Depakene (Valproic Acid) from Maple Leaf Medications.
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What is Depakene Used For?
Depakene is an anticonvulsant medication used alone or with other medications to treat seizures. This medication is used mostly for absence seizures but may also be used for primary generalized seizures and tonic-clonic seizures.
How Does Depakene Work?
Depakene uses the active ingredient valproic acid, belonging to a class of drugs known as anti-epileptic drugs, or AEDs. AEDs are commonly used to treat seizures because of a special interaction they have with the brain. While this interaction is not fully understood, experts believe that it works by affecting the ion channels in the brain. These ion channels are normally responsible for sending electrical signals to the brain and back to the body in a process that controls motor functions. When seizures occur, it’s thought that these ion channels are over-active. Thus, by blocking the channels, Depakene prevents and treats onset seizures.
Who Should Not Use It?
Do not use this medication if you have a medical history involving liver failure, liver disease, kidney disease, urinary problems, porphyria, or a rare DNA disease called Alpers-Huttenlocher Syndrome.
Do not use this medication if you are epileptic.
Do not use this medication if you have a known hypersensitivity to any ingredient used to make Depakene.
If you are pregnant, planning pregnancy, or nursing; you should not take this medication. This drug can be harmful to babies and unborn children and can pass through breast milk. Fetal harm can cause permanent damage in some cases. Talk to your doctor about when it’s safe for you to start using Depakene again after a pregnancy.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery after using this medication. Drowsiness is a common side effect of this medication. Tasks that require high alertness including driving or operating heavy equipment should be avoided entirely when beginning treatment with this drug until the effect it has on you is known and can be managed.
In some cases, this medication can cause paradoxical seizures. Speak to your doctor if your seizures aren’t getting better or if they’re worsening.
If you, for any reason, wish to stop using this medication, speak with your doctor before making any changes to your dosage. Never make independent changes to your dosage unless you have your doctor’s expressed consent to do so.
Stopping the use of this medication suddenly can cause withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and require medical attention. Call for emergency medical services at the first sign of a withdrawal including severe or excessive sweating, panic attacks, anxiety, and restlessness.
Depakene Side Effects
Side Effects are based on clinical trials and may not reflect all of the possible side effects of this drug. If you experience any side effects not listed here, tell your doctor right away.
Common side effects include:
- Weight gain
If any of these side effects are extremely bothersome or don’t go away, contact your doctor for advice. In some rare cases, some serious side effects may occur. Talk to your doctor immediately if you encounter any of the following side effects:
- Mood changes
- Increase in seizures
- Sudden urination
- Abdominal pain
- Rapid heart-beat
- Severe flu-like symptoms
- Hyperammonemia (High ammonia levels in the bloodstream): fatigue, weakness, irritability, appetite changes, mood changes
- Hypothermia: shivers, slurred speech, weak pulse, confusion, shortness of breath.
- Kidney problems: nausea, vomiting, increased thirst, blood in urine, edema, dark urine, jaundice
- Liver disease: Itchy skin, nausea, loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice
You should always listen to your doctor’s recommendations and follow their instructions for doing exactly as given. Your dosage may depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of your condition, previous medical conditions, weight, age, and the use of other medications.
Depakene is indicated for adults and children over the age of 10.
The initial recommended dose is one 10 to 15 mg/kg taken daily. The dosage will likely be increased every week until the most effective dose is reached.
Take this medication with or without food. If you are experiencing gastrointestinal side effects including nausea, constipation, flatulence, diarrhea, or vomiting; it may be beneficial for you to take this medication with a meal. This is to help the medicine absorb into the body properly and mitigate gastrointestinal side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There a Difference Between Depakene and Depakote?
The indications for both of these drugs are very similar, however, they are made using different formulas. Depakote is made using the active ingredient divalproex sodium and comes in delayed-release tablets. Depakote is used to treat seizures, manic depressive episodes, and migraine headache attacks.
Valproic Acid, Valproic EC
Capsule, Delayed Release Capsule
Maple Leaf Medications has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Depakene (Valproic Acid). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Depakene (Valproic Acid).