What is Depakene?

Depakene is an anticonvulsant drug used to treat seizures. It is also used to treat migraines and bipolar disorder. Depakene is available as a generic drug.

Health Benefits

Depakene is used to treat seizures. It is also used to prevent migraines and bipolar disorder.

Depakene may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Depakene include:

drowsiness,

dizziness,

weakness,

tired feeling,

problems with coordination,

blurred vision,

double vision,

tremor (shaking),

sleep problems (insomnia), or

loss of appetite.

Serious side effects of Depakene include:

mental/mood changes (such as depression, thoughts of suicide),

easy bruising/bleeding,

unusual tiredness,

dark urine,

yellowing eyes/skin.

Depakene can cause liver failure. Get emergency medical help if you have signs of liver failure: nausea/vomiting that doesn’t stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Dosage

The recommended starting dose of Depakene is 250 mg twice daily. The maximum recommended dose is 1,000 mg/day.

Interactions

Depakene may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Depakene should be used only when prescribed. This medication passes into breast milk in small amounts. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Mechanism of Action

Depakene is an anticonvulsant drug. It works by decreasing the nerve impulses that cause seizures. Depakene also works by stabilizing the electrical activity in the brain.

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption: Depakene is rapidly and completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract after oral administration.

Distribution: The mean volume of distribution is 1.4 L/kg following oral administration of a 250 mg capsule.

Metabolism: Depakene is metabolized to valproic acid, which is a pharmacologically active metabolite. Valproic acid inhibits GABA transaminase and causes increased concentrations of GABA in the brain.

Excretion: Following a single oral dose of 250 mg 14C-labeled Depakene in normal volunteers, approximately 96% of the radioactive dose was recovered in the urine and feces as valproic acid or its metabolites.

Half-Life

The half-life of Depakene is 8-12 hours.

Long-term effects of Depakene

Depakene may cause liver failure. Get emergency medical help if you have signs of liver failure: nausea/vomiting that doesn’t stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin.

Depakene may also cause other long-term effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

How long does it take to work?

Depakene begins to work within 1 week.

Alternatives to Depakene

Other drugs that have the same active ingredients (e.g. valproic acid) and are used to treat the same conditions are considered alternatives to Depakene. Some alternative drugs may be less effective, may have different side effects, or may interact with other medications you are taking. Alternative drugs include:

divalproex sodium,

sodium valproate,

valproic acid.

This is not a complete list of alternative drugs for Depakene. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Is sodium valproate more effective than Depakene?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Both drugs are effective for treating seizures, but they have different side effects and may interact with other medications differently. Talk to your doctor about which drug is right for you.