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Depakene is a prescription drug that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1978 to treat epilepsy. Depakene is also referred to by its drug name, Valproate or Valproic acid. Another drug, Depakote, metabolizes into Valproate within the body. Therefore, the two drugs are very similar in their effects. Depakene can help control absence seizures, tonic-clonic seizures, and related types of seizures.

Depakene is an acidic chemical compound used as an anticonvulsant and mood stabilizer. Depakene is believed to work by changing the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain.

How do I take it?
Your doctor may take regular blood tests while you are on Depakene in order to monitor blood levels of the medication. Your doctor will likely begin you on a very low dose of Depakene and increase the dosage gradually in order to avoid side effects.

Depakene is taken orally as a tablet, capsule, or liquid one or more times a day. Depakene can be taken with food if stomach upset occurs.

Do not stop taking Depakene suddenly. If you decide to stop taking Depakene, consult your physician for a plan to taper off gradually.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Depakene.

Side effects
Rare but serious side effects of Depakene can include liver damage, suicidal thoughts, bleeding disorders, and pancreatitis.

Common side effects of Depakene are diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, tremors, hair loss, depression, unsteadiness, and changes in vision, hearing, menstrual cycle or weight. Depakene can cause extreme sleepiness in older adults.

Notify your doctor if side effects worsen, or if partial tablets appear in stools while taking Depakene. Call your doctor if you experience abdominal pain, vomiting, and lack of appetite, which can be signs of pancreatitis. Also, contact your physician if you notice chest pain, easy bruising or bleeding, swelling of your hands or feet, yellowing of the eyes or skin, sudden confusion, or suicidal thoughts while taking Depakene.

Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.

For answers to frequently asked questions about exposure to Valproic acid during pregnancy and breastfeeding, visit the experts at

Depakene (Valproic acid) for Epilepsy Questions

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