couple of years of using it, my hair started falling out in clumps when I washed or brushed it. That's when I quit using it. No withdrawal and my hair stopped falling out, but my skin is ruined. It looks like a homeless person's leathery skin and I rarely even go outdoors.

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pinacolada
Newly Joined

Registered: February 2007
Sun February 25, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: absolutely none
CONS: extreme tiredness, extreme weight gain, excessive hair loss

I Was Forced to take this medication by foster parents and therapists, I had no good outcome from it. I gained 35 pounds in 5 months. Hair loss was extreme everyday I ran my fingers through my hair while nin the shower and it was like endless thick strands were falling out. I Was a pretty healthy cheerleader and within a few months I despised how much weight I continued to gain. I slept all through the night and could sleep the next day away no problem. my eyes watered all the time. I felt slow mentally and physically and withdrawn. Within 3 months of quitting Depakpote I returned to normal body weight, made new friends and enjoyed playing sports and being myself.

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Anonymous
Thu October 19, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: none
CONS: grogginess and weight gain

it made me feel worse than i had felt before. i was groggy and all i did was eat and think about eating. i gained 35 lbs on it.

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Sun September 24, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: decreased agitation when I was in a mixed state
CONS: didn't help with the depression at all

Didn't do a thing for my depression when I was in a mixed state, but did decrease the agitation.

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darkeyes
Elder

Registered: May 2001
Location: US
Posts: 6683
Fri September 15, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: quick acting towards calming and/or reducing manic behaviour/episode
CONS: causes extreme fatigue,weight gain,hair loss,just blots out total feelings of emotion,zombifying.

I did not care for Depakote,and for me,it just worsened my depression. For the hypomanic (mild) state I was in,was like total knockdown,for mania was never a huge issue and only had one or 2 hypomanic episodes in my life. I'm sure a person that is truly,in a full blown manic episode or approaching one may benefit by it,but I personally would prefer Lithium or Lamictal as a mood stabilizer.

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eskielover
just me wantng to be free

Registered: October 2004
Location: Kentucky, USA
Posts: 10597
Thu September 14, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 5 

 
PROS:
CONS: nausea, headache, & extreme dizziness & sleepiness

This medication was given to me while in the hospital. It effected my blood pressure, causing the dizziness. Migraine pain also couldn't be tolerated. Because of the side effects it caused, I wasn't able to stay on it long enough to determine if it had any effect on the depression.

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lenjan
Grand Magnate
Managing Editor, PC

Registered: April 2004
Location: Milky Way galaxy
Posts: 4570
Sat September 9, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: helped even out moods
CONS: too many to list

Depakote made me barf my guts out nonstop for the first 10 days I was on it. I finally called my pdoc and BEGGED to be taken off. Since it was working well on my mood, he refused, and I fought him for another 18 months before I finally was able to get off it.The mood stabilizing properties are great. The hair loss ... the unexplained bruising ... not so much. The side effects just didn't make it worth it for me.

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Daffy
Newly Joined

Registered: August 2006
Wed August 16, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: Leveled out moods a bit
CONS: Gained weight

I liked it except for the weight gain

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niko851
Member

Registered: March 2006
Location: Noblesville, IN USA
Posts: 75
Tue July 25, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $30.00| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: Has somewhat stabalized me (less episodes w/other drug combinations)
CONS: Sleep issues; some stomach cramping; expensive

Since I'm using Depakote in combination with other meds, I can't really say for sure how effective or ineffective Depakote alone is. I don't understand how a primarily anti-seizure medication can help stabalize a mood, but something is working with this medication. My only gripe about it, other than the minor 'relief' I get from it, is that it is a brand-name and therefore quite costly.

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razeljenny
Veteran Member

Registered: May 2006
Location: Wasington State
Posts: 341
Fri July 7, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: does a good job taking away disorentation and moods
CONS: made me put on a great deal of weight

It will really help you when things are bad but now I wouldn't reccommend it because I gained a great deal of weight yet I was so very successful the year I was on Depakote. I did very well. Now I am using an alternative herbal called MOrnida Citrofolia which worked for me but it may not necessarily do the same outcome for you.

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Anonymous
Sun July 2, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $20.00| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: It works well as a mood stabilizer but not in the same class as Lamictal.
CONS: Trembling of hands, fingers,dry mouth and confusion.

A cheap substitute for other mood stabilizers. A combination of lamictal and lithium have been more effective for me without the nasty side effects.

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