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Divalproex

Divalproex

Descriptions of Divalproex

Divalproex sodium is used to treat certain types of seizures (epilepsy). This medicine is an anticonvulsant that works in the brain tissue to stop seizures.

Divalproex sodium is also used to treat the manic phase of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), and helps prevent migraine headaches. This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Uses

This medication is used to treat seizure disorders, certain psychiatric conditions (manic phase of bipolar disorder), and to prevent migraine headaches. It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

How it works

Divalproex oral tablet belongs to a class of drugs called anti-epileptics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug works by increasing brain concentrations of a certain chemical, GABA, which reduces the excitability of your nervous system. This helps to treat seizures and manic episodes and prevent migraines.

side effects

The more common side effects that can occur with divalproex include:

  • nausea
  • headache
  • sleepiness
  • vomiting
  • weakness
  • tremor
  • dizziness
  • stomach pain
  • blurry or double vision
  • diarrhea
  • increased appetite or loss of appetite
  • weight gain
  • hair loss
  • problems with walking or coordination

warnings

This drug has black box warnings. These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Black box warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Liver damage warning: This drug can cause serious liver damage that can be fatal, especially in children younger than 2 years old and anyone with hereditary neurometabolic syndrome. Your risk of serious liver damage may be higher during your first 6 months of treatment with this drug. In some cases, liver damage may continue even after you stop taking the drug. Your doctor will monitor you closely for symptoms and will check your liver function before and during treatment with this drug.

Birth defects warning: This drug may cause serious harm to your pregnancy. If you take this drug during pregnancy, your baby is at risk for serious birth defects. These include birth defects that affect the brain, spinal cord, heart, head, arms, legs, and the opening where urine comes out. These defects can happen in the first month of pregnancy, before you know you’re pregnant.

Pancreatitis warning: This drug can cause pancreatitis (severe inflammation in your pancreas). This condition can be fatal. This can happen shortly after you start treatment or several years after you have used the drug.

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