By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Depakine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is Depakine® (valproic acid) used for?

Depakine® is commonly used for:

  • Treatment of generalized epilepsy (clonic, tonic, tonic-clonic, absence, myoclonic or atonic seizures)
  • Treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
  • Treatment of partial epilepsy (partial seizures secondary generalization)
  • Control of status epilepticus
  • Concomitant use other anticonvulsants as appropriate
  • Treatment and prevention of mania associated bipolar disorders

How should I take Depakine® (valproic acid)?

For orally taken form, you should:

  • Take Depakine® by mouth as directed by your doctor concerning: dose, schedule.
  • Read the label carefully before using Depakine®.
  • Consult your doctor for any information on the label that you do not clearly understand.

How do I store Depakine® (valproic acid)?

Depakine® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Depakine® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Depakine® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Depakine® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Depakine® (valproic acid)?

Before using Depakine®, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Allergic reaction to excipients using for dosage form containing Depakine®.
  • Allergic reaction to any other medicines, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.
  • Used any other health conditions, drugs that have a risk of interaction with Depakine®.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Depakine® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Depakine®. Depakine® is pregnancy risk category D, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Depakine® (valproic acid)?

As taking others medicines, taking Depakine® can cause some side effects. Most of them are rarely occurring and do not need any supplementary treatment. However, it is always important for you to consult your doctor if you have any problem after taking this medicine.

Some of side effects are listed below:

  • Change in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Indigestion
  • Mild pain or redness at the injection site
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting
  • Weight changes
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Abnormal thinking
  • Blurred vision or other vision changes
  • Changes in behavior
  • Change in menstrual period
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty urinating or other urination problems
  • Fainting
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • General body discomfort
  • Hallucinations
  • Hearing loss
  • Involuntary movements of the arms and legs
  • Involuntary movements or chewing movements of the face, jaw, mouth, or tongue
  • Joint or muscle pain or weakness
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Memory loss
  • New or worsening mental or mood changes
  • New or worsening seizures
  • Red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the arms or legs
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Symptoms of liver problems
  • Tremor
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual weakness

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Depakine® (valproic acid)?

Depakine® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products may interact with this drug, such as:

  • Clonazepam
  • Topiramate
  • Benzodiazepines (diazepam)
  • Felbamate
  • Salicylates (aspirin)
  • Carbamazepine, carbapenem antibiotics (imipenem)
  • Hormonal birth control (birth control pills)
  • Hydantoins (phenytoin)
  • Mefloquine
  • Rifampin
  • Ritonavir
  • Anticoagulants (warfarin)
  • Barbiturates (phenobarbital, primidone)
  • Ethosuximide
  • Lamotrigine
  • Methylphenidate
  • Quetiapine
  • Rufinamide
  • Tolbutamide
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline)
  • Zidovudine

Does food or alcohol interact with Depakine® (valproic acid)?

Depakine® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Depakine® (valproic acid)?

Depakine® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

These health conditions are:

  • History of mental or mood problems
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Alcohol abuse
  • History of metabolic problems
  • Ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency
  • Brain problems
  • Coma
  • High blood ammonia
  • Glutamine levels
  • Low body temperature
  • Mental retardation
  • Recurring vomiting
  • Sluggishness
  • Recurring extreme irritability
  • History of liver problems
  • Cancer
  • Blood disease (for example, low levels of white blood cells, low blood platelet levels)
  • HIV infection
  • Cytomegalovirus (cmv) infection
  • Kidney problems
  • Pancreas problems
  • Low blood albumin levels
  • High blood glycine levels


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Depakine® (valproic acid).

What is the dose of Depakine® (valproic acid) for an adult?

Consult your doctor for information about the dose of Depakine®.

Recommended initial doses is 10-15 mg/kg/day increasing at 2-3 day intervals to reach optimum dosage in about 1 week. The maximum dose can be 20-30 mg/kg/day.

What is the dose of Depakine® (valproic acid) for a child?

Consult your doctor for information about the dose of Depakine®.

Recommended doses for children is 30 mg/kg/day.

How is Depakine® (valproic acid) available?

Depakine® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Enteric coated tablet: 200 mg.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Depakine®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: January 7, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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