Generic name: Divalproex sodium (valporic acid).

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

Quick Facts About Depakote


Used to treat seizures and convulsions.

Depakote Dosage

May take with food to avoid stomach upset, swallowing tablet whole. Sprinkle capsule — can swallow whole or open it and mix the contents with soft food, swallowing without chewing.

  • Usual adult dose: 15 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, up to 60 milligrams. For total daily doses over 250 milligrams, your doctor may advise you to take smaller, separate doses.
  • Usual child dose: 15 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, up to 60 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day. For daily doses over 250 milligrams, your doctor may advise you to take smaller, separate doses.
  • 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.

Depakote Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

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

More common side effects: indigestion, nausea, vomiting.

Less common or rare Depakote side effects: abdominal cramping, abnormal milk secretion, aggression, anemia, behavior problems, bleeding, blood disorders, breast enlargement, bruising, coma, constipation, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, double vision, drowsiness, emotional upset, fever, hallucinations, headache, increased appetite, involuntary rapid movement of eyeball, irregular menstruation, itching, jerky movements, lack of muscular coordination, liver problems, loss of appetite, loss of bladder control, overactivity, sedation, seeing spots before your eyes, sensitivity to light, skin eruptions or peeling, skin rash, speech difficulties, swelling of arms due to fluid retention, swollen glands, temporary hair loss, tremor, weakness, weight loss or gain.


Inform your doctor before combining Depakote with:

aspirin; barbiturates such as phenobarbital and Seconal; blood thinners such as Coumadin; cyclosporine (Sandimmune); felbamate (Felbatol); isoniazid (Nydrazid); oral contraceptives; other seizure medications including carbamazepine (Tegretol), clonazepam (Klonopin), ethosuximide (Zarontin), and phenytoin (Dilantin); primidone (Mysoline); sleep aids such as Halcion; tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax.

Do not drink alcohol during Depakote therapy; its effects are increased.

Special Cautions

Depakote 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. Depakote 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 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 Depakote or other epilepsy drugs, you should not take.
  • Monitor bleeding; Depakote prolongs the time it takes blood to clot.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Depakote 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 Depakote side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.