Skip to Content

Depakote Side Effects

Generic Name: divalproex sodium

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of divalproex sodium. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Depakote.

Not all side effects for Depakote may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to divalproex sodium: oral capsule delayed release, oral syrup, oral tablet delayed release, oral tablet enteric coated, oral tablet extended release

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by divalproex sodium (the active ingredient contained in Depakote). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking divalproex sodium:

More common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • confusion
  • cough or hoarseness
  • crying
  • delusions
  • dementia
  • depersonalization
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • dysphoria
  • euphoria
  • fever or chills
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • mental depression
  • muscle aches and pains
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • painful or difficult urination
  • paranoia
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • quick to react or overreact emotionally
  • rapid weight gain
  • rapidly changing moods
  • runny nose
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • shivering
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sore throat
  • sweating
  • tightness in the chest
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vomiting
Less common
  • Abnormal dreams
  • absence of or decrease in body movement
  • anxiety
  • bloody nose
  • blurred vision
  • bruising burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • change in personality
  • change in walking and balance
  • changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cloudy urine
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • cold sweats
  • constipation
  • darkened urine
  • degenerative disease of the joint
  • difficulty with moving
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • dry mouth
  • excessive muscle tone
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling of warmth or heat
  • flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • heavy non-menstrual vaginal bleeding
  • hyperventilation
  • increased need to urinate
  • indigestion
  • lack of coordination
  • large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin
  • leg cramps
  • lip smacking or puckering
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of strength or energy
  • multiple swollen and inflamed skin lesions
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • muscle tension or tightness
  • normal menstrual bleeding occurring earlier, possibly lasting longer than expected
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • passing urine more often
  • pounding in the ears
  • puffing of the cheeks
  • rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue
  • rapid weight gain
  • restlessness
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • slurred speech
  • small red or purple spots on the skin
  • sweating
  • swollen joints
  • trouble with speaking
  • twitching
  • uncontrolled chewing movements
  • uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • yellow eyes or skin

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking divalproex sodium, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Change in consciousness
  • fainting
  • loss of consciousness
  • slow or irregular heartbeat

Some of the side effects that can occur with divalproex sodium may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • body aches or pain
  • change in vision
  • congestion
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • hearing loss
  • heartburn
  • impaired vision
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss of memory
  • problems with memory
  • rash
  • seeing double
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • trouble with swallowing
  • uncontrolled eye movements
  • voice changes
  • weight gain
  • weight loss
Less common
  • Absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods
  • back pain
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • change in taste or bad unusual or unpleasant (after) taste
  • coin-shaped lesions on the skin
  • cough producing mucus
  • cramps
  • dandruff
  • discharge or excessive tearing
  • dry skin
  • earache
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • eye pain
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • full feeling
  • heavy bleeding
  • increased appetite
  • itching of the vagina or genital area
  • itching skin
  • loss of bowel control
  • neck pain
  • oily skin
  • pain
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • passing gas
  • rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
  • redness or swelling in the ear
  • redness, pain, swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
  • sensation of spinning
  • sneezing
  • stiff neck
  • stopping of menstrual bleeding
  • thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to divalproex sodium: oral delayed release capsule, oral delayed release tablet, oral tablet extended release

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Abdominal pain, diarrhea, dyspepsia, gingival disorder, nausea, vomiting
Common (1% to 10%): Constipation, dry mouth, eructation, fecal incontinence, flatulence, gastralgia, gastroenteritis, glossitis, periodontal abscess, hematemesis, stomatitis
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pancreatitis (life-threatening)[Ref]

Hepatic

Common (1% to 10%): Increased liver enzymes (particularly early in treatment), liver injury, SGOT increased, SGPT increased
Frequency not reported: Severe liver damage (including hepatic failure sometimes resulting in death), increased serum bilirubin, abnormal changes in other liver function tests[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Dizziness, headache, somnolence, tremor
Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal gait, amnesia, catatonic reaction, convulsion, disturbance in attention, dysarthria, extrapyramidal disorder, hypertonia, hypokinesia, incoordination, increased reflexes, memory impairment, nystagmus, paresthesia, speech disorder, stupor, tardive dyskinesia, taste perversion
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Ataxia, coma, encephalopathy, lethargy, reversible Parkinsonism
Rare (less than 0.1%): Cognitive disorder, reversible dementia associated with reversible cerebral atrophy
Frequency not reported: Cerebral atrophy, dementia[Ref]

Hematologic

Very common (10% or more): Thrombocytopenia
Common (1% to 10%): Anemia, hemorrhage
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Leucopenia, pancytopenia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Abnormal coagulation tests (e.g., prolonged prothrombin time, prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time, prolonged thrombin time, prolonged INR), agranulocytosis, bone marrow failure, decreased coagulation factors, including pure red cell aplasia, macrocytosis
Frequency not reported: Aplastic anemia, bone marrow suppression, bruising, eosinophilia, frank hemorrhage, hypofibrinogenemia, anemia including macrocytic with or without folate deficiency, relative lymphocytosis[Ref]

Respiratory

Very common (10% or more): Flu syndrome, respiratory infection
Common (1% to 10%): Bronchitis, dyspnea, epistaxis, increased cough, pharyngitis, pneumonia, rhinitis, sinusitis
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pleural effusion[Ref]

Renal

Rare (less than 0.1%): Reversible Fanconi's syndrome, tubulointerstitial nephritis[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Edema, hypertension, hypotension, palpitations, postural hypotension, peripheral edema, tachycardia, vasodilation
Frequency not reported: Bradycardia, cutaneous vasculitis, hematoma formation[Ref]

Endocrine

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hyperandrogenism, syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hypothyroidism
Frequency not reported: Abnormal thyroid function tests, elevated serum testosterone concentrations, parotid gland swelling[Ref]

Dermatologic

Very common (10% or more): Alopecia
Common (1% to 10%): Discoid lupus erythematosus, dry skin, ecchymosis, furunculosis, maculopapular rash, petechia, pruritus, rash, seborrhea
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal hair texture, abnormal hair growth, hair color changes, sweating
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Acne, hirsutism
Frequency not reported: Angioedema, generalized pruritus, photosensitivity[Ref]

Genitourinary

Common (1% to 10%): Amenorrhea, cystitis, dysmenorrhea, dysuria, enuresis, metrorrhagia, urinary incontinence, urinary frequency, vaginal hemorrhage, vaginitis
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Gynecomastia
Frequency not reported: Breast enlargement, galactorrhea, polycystic ovary disease[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, hypersensitivity[Ref]

Metabolic

Very common (10% or more): Anorexia
Common (1% to 10%): Weight loss/gain, increased appetite, hyponatremia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hyperammonemia
Frequency not reported: Acute intermittent porphyria, minor elevations of LDH (dose related), decreased carnitine concentrations, hyperglycinemia[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Arthralgia, arthrosis, leg cramps, myalgia, myasthenia, twitching
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Decreased bone mineral density, osteopenia, osteoporosis and fractures on long term therapy
Rare (less than 0.1%): Rhabdomyolysis, systemic lupus erythematosus
Frequency not reported: Bone pain[Ref]

Ocular

Very common (10% or more): Amblyopia/blurred vision, diplopia
Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal vision, conjunctivitis, diplopia, dry eyes, eye pain[Ref]

Oncologic

Rare (less than 0.1%): Myelodysplastic syndrome[Ref]

Other

Very common (10% or more): Asthenia
Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, chills, deafness, ear disorder, ear pain, face edema, fever, malaise, otitis media, tinnitus, vertigo
Frequency not reported: Hypothermia, weakness[Ref]

Psychiatric

Very common (10% or more): Nervousness
Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal dreams, agitation, anxiety, aggression, confusion, depression, emotional lability, hallucinations, insomnia, personality disorder, thinking abnormalities
Rare (less than 0.1%): Abnormal behavior, learning disorder, psychomotor hyperactivity
Frequency not reported: Behavioral deterioration, hostility, psychosis[Ref]

References

1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. "Product Information. Depakote (divalproex sodium)." Abbott Pharmaceutical, Abbott Park, IL.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

Hide