Valproic acid

Generic Name: Depakene

Valproic acid is a drug used to control certain types of seizures -- specifically, complex partial seizures and simple or complex absence seizures -- in people with epilepsy. The prescription medicine helps prevent the abnormal brain signals that lead to a seizure and may also prevent seizures by affecting sodium channels in the brain.

Valproic acid is known with the generic name of Depakene which is a prescription medication used to control seizures in people with epilepsy. Specifically, the medication is approved to treat complex partial seizures and simple or complex absence seizures. Valproic acid is prescribed for the treatment of seizures in people who have epilepsy. By increasing the amount of a certain chemical in the brain, the medication helps to control complex partial seizures, as well as simple or complex absence seizures. Sometimes, it is recommended for something other than treating seizures. Among these the other possible valproic acid uses are the treatment of agitation, dementia, and hiccups.

How to Use Valproic Acid Capsules

  • The medication comes in capsule or syrup form. It is usually taken by mouth one to three times daily.
  • Valproic acid can be taken with or without food. If the medication upsets your stomach, try taking it with food.
  • Do not crush or open valproic acid capsules. They should be swallowed whole in order to prevent throat and stomach irritation.
  • Valproic acid should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.

Cautions before use Valproic Acid Capsules

  • There have been cases of liver failure caused by valproic acid. Children under two years old are at especially high risk, especially children with mental retardation, brain damage or disease, or certain other health problems. Valproic acid is not approved for children less than 10 years old and should rarely be used in young children, due to the risk of liver damage.
  • You should not take valproic acid if you have liver disease.
  • Valproic acid can cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), which may be quite dangerous.
  • Elderly people may be more sensitive to valproic acid side effects, such as drowsiness.
  • Valproic acid can cause low platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia) in some people.
  • This medicine could be dangerous if taken during pregnancy which may harm the unborn child.

Valproic Acid Capsules Side Effects

The side effects which may arise due to the usage of Valproic Acid are as follows;

  • Hair loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as chills or a fever
  • Infections
  • Double vision
  • Insomnia
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Blurred vision
  • Nervousness
  • Weight gain
  • Back pain
  • Coordination problems
  • Uncontrollable eye movements
  • Swelling or water retention in the arms, legs, or feet
  • Memory loss (amnesia)
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Increased appetite or loss of appetite

Valproic Acid Capsules Interactions and Overdose

Among the medications that can interact with valproic acid are chlorpromazine, ethosuximide, and nortriptyline. Drug interactions with valproic acid can alter the levels of some medicines in your blood. They may also increase your risk of side effects or make some medications less effective. 

People who take a valproic acid overdose may experience drowsiness, heart block, a coma, or even loss of life. Treatment for an overdose can include giving certain medicines to take the medicine out.


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