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treatment & management

Drug Profiles:
(divalproex sodium)

CAUTION: Federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription.



DEPAKOTE® is indicated for prophylaxis of Migraine. There is no evidence that DEPAKOTE® is useful in the acute treatment of Migraine. Because valproic acid may be a hazard to the fetus, DEPAKOTE® should be considered for women of childbearing potential only after this risk has been thoroughly discussed with the patient and weighed against the potential benefits of treatment.


About the Drug

DEPAKOTE® has proven to be the most effective of the preventive or prophylactic Migraine regiments. After careful testing and a good anti-migraine program by this drug company, this existing Epilepsy medication is administered in a dose appropriate to Migraine prophylaxis and has now been approved by the FDA for Migraine prophylaxis. As Migraine and Epilepsy are Related diseases, this is actually a sound approach.


About the Dose

  • Recommended starting dose for Migraine prophylaxis is 250 mg twice daily.
  • Some patients may benefit from up to 1000 mg/day.
  • In the clinical trials, there was no evidence that higher doses lead to greater efficacy.


When to take DEPAKOTE®

DEPAKOTE® is taken as a preventive approach. That is, to lessen the number of Migraine attacks and lessen the severity of those attacks. According to the manufacturer the results are typical of what you can expect to see‹

DEPAKOTE®-treated patients had a mean 4-week Migraine rate of 3.5 (SE=0.38) during the treatment phase which was significantly lower than the placebo mean rate of 5.7 (SE=0.59) (P<0.001)

48% (33/69) of DEPAKOTE®-treated patients had a 50% or greater reduction in Migraine rate from baseline compared to 14% of the placebo group, a significant difference (P<0.001)


DEPAKOTE® and Pregnacy

DEPAKOTE® is used to prevent or reduce the number of Migraines you experience. DEPAKOTE® can be obtained only by prescription from your doctor. The decision to use DEPAKOTE® for the prevention of Migraines is one that you and your doctor should make together, taking into account your individual needs and medical condition.

Before using DEPAKOTE®, a woman who can become pregnant should consider the fact that DEPAKOTE® has been associated with birth defects, in particular, with spina bifida and other defects related to failure of the spinal canal to close normally. Although the incidence is unknown in Migraine patients treated with DEPAKOTE®, approximately 1 to 2% of children born to women with epilepsy taking DEPAKOTE® in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy had these defects (based on data from the Centers for Disease Control, a U.S. agency based in Atlanta). The incidence in the general population is 0.1 to 0.2%.


Information For Women Who Are Planning To Get Pregnant

Women taking DEPAKOTE® for the prevention of Migraine who are planning to get pregnant should discuss with their doctor temporarily stopping DEPAKOTE®, before and during their pregnancy.


Regarding Women Who Become Pregnant While Taking DEPAKOTE®

If you become pregnant while taking DEPAKOTE® for the prevention of Migraine, you should contact your doctor immediately.


Facts About Birth Defects

It is important to know that birth defects may occur even in children of individuals not taking any medications or without any additional risk factors.


DEPAKOTE® and Other Medications

It is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following: Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) (with long-term, high-dose use) or, Amiodarone (e.g., Cordarone), anabolic steroids (nandrolone [e.g., Anabolin], oxandrolone [e.g., Anavar], oxymetholone [e.g., Anadrol], stanozolol [e.g., Winstrol]), androgens (male hormones), barbiturates, Carbamazepine (e.g., Tegretol), Carmustine (e.g., BiCNU), Dantrolene (e.g., Dantrium), Daunorubicin (e.g., Cerubidine), Disulfiram (e.g., Antabuse), Estrogens, Methotrexate (e.g., Mexate), Phenothiazines (acetophenazine [e.g., Tindal], chlorpromazine [e.g., Thorazine], fluphenazine [e.g., Prolixin], mesoridazine [e.g., Serentil], perphenazine [e.g., Trilafon], prochlorperazine [e.g., Compazine], promazine [e.g., Sparine], promethazine [e.g., Phenergan], thioridazine [e.g., Mellaril], trifluoperazine [e.g., Stelazine], triflupromazine [e.g., Vesprin], trimeprazine [e.g., Temaril]), tricyclic antidepressants (medicine for depression), Heparin--There is an increased risk of side effects that may cause bleeding, other anticonvulsants 


Other Important Information About DEPAKOTE® (divalproex sodium) Tablets, DEPAKOTE® SPRINKLES AND DEPAKOTE ER® tablets

DEPAKOTE® tablets should be taken exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor to get the most benefits from DEPAKOTE® and reduce the risk of side effects. If you have taken more than the prescribed dose of DEPAKOTE®, contact your hospital emergency room or local poison center immediately. This medication was prescribed for your particular condition. Do not use it for another condition or give the drug to others.