Depakote ER (extended release) is a drug meant to control:
  • mania
  • migraines
  • seizures

It's valproate sodium, and it's unknown exactly how it works. There are some serious and complex potential side effects: liver failure & pancreatitis.
In my experience Depakote works best for migraine headaches when rapidly infused. Anything longer than five minutes when used intravenously doesn't work.

In fact I once had a nurse stand on a chair after tapping my vein and simply squeezed the bag as hard as she could until the contents were empty, less than a minute later. One of the side effects of this treatment is it tends to make you nauseous, but for those who have had migraines, you know side effects are of little consequence as long as the damn headache is gone.

Generic Name/ Manufacturer
Depakote is a brand name of the prescription drug divalproex sodium (sodium valproate plus valproic acid). It is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories of Abbott Park, Illinois.

Depakote is used to treat migraine headaches, epilepsy, and the mania associated with bipolar disorder. Mechanism
To quote the manufacturer, "The mechanisms by which valproate (Depakote's active ingredient) exerts its therapeutic effects have not been established". Though Abbott Labs suggests that the benefits may have something to do with increased GABA levels in the brain, little is understood about sodium valproate's pharmacodynamics.

Side Effects
Depakote is not an easy drug to take. Some side effects reported include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, sleepiness, ataxia, headache, nystagmus, double vision, dysarthria, dizziness, confusion, hypoesthesia, vertigo, alopecia, rash, depression, hallucinations, hyperactivity, menstrual irregularities, galactorrhea, enuresis, pancreatitus and hearing loss. Blood-related problems associated with Depakote include thrombocytopenia, petechiae, bruising, weight gain, hematoma formation, epistaxis, and hemorrhaging. Patients with liver or renal problems must be particularly cautious when taking Depakote as they may be unable to efficiently flush the drug from their bodies. Pregnant women are urged to avoid Depakote due to the risk of harm to the fetus.

Drug Interactions
Depakote may reduce the efficacy of protein-binding medications, including phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), warfarin (Coumadin), and tolbutamide (diabetes drug Orinase).

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