Also known as: Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakote Sprinkles
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Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Epilepsy: I was put on Depakote when I was 17 when I started to have seizures due to head trauma from a motorcycle accident. Initially my dose was higher I don't remember exactly how high but then I was lowered to Depakote ER 500mg once a day. As long as I took my medicine and didn't drink as much as before and got regular sleep I did not have any seizures. When I've ran out of the medication and went out and drank (like an idiot) I had a seizure the next day. This happened to me like 3 times but it's my own fault. Anyway as long as I take it daily and control any other factors that could cause a seizure I'm seizure free. I've never had a seizure while taking this. First side effects were slight hair loss which stopped. But I did gain weight.
Depakote ER (divalproex sodium) for Migraine Prevention: After being on Depakote Er for 8 months, it was really effective in reducing the migraines. As side effects, I never gained one single pound, but the hair loss was just unbearable. I lost half of all my hair. I had to stop taking it, unfortunately. I have always had headaches, since I was a child. Before Depakote, I stayed one month having headaches every single day, had to stay in bed, couldn't even walk, and I felt like I reached the lowest point in my life, I wouldn't be able to live with the pain anymore, I had no life. After 2 weeks on Depakote er 500mg I started getting better. I was having only 8/10 per month. Now I'm on topiramate for 2 weeks, the hair is still falling a lot and the migraines are back, almost everyday.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: I have ADHD and Bipolar Type 2. I started seeing Depakote's first signs of mood stabilization after a week on 500mg daily (a very small dose). It was great to have a clear mind. At the low dose I've been on, I would say my Bipolar symptoms are about 75% under control, which is great. I can also sleep easier.
In terms of side-effects, all I've gotten are vivid dreams on a nightly basis (not nightmares, but sometimes uncomfortable) and very brief auditory hallucinations (hear a loud bang, like a door closing, stuff like that). The hallucinations happen about two times per night, but I've been through worse hallucinations on SSRIs, so I am not too concerned. I also take between 20 and 30mg Dexedrine ER per day for my ADHD.
It's been 3 weeks
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: Depakote was given to me for onset postpartum psychosis and underlying bipolar 1 as a mood stabilizer. It did it's job. Wonderful results mentally, obsessive thoughts were all but gone and combined with my antipsychotic, it made my life much better.
But, the weight gain was hellish. I have gained 11 pounds in two weeks, and am looking at switching at my appointment on Monday. So, not good if you are looking for a weight neutral mood stabilizer.
Review by gradstudent_10 (taken for 1 to 6 months):
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 five years ago and have been on many many medicines. I always took atypical antipsychotics, but never a true mood stabilizer. My new doctor put me on Depakote because I was getting neurological shaking symptoms from the atypical antipsychotic so she started me on Depakote and I have to say I love it. I'm up to 1000mg a day now, and as she lowers my atypical, she might have to increase the Depakote to 1500 mgs. No weight gain, in fact, I had weight loss. I was really hungry in the beginning and I might have gained a pound, but that went away and my appetite changed, vivid dreams (sometimes), but I can deal. I love this, I'm in such a better mood now.
21 users found this comment helpful.
Depakote ER (divalproex sodium) for Epilepsy: 51 yr old female, I've had seizures since I was 12, every kind, I was on every medicine under the sun. Taking Depakote ER and Carbatrol ER seems to be only meds that work for me. some side effects nothing I can't handle, better than having seizures all day. (tired, sometimes depressed, trembles, jerks). I have gran mal / tonic clonic about 1 every 10 years.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: Best medicine ever for me. Started with lithium after diagnosis for bipolar. Lithium gave terrible side effects so after switching to Depakote, life became much easier for a chemically challenged like me. Took almost 1 year before 100%.
18 users found this comment helpful.
Depakote ER (divalproex sodium) for Migraine Prevention: I've also been trying different preventive medication for migraines with my doctor and so far Depakote is working the best. I started with 250mg a day for the first week, now at 500 mg a day. Before this medication, I would wake up daily with chronic head pain in the neck or behind the eyes. Now I wake up almost every morning with a clear head. I haven't seen any side effects yet at this dosage and I've even lost weight since I've been proactive with daily exercise. I started walking 2 miles daily since taking this medication. With proactive exercise and eating habits, I think anyone can keep potential side effects at bay. Previously, I was on Topamax and had to stop taking it as the nausea/head fuzz was too severe for my line of work.
10 users found this comment helpful.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Migraine Prevention: I started back on Depakote 2 weeks ago. My headaches are better but my hands are shaky and my stomach aches. Better than a migraine so I will continue.
Review by crazytoo (taken for 6 months to 1 year):
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: Tried all other bi-polar medicines throughout the past 10 yrs. This one has the least side effects of them all. People tell me my behavior has vastly improved on Depakote. It's hard for me to see myself through other peoples eyes. But, sometimes maybe I should. Personally, for me, Depakote has been a life saver, I didn't want to live with it but find I can not live without it.
24 users found this comment helpful.
Review by Sweaty Mom (taken for 10 years or more):
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: I have been on Depakote for 10 years. I can tell that it does calm me down. As most people are saying in this forum it does make me very tired. The symptoms that I have had for 10 years are extra sweating, (it seems to be coming from my scalp and down my face). Weight gain that I can't seem to lose, and I'm wondering if anyone else has a ringing or drumming in one or both ears. I've been to many Doctors just about my ear but they can't find anything wrong.
20 users found this comment helpful.
Review by 40 yr old woman (taken for less than 1 month):
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: I took Depakote for bipolar and the very first night I had very vivid dreams which turned into nightmares and audio visual hallucinations. It's been 3 days and my dreams are not back to normal yet.
I've read the reviews and it seems to work for most people. I haven't gotten a good night's sleep.
My doctor put me back on Trileptal 300 mgs twice a day.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: I've been on Depakote for 10 days. I also take 250mgs of quetiapine 50 mgs. My psychiatrist is reluctant to diagnose bipolar but seems to be treating me for it. I feel calmer so far on Depakote, but still feel a bit down. I was a bit high my psychiatrist said I wasn't manic.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: I was just newly diagnosed with bi-polar. I started feeling the effects of my antidepressants as they made me feel too euphoric and unhinged. There are days when I feel as though I can conquer the world and nothing can stand in my way and days when I feel low, as though the world is on top of me. Sometimes, I can laugh and then cry out of nowhere. It's like a roller-coaster ride that seems to get out of control. Anyway, I tried the lamotrigine and I could feel that it was stabilizing me, but it caused brain zaps. Now I am on Depakote @ 250 mg twice daily and I feel really good. It just depends on your system. Everyone is different. You have to find what is right for you.
21 users found this comment helpful.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Epilepsy: I was on Depakote for many years and in 2001 I had a case of a high fever which was finally diagnosed as Drug Related Hepatitis after 3+ weeks in the hospital and having almost every test under the sun. After I was taken off Depakote my fever went down and I lost approximately 15 pounds.
Review by Patient67 (taken for 6 months to 1 year):
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: I started up on 250mg and ended up at 1500mg. I noticed very subtle effects if any. Hard to remember, I went through a lot and was on Seroquel also at the time. Seemed to have a slight calming effect. However after time it raised my liver enzymes and lowered my platelet count (which is a potential side effect) So I went off of it. I don't have many hypomanic episodes and never a manic episode so I don't know why my dose got that high. Didn't notice anything significant. Gained 20 lbs, made me sick and tired. Wasn't for me.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: Could not afford Abilify out of pocket, started back on Depakote. I had no problem with gain weight. I do however find I tend to be a little more moody but less frequently. I take with bupropion XR. Seems to be a decent cocktail. Not too potent, and not under effective. I like how it does not create a sedative effect like antipsychotics.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: Have been Bipolar since 89. I have been on Depakote for 9 years, 500 mg x 3. I went from 210lbs to 304lbs. I have been on just about everything over the years. A little bit lethargic, but this seems to have stabilized me the best.
10 users found this comment helpful.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: For mood stabilization, depakote worked out well for me, but it also helped me gain about 50 lbs! Once I started slowly switching off it, the pounds started coming off.
16 users found this comment helpful.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Migraine Prevention: Got on it for migraines, it worked great for the first 8 months. The last 4 months I've gotten depressed, panic attacks. I lost weight so weight gain wasn't an issue but I've always had issue with weight loss and not gaining. Made me lose appetite a lot and I was never thirsty either.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Bipolar Disorder: I've been on this for 3 weeks now. It has definitely helped my mania. But I'm still very depressed. I've been having very vivid nightmares. Which is strange because I take medicine for those. I also take Ambien and citolopram. I feel like that's a lot of chemicals in my body. I am a drinker but that hasn't seemed to affect anything. My side effects are pretty much exactly what I've been told and read up on. With the exception of the bad dreams. Blood work must be fine. Doc hasn't called. So far so good.
11 users found this comment helpful.
Review by chandlaaz (taken for less than 1 month):
Depakote (divalproex sodium) for Epilepsy: I take this medicine for unexplained seizures. The doctor said they were caused by severe panic attacks. I don't know. It has helped a lot. But the side effects are terrible. Stomach burning, nausea, itching, drowsiness, and much more. I take 1000mg dose.
13 users found this comment helpful.
Depakote ER (divalproex sodium) for Migraine Prevention: Medication was very effective at controlling silent migraines but long term use (more than 10 years) has resulted in a 60 pound weight gain, hair loss and shakiness. Recently have felt very fatigued and confused.
10 users found this comment helpful.
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