Valproate Sodium (VAL-proe-ate SOE-dee-um)
Treats seizures. This medicine is an anticonvulsant.
Depacon, Novaplus Valproate SodiumThere may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to divalproex, valproate sodium, or valproic acid. You should not receive this medicine if you are pregnant, or if you have liver disease or certain genetic disorders (such as urea cycle disorder or mitochondrial disorder, including Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome).
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
- A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use aspirin, rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), tolbutamide, zidovudine (Retrovir®), other seizure medicines (such as carbamazepine, ethosuximide, felbamate, lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate, Dilantin®, Felbatol®, Lamictal®, Mysoline®, Tegretol®, Topamax®), medicine for sleeping or nerves (such as clonazepam, diazepam, Klonopin®, Valium®), medicine to treat infections (such as ertapenem, imipenem/cilastatin, meropenem, Invanz®, Merrem®, Primaxin®), medicine to treat depression (such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, Elavil®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®).
- Alcohol, narcotic pain relievers, or sleeping pills may cause you to feel more lightheaded, dizzy, or faint when used with this medicine. Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or use pain relievers or sleeping pills.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant, especially during the first trimester, can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine. Talk to your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, pancreas problems, blood disease, brain disease, or a history of depression or mental illness.
- Tell your doctor right away if you have dark urine or pale stools, loss of appetite, stomach pain, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of serious kidney or liver problems.
- Tell your doctor right away if you have sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, or a fever. These could be symptoms of pancreatitis.
- This medicine can cause problems with certain types of blood cells. Tell your doctor right away if you have swollen glands or unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Check with your doctor right away if you have unusual tiredness or weakness, confusion, memory problems, or vomiting. These may be symptoms of a serious condition called hyperammonemic encephalopathy.
- Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Confusion, problems with memory, muscle twitching, problems with balance, walking, or speech
- Dark urine or pale stools, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, or body aches
- Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Anxiety, agitation, depression, restlessness, trouble sleeping
- Blurred vision, dizziness
- Constipation, diarrhea
- Hair loss
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
- Runny or stuffy nose