Depakote, also known as valproic acid, is a medication used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines. While it can be an effective treatment, like all medications, it comes with potential side effects. In this article, we will explore the various side effects of Depakote.
Common Side Effects of Depakote
The most common side effects of Depakote include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own after a few days or weeks. Other common side effects include headache, tremors, and fatigue.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of Depakote. They may occur when you first start taking the medication or when your dosage is increased. To minimize these side effects, take Depakote with food and drink plenty of water.
Dizziness is another common side effect of Depakote. It may make you feel lightheaded or unsteady on your feet. To avoid dizziness, get up slowly from a sitting or lying position.
Headaches are a common side effect of Depakote. They may occur when you first start taking the medication or when your dosage is increased. To relieve headaches, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Tremors, or involuntary shaking, are a common side effect of Depakote. They may occur when you first start taking the medication or when your dosage is increased. To reduce tremors, your doctor may lower your dosage or prescribe a different medication.
Fatigue, or extreme tiredness, is a common side effect of Depakote. It may make it difficult to stay awake or concentrate. To combat fatigue, get plenty of rest and try to maintain a regular sleep schedule.
Serious Side Effects of Depakote
While most side effects of Depakote are mild, some can be serious and require medical attention. These include:
Depakote can cause liver damage, especially in children under the age of two. Symptoms of liver damage include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and yellowing of the skin and eyes. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Depakote can also cause pancreatitis, a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Symptoms of pancreatitis include severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Depakote can cause blood disorders, such as low platelet count and anemia. Symptoms of these conditions include easy bruising or bleeding, fatigue, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Depakote can cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy. These defects can include neural tube defects, cleft palate, and heart defects. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking Depakote.
Depakote can be an effective treatment for epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines, but it comes with potential side effects. While most side effects are mild and go away on their own, some can be serious and require medical attention. If you experience any side effects while taking Depakote, talk to your doctor to determine the best course of action.