Generic name: Valproic acid.

Depakene is an anticonvulsant. It reduces excessive stimulation in the brain. 

Quick Facts About Depakene


Used to treat seizures and convulsions. Also used to treat the manic phase of bipolar disorder and to treat migraines.

Depakene Dosage

May take with food to avoid digestive system irritation. Swallow capsules whole to prevent mouth and throat irritation. Depakene should be stopped gradually, as directed by your doctor.

  • Usual adult dose: 15 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, up to 60 milligrams per 2.2 pounds per day.
  • Usual child dose: follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children.
  • Missed dose: for 1 dose per day — take as soon as possible, unless it is the next day. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. For multiple doses — take as soon as possible, if within 6 hours of scheduled time. Take the rest of the doses for the day at equally spaced intervals. Do not double doses.

Depakene Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

coma, extreme drowsiness, heart problems. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: indigestion, nausea, vomiting.

Less common or rare Depakene side effects: abdominal cramps, aggression, anemia, bleeding, blood disorders, breast enlargement, breast milk not associated with pregnancy or nursing, bruising, changes in behavior, coma, constipation, depression, diarrhea, difficulty in speaking, dizziness, double vision, drowsiness, emotional upset, fever, hair loss (temporary), hallucinations, headache, involuntary eye movements, involuntary jerking or tremors, irregular menstrual periods, itching, lack of coordination, liver disease, loss of bladder control, loss of or increased appetite, overactivity, rash, sedation, sensitivity to light, skin eruptions or peeling, spots before the eyes, swelling of the arms and legs due to fluid retention, swollen glands, weakness, weight loss or gain.


Inform your doctor before combining Depakene with:

aspirin; barbiturates such as phenobarbital and Seconal; blood thinners such as Coumadin; carbamazepine (Tegretol); clonazepam (Klonopin); cyclosporine (Sandimmune); Dicumarol; ethosuximide (Zarontin); felbamate (Felbatol); isoniazid (Nydrazid); oral contraceptives; phenytoin (Dilantin); primidone (Mysoline). Watch for extreme drowsiness if you take Halcion, Restoril, or Xanax with Depakene.

Alcohol causes extreme drowsiness if used while taking Depakene. 

Special Cautions

Depakene may cause harm to a fetus and should not be taken unless it is essential for seizure control. If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Depakene appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children. Children under 2 years are especially at risk, more so if they are taking other anticonvulsant medicines, or are mentally retarded.

  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Can cause serious liver damage, often within the first 6 months of therapy.
  • Risk of liver damage decreases with age. Should not take if you have liver disease.
  • If you have had an allergic reaction to Depakene, you should not take.
  • Your doctor will test your blood regularly due to the potential for side effects such as bruising, hemorrhaging, or clotting.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Depakene before surgical or dental procedures.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Depakene side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.