Depakote (divalproex)

Anti-epileptics

DIVALPROEX SODIUM is used to prevent seizures caused by some forms of epilepsy. It is also used to treat bipolar mania and to prevent migraine headaches.

Side effects of Depakote

Choose your form:

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. If you are taking this medicine to treat epilepsy (seizures), do not stop taking it suddenly. This increases the risk of seizures. Wear a medical identification bracelet or chain to say you have epilepsy or seizures, and carry a card that lists all your medicines.

You may get drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine can cause blood problems. This can mean slow healing and a risk of infection. Problems can arise if you need dental work, and in the day to day care of your teeth. Try to avoid damage to your teeth and gums when you brush or floss your teeth.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine. Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care professional right away.

Women who become pregnant while using this medicine may enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. This registry collects information about the safety of antiepileptic drug use during pregnancy.

Contact your doctor or healthcare professional if you notice any part of your medicine in your stool. Your healthcare provider may want to check the amount of medicine in your blood if this happens.

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Black, tarry stools

bleeding gums

bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet

blood in the urine or stools

confusion

cough or hoarseness

crying

delusions

dementia

depersonalization

diarrhea

difficult or labored breathing

dysphoria

euphoria

fever or chills

general feeling of discomfort or illness

headache

joint pain

loss of appetite

lower back or side pain

mental depression

muscle aches and pains

nausea

nervousness

painful or difficult urination

paranoia

pinpoint red spots on the skin

quick to react or overreact emotionally

rapid weight gain

rapidly changing moods

runny nose

shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet

shivering

sleepiness or unusual drowsiness

sore throat

sweating

tightness in the chest

tingling of the hands or feet

trembling or shaking of the hands or feet

trouble sleeping

unusual bleeding or bruising

unusual tiredness or weakness

unusual weight gain or loss

vomiting

Less common

Abnormal dreams

absence of or decrease in body movement

anxiety

bloody nose

blurred vision

bruising burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings

change in personality

change in walking and balance

changes in patterns and rhythms of speech

chest pain

chills

cloudy urine

clumsiness or unsteadiness

cold sweats

constipation

darkened urine

degenerative disease of the joint

difficulty with moving

dizziness

dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly

dry mouth

excessive muscle tone

fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse

fear

feeling of warmth or heat

flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck

frequent urge to urinate

heavy non-menstrual vaginal bleeding

hyperventilation

increased need to urinate

indigestion

lack of coordination

large, flat, blue, or purplish patches in the skin

leg cramps

lip smacking or puckering

loss of bladder control

loss of strength or energy

multiple swollen and inflamed skin lesions

muscle pain or stiffness

muscle tension or tightness

normal menstrual bleeding occurring earlier, possibly lasting longer than expected

pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back

passing urine more often

pounding in the ears

puffing of the cheeks

rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue

rapid weight gain

restlessness

seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there

shakiness and unsteady walk

slurred speech

small red or purple spots on the skin

sweating

swollen joints

trouble with speaking

twitching

uncontrolled chewing movements

uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs

unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination

vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

yellow eyes or skin

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose

Change in consciousness

fainting

loss of consciousness

slow or irregular heartbeat

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Acid or sour stomach

belching

body aches or pain

change in vision

congestion

continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears

hair loss or thinning of the hair

hearing loss

heartburn

impaired vision

lack or loss of strength

loss of memory

problems with memory

rash

seeing double

tender, swollen glands in the neck

trouble with swallowing

uncontrolled eye movements

voice changes

weight gain

weight loss

Less common

Absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods

back pain

burning, dry, or itching eyes

change in taste or bad unusual or unpleasant (after) taste

coin-shaped lesions on the skin

cough producing mucus

cramps

dandruff

discharge or excessive tearing

dry skin

earache

excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines

eye pain

feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings

full feeling

heavy bleeding

increased appetite

itching of the vagina or genital area

itching skin

loss of bowel control

neck pain

oily skin

pain

pain during sexual intercourse

pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones

passing gas

rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin

redness or swelling in the ear

redness, pain, swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid

redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue

sensation of spinning

sneezing

stiff neck

stopping of menstrual bleeding

thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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