Bipolar Jacket

Depakote (Valproate)

Depakote or valproate or valproic acid is a type of mood stabilizer that can help to reduce the severity and frequency of the mood swings seen in bipolar disorder.

Depakote works by increasing the levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate brain activity and reduce anxiety. By increasing GABA levels, valproic acid can help to stabilize mood and reduce the risk of manic and depressive episodes.

Valproic acid is usually taken orally, either as a tablet or a liquid. It is typically prescribed by a healthcare professional and the dose and frequency of use will depend on the individual’s specific symptoms and medical history. It is important to take valproic acid exactly as prescribed and to follow any instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

Dosage Information

The dosage of Depakote for bipolar disorder can vary depending on the individual patient and the severity of their symptoms. The dosage may also depend on other factors, such as the presence of other medical conditions, the use of other medications, and the patient’s age and weight.

In general, the starting dose of Depakote for bipolar disorder is usually 250 mg taken orally twice daily, and the dose may be increased by 250-500 mg per day every 2-3 days, depending on the individual response and tolerability. The maintenance dose is typically in the range of 750-2500 mg per day, taken in divided doses.

However, the specific dosages may vary depending on the type of bipolar disorder and the presence of other medical conditions. For example, patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder may require higher dosages of Depakote compared to patients with less severe forms of the disorder.

It is important to note that Depakote should always be taken exactly as prescribed by a healthcare provider, and the dosage should not be changed without first consulting with them. Patients taking Depakote should be monitored regularly for any side effects or changes in symptoms, and they should inform their healthcare provider of any concerns they may have.

Potential Side Effects of Depakote (Valproate)

Some of the common side effects of depakote include:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Drowsiness or fatigue
  3. Tremors or shakiness
  4. Dizziness
  5. Weight gain
  6. Hair loss
  7. Changes in appetite
  8. Changes in menstrual cycle
  9. Mood changes
  10. Liver problems

In rare cases, depakote can also cause more serious side effects, such as pancreatitis, low platelet count, and allergic reactions. It is important to talk to a doctor or pharmacist about any concerns or side effects experienced while taking valproate.

Other Mood Stabilizers

You can learn more about medications used to treat bipolar disorder here: medications. These include mood stabilizers like those about, antipsychotics, and antidepressants.