Valproate Sodium Injection

What is this medication?

VALPROATE SODIUM (val PRO ate SO dee um) prevents and controls seizures in people with epilepsy. It works by calming overactive nerves in your body.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Depacon

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Frequently drink alcohol
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Low platelet counts
  • Mitochondrial disease
  • Suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt by you or a family member
  • Urea cycle disorder (UCD)
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to divalproex sodium, sodium valproate, valproic acid, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is for infusion into a vein. It is given by your care team in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for children as young as 10 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

  • Sodium phenylbutyrate

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Aspirin
  • Certain antibiotics, such as ertapenem, imipenem, meropenem
  • Certain medications for depression, anxiety, or mental health conditions
  • Certain medications for seizures, such as carbamazepine, clonazepam, diazepam, ethosuximide, felbamate, lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, rufinamide, topiramate
  • Certain medications that treat or prevent blood clots, such as warfarin
  • Estrogen or progestin hormones
  • Rifampin
  • Ritonavir
  • Tolbutamide
  • Zidovudine

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your care team if your symptoms do not get better or they start to get worse.

This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.

Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medication and dosage times.

You may get drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. To reduce dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening depression or thoughts of suicide. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your care team.

Women should inform their care team if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your care team or pharmacist for more information. Women who become pregnant while using this medication may enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. This registry collects information about the safety of antiepileptic medication use during pregnancy.

This medication may cause a decrease in folic acid and vitamin D. You should make sure that you get enough vitamins while you are taking this medication. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your care team.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • High ammonia level—unusual weakness or fatigue, confusion, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, seizures
  • Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • Low body temperature, drowsiness, confusion
  • Pancreatitis—severe stomach pain that spreads to your back or gets worse after eating or when touched, fever, nausea, vomiting
  • Rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Change in taste
  • Change in vision
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Pain, redness, or irritation at injection site

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This medication is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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