Depakote and Depakote ER are brand-name prescription medications. They’re FDA-approved in the treatment of bipolar disorder, epilepsy, and migraine.

Depakote medication comes in three forms:

  • Depakote delayed-release tablets are approved to:
    • help prevent migraine in adults
  • Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules are approved to:
    • treat certain types of seizures (complex partial seizures and absence seizures) in adults and children ages 10 years and older with epilepsy
  • Depakote ER (extended-release) tablets are approved to:
    • help prevent migraine in adults
    • treat certain types of seizures (complex partial seizures and absence seizures) in adults and children ages 10 years and older with epilepsy

Depakote medications are approved for these uses in certain situations and with certain limitations. To read more about how these medications are used, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER uses” section below.

Drug details

Depakote and Depakote ER contain the active drug divalproex sodium.* They belong to a class of drugs called anticonvulsants. These are also called antiepileptics or seizure medications.

The three forms of Depakote come in different strengths:

  • Delayed-release oral tablet: 125 milligrams (mg), 250 mg, and 500 mg.
  • Delayed-release sprinkle capsule: 125 mg. You can swallow the capsule whole, or you can open it and sprinkle the contents on soft food.
  • Extended-release tablet: 250 mg and 500 mg.

* Divalproex sodium belongs to a group of medications known as valproate products. All of these medications are approved to treat seizures.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Depakote and Depakote ER, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER uses” section below.

Depakote and Depakote ER are brand-name drugs that contain the active drug divalproex sodium. This active drug is also available as a generic medication. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.

The generic versions of Depakote and Depakote ER are:

  • divalproex sodium DR (delayed-release) tablet
  • divalproex sodium DR sprinkle capsule
  • divalproex sodium ER (extended-release) tablet

The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

If you’re interested in taking a generic form of Depakote, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if it comes in suitable forms and strengths for your condition.

Depakote and Depakote ER can cause mild or serious side effects, which are also called adverse effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking either drug. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Depakote and Depakote ER, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Depakote and Depakote ER, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Depakote and Depakote ER can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* To learn about other side effects from Depakote and Depakote ER, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also view the prescribing information for Depakote delayed-release tablets, Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules, or Depakote ER tablets.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Depakote and Depakote ER aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

  • Thrombocytopenia (low levels of platelets in your blood). Symptoms can include:
    • bruising more easily than usual
    • taking longer than usual to stop bleeding
  • Hyperammonemia (high level of ammonia in your blood). Symptoms can include:
    • vomiting
    • feeling unusually tired
    • headache
    • balance problems
  • Hypothermia (body temperature below 95°F/35°C). Symptoms can include:
    • problems moving or thinking
    • confusion
    • slurred speech
    • slow or shallow breathing
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Symptoms can include:
    • new or worsening agitation (unable to sit or stand still) or restlessness
    • anger, aggression, or irritability
    • other unusual or sudden changes in your emotions, moods, or behaviors
    • thoughts about dying or harming yourself
  • Severe liver damage.*†
  • Pancreatitis.*†
  • Allergic reaction.*
  • Fetal harm if taken during pregnancy.‡

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.
† Depakote and Depakote ER have a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.
‡ Depakote and Depakote ER have a boxed warning for this side effect. For more information, see “Depakote and Depakote ER and pregnancy” below.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 800-273-8255.

Click here for more links and local resources.

Side effects in children vs. side effects in adults

Depakote and Depakote ER are approved to treat certain types of seizures in children ages 10 years and older.

The medications may cause side effects in children similar to those in adults.

If you have any questions about side effects from Depakote or Depakote ER in your child, talk with their doctor.

Side effect details

Here are some details on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Severe liver damage

Depakote and Depakote ER can cause severe liver damage that, in some cases, may lead to death. The drugs have a boxed warning about this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

It’s not known how often liver damage occurs with Depakote and Depakote ER.

Symptoms of liver damage with Depakote and Depakote ER may include:

Liver damage is most likely to occur during the first 6 months of treatment with Depakote or Depakote ER. The risk is highest in people with mitochondrial disorders*, and in children younger than age 2 years. (Depakote and Depakote ER are not approved for use in this age group.)

Steps your doctor may take

Due to the risk of liver damage, doctors typically won’t prescribe Depakote or Depakote ER if you already have liver problems. They also typically won’t prescribe either drug if you have certain mitochondrial disorders, such as Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome.

Before you start taking Depakote or Depakote ER, your doctor will likely order blood tests to check your liver function. You’ll need to have further blood tests to monitor your liver throughout your treatment, but especially during the first 6 months.

If you have symptoms of liver damage while taking Depakote or Depakote ER, talk with your doctor right away. If the medication affects your liver, your doctor will typically recommend that you stop taking the drug. They’ll likely switch you to a different treatment for your condition. However, in some cases, liver damage may continue even after you stop taking the drug.

* Mitochondrial disorders are rare conditions caused by genetic changes that affect mitochondria (structures inside cells that produce energy).

Pancreatitis

Depakote and Depakote ER can cause severe pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) that, in some cases, may lead to death. The medications have a boxed warning about this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

It’s not known how often pancreatitis occurs with Depakote and Depakote ER.

Symptoms of pancreatitis may include:

  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • severe pain in the abdomen that may spread to the back

Pancreatitis can develop at any time during treatment with Depakote or Depakote ER.

If you have symptoms of pancreatitis while taking Depakote or Depakote ER, talk with your doctor right away. If your doctor diagnoses you with pancreatitis, they will usually recommend that you stop taking Depakote or Depakote ER. They’ll likely switch you to a different treatment for your condition.

Side effects in older people

People ages 65 years and older are more likely to feel very sleepy while taking Depakote or Depakote ER. Sometimes, severe sleepiness can cause older adults to eat or drink less than usual. This could lead to dehydration or weight loss.

Due to the risk of sleepiness, your doctor will usually prescribe a lower dose of Depakote or Depakote ER than usual if you’re ages 65 years or older.

Talk with your doctor if you feel very sleepy or if you’re not able to eat or drink as usual while taking the medication. They may lower your dose of Depakote or Depakote ER. If this doesn’t make you less sleepy, your doctor may recommend switching to a different medication for your condition.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Depakote or Depakote ER.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Depakote or Depakote ER, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency.

The Depakote or Depakote ER dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using Depakote or Depakote ER to treat
  • your age
  • your body weight
  • whether you take Depakote or Depakote ER (and which form of Depakote you use)
  • other conditions you may have
  • other medications you may take
  • if you’re experiencing certain side effects from Depakote or Depakote ER

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms

Depakote and Depakote ER come in these forms:

Depakote delayed-release tablets. These tablets have a special coating that stops your stomach acid from breaking them down. The medication is released after the tablet has passed through your stomach. They’re usually taken two or three times per day.

Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules. The sprinkle capsules contain pellets that have a special delayed-release coating. This stops your stomach acid from breaking them down. The medication is released after the pellets have passed through your stomach.

The sprinkle capsules can be swallowed whole. If you have trouble swallowing tablets or capsules, Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules may be a good option for you. You can open these capsules and sprinkle their contents on soft food. They’re usually taken two or three times per day.

Depakote ER (extended-release) tablets. The extended-release tablets release the medication slowly into your body over 24 hours. You only need to take them once per day.

Your doctor will help you decide which form of Depakote will work the best to treat your condition. Depakote ER should only be taken once per day. Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules can be opened and mixed with food for people who have difficulty swallowing.

Depakote delayed-release tablet strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg

Depakote delayed-release tablets come in three strengths: 125 milligrams (mg), 250 mg, and 500 mg.

Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsule strength: 125 mg

Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules come in one strength: 125 mg.

Depakote ER tablet strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg

Depakote ER tablets come in two strengths: 250 mg and 500 mg.

Dosage for treatment of manic or mixed episodes related to bipolar disorder

Depakote delayed-release tablets are approved to treat manic episodes related to bipolar disorder in adults. The typical starting dosage for this use is 750 mg per day. This daily dosage is usually split into two or three separate doses. Your doctor will instruct you on what dose to take and how often.

Depakote ER tablets are approved to treat manic and mixed episodes related to bipolar disorder in adults. The usual starting dosage for this use is 25 milligrams per kilogram* (mg/kg) of body weight per day. For example, a person who weighs 60 kg (about 132 pounds [lb]) would start by taking 1,500 mg of Depakote ER once per day.

If needed, your doctor may increase your dosage until your symptoms improve or until the amount of medication in your blood reaches a certain level. The maximum recommended dosage for both Depakote delayed-release tablets and Depakote ER tablets is 60 mg/kg of body weight per day.

Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules are not approved for treatment of bipolar disorder.

* 1 kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb).

Dosage for prevention of migraine

Depakote delayed-release tablets and Depakote ER tablets are approved to help prevent migraine in adults.

For Depakote delayed-release tablets, the usual starting dosage is 250 mg taken twice per day. If needed, your doctor may increase your dose up to 1,000 mg per day. Your doctor will advise you on what dose to take and how often.

For Depakote ER tablets, the typical starting dosage is 500 mg taken once per day for a week. If needed, your doctor may then increase your dosage up to 1,000 mg once per day.

Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules are not approved to help prevent migraine.

Dosage for treatment of certain types of seizures

All forms of Depakote are approved to treat complex partial seizures or absence seizures (previously known as petit mal seizures) in adults and children ages 10 years and older. These types of seizures may occur on their own or with other types of seizures. For this use, your doctor may prescribe Depakote on its own or in combination with other seizure medications.

For complex partial seizures

The typical starting dosage for all forms of Depakote is 10 mg/kg* to 15 mg/kg of body weight per day. For example, a person who weighs 60 kg (about 132 lb) would start by taking 600 mg to 900 mg per day.

In some cases, your doctor may split the starting dose into two or three separate doses. They’ll usually do this if:

  • you take Depakote delayed-release tablets or sprinkle capsules and
  • your starting dosage is higher than 250 mg per day

Your doctor will advise you on what dose to take and how often.

If you take Depakote ER tablets, you’ll take your total daily dosage once per day.

If needed, your doctor may increase your dosage until your seizures are managed or until the medication in your blood reaches a certain level. Your doctor may increase your dosage by 5 mg/kg to 10 mg/kg of body weight each week. The maximum recommended dosage for all forms of Depakote is 60 mg/kg of body weight per day.

* 1 kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb).

For absence seizures

The usual starting dosage for all forms of Depakote is 15 mg/kg of body weight per day. For example, a person who weighs 60 kg (about 132 lb) would start by taking 900 mg per day.

In some cases, your doctor may split the starting dose into two or three separate doses. They’ll usually do this if:

  • you take Depakote delayed-release tablets or sprinkle capsules and
  • your starting dosage is higher than 250 mg per day

Your doctor will advise you on what dose to take and how often.

If you take Depakote ER tablets, you’ll take your total daily dosage once per day.

If needed, your doctor may increase your dosage until your seizures are managed or until the medication in your blood reaches a certain level. Your doctor may increase your dosage by 5 mg/kg to 10 mg/kg of body weight each week. The maximum recommended dosage for all forms of Depakote is 60 mg/kg of body weight per day.

Children’s dosage

All forms of Depakote can be used to treat certain types of seizures in children ages 10 years and older. For these conditions, the recommended dosages of Depakote are the same as for adults. These dosages are described above.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible, unless it’s nearly time for your next scheduled dose. In this case, skip the missed dose and take your next scheduled dose as usual. You should not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.

To help make sure you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

It depends. Depakote and Depakote ER are meant to be used as long-term treatments for certain types of seizures and to help prevent migraine. If you take either drug for one of these conditions and your doctor determines that it’s safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take the medication long term.

Your doctor may prescribe Depakote or Depakote ER as a short-term treatment. They’ll usually do this if you are taking either drug to treat a manic or mixed episode related to bipolar disorder. After your symptoms ease, your doctor may switch you to a different medication for long-term treatment.

If you have questions about taking Depakote or Depakote ER long term for your condition, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Depakote and Depakote ER to treat certain conditions. Depakote and Depakote ER may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Depakote and Depakote ER for the treatment of mixed or manic episodes related to bipolar disorder

Depakote delayed-release tablets are FDA-approved to treat manic episodes related to bipolar disorder in adults.*

Depakote ER (extended-release) tablets are FDA-approved to treat manic and mixed episodes related to bipolar disorder in adults.*

Note: Depakote and Depakote ER have some limitations of use. These drugs can cause fetal harm.† People with bipolar disorder who are pregnant or could become pregnant should not take Depakote or Depakote ER unless other medications are unsuitable. For more information, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER and pregnancy” section below.

* Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules are not FDA-approved for use in bipolar disorder.
† Depakote and Depakote ER have a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

About bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes alternating episodes of depression (low mood) and mania (high mood). These are called depressive episodes and manic episodes. Some people with bipolar disorder also have mixed episodes, which involve having symptoms of depression and mania at the same time.

Symptoms of manic episodes may include:

  • feeling exhilarated, excited, or euphoric (intense excitement and happiness)
  • feeling restless, wired, or jittery
  • feeling highly self-confident and self-important
  • racing thoughts
  • talking excessively
  • sleeping less than usual
  • impaired judgment and acting impulsively
  • engaging in risky behaviors, such as spending money excessively, binge drinking, or taking recreational drugs

Symptoms of mixed episodes include manic symptoms, such as those above, in combination with symptoms of depression, such as:

  • extreme sadness or gloom
  • feelings of guilt, despair, or hopelessness
  • anxiety
  • trouble sleeping
  • extreme tiredness or lack of energy
  • short attention span
  • loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • suicidal thoughts

People with a severe manic or mixed episode may also have symptoms of psychosis, which may include:

  • losing touch with reality
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real)
  • delusions (believing things that aren’t true)

Depakote and Depakote ER work to improve mood, thoughts, and behaviors. They also help relieve manic and mixed episodes in people with bipolar disorder.

For resources that may help with mental well-being, including bipolar disorder, refer to our mental health hub.

Effectiveness for the treatment of mixed or manic episodes related to bipolar disorder

Depakote and Depakote ER have been found effective for treating manic episodes and mixed episodes related to bipolar disorder. For information on how the drugs performed in clinical studies, see the prescribing information for Depakote delayed-release tablets and Depakote ER tablets.

Divalproex sodium, the active drug in Depakote and Depakote ER, is widely used for treating manic and mixed episodes. For example, it’s recommended in treatment guidelines for bipolar disorder.

Depakote and Depakote ER for the prevention of migraine

Depakote delayed-release tablets and Depakote ER tablets are FDA-approved to help prevent migraine in adults.*

Note: Depakote and Depakote ER have some limitations of use. These drugs can cause fetal harm.† People with bipolar disorder who are pregnant or could become pregnant should not take Depakote or Depakote ER unless other medications are unsuitable. For more information, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER and pregnancy” section below.

* Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules are not FDA-approved for use in bipolar disorder.
† Depakote and Depakote ER have a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

About migraine

Migraine is a neurological condition that causes severe, long-lasting headaches, often in combination with other symptoms. People who have migraine typically find that certain factors trigger migraine episodes. These triggers may include certain foods, hormonal changes, stress, bright lights, lack of sleep, and low blood sugar.

Symptoms of migraine may include:

  • severe throbbing or pounding headache, typically affecting one side of the head
  • nausea and vomiting
  • increased sensitivity to light and sound
  • an aura before or during the headache, which may cause changes in vision, tingling sensations, or speech problems

Migraine can last for hours or days. After a migraine episode, you may feel wiped out for a few days as you recover. As a result, migraine episodes can have a significant impact on your life.

If you have four or more migraine episodes per month, or migraine that is severe or debilitating, talk with your doctor. They’ll likely recommend medication to help prevent migraine.

Depakote and Depakote ER are medications that you can take every day to help prevent migraine.

To learn more about migraine, you can refer to our migraine hub.

Effectiveness for the prevention of migraine

Depakote and Depakote ER have been found effective for preventing migraine. For information on how the drugs performed in clinical studies, see the prescribing information for Depakote delayed-release tablets and Depakote ER tablets.

Divalproex sodium, the active drug in Depakote and Depakote ER, is widely used for helping prevent migraine. For example, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends it as a first-choice option for helping prevent migraine.

Depakote and Depakote ER for the treatment of certain types of seizures

Depakote delayed-release tablets, Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules, and Depakote ER tablets are FDA-approved to treat certain types of seizures that occur with epilepsy:

For this use, Depakote and Depakote ER may be used alone or in combination with other seizure medications. The drugs are approved for use in adults and children ages 10 years and older.

Complex partial seizures and absence seizures may occur on their own or with other types of seizures.

Note: Depakote and Depakote ER have some limitations of use. These drugs can cause fetal harm.† People with bipolar disorder who are pregnant or could become pregnant should not take Depakote or Depakote ER unless other medications are unsuitable. For more information, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER and pregnancy” section below.

† Depakote and Depakote ER have a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

About epilepsy and complex partial seizures

Epilepsy is a condition that causes repeated seizures due to excessive electrical activity in certain parts of your brain. The type of seizure depends on the part of the brain that’s affected.

Complex partial seizures are the most common type of seizure experienced by people with epilepsy. They’re also called focal onset impaired awareness seizures. With this type of seizure, the excessive electrical activity starts in one part of your brain. The seizure may last from 1 to 2 minutes.

Symptoms of complex partial seizures may include:

  • an aura before the seizure, which may cause a feeling of fear, an unusual taste in your mouth, or a strange sensation in your body
  • staring blankly
  • repetitive movements, such as chewing, lip-smacking, gulping, blinking, leg cycling, or hand clasping
  • making sounds, such as grunting, shouting, or laughing
  • sudden stiffness or floppiness of your limbs

With a complex partial seizure, you’re typically unaware of the seizure or your surroundings and unable to respond to others. After the seizure, you may be confused or sleepy, and you may not remember the seizure.

Depakote and Depakote ER are medications that can help prevent complex partial seizures. They’re typically taken every day on a regular basis.

About absence seizures

Absence seizures are a common type of seizure that occur in children with epilepsy. They last only a few seconds and are often mistaken for daydreaming. With this type of seizure, the excessive electrical activity occurs briefly in both sides of the brain.

Absence seizures may be described as simple (typical) or complex (atypical).

Simple or typical absence seizures last less than 10 seconds. Symptoms may include:

  • staring blankly
  • flickering eyelids

Complex or atypical absence seizures last up to 20 seconds or more. Symptoms may include:

  • staring blankly
  • flickering eyelids
  • chewing or lip-smacking movements
  • repetitive hand movements, such as rubbing the fingers together

With absence seizures, you’re typically unaware of the seizure or your surroundings and unable to respond to others. After the seizure, you may be confused, and you may not remember it. But you’ll typically recover right away. Because these seizures are so short, you may not notice anything has happened.

Depakote and Depakote ER are medications that can help prevent simple and complex absence seizures. The medication is typically taken every day on a regular basis.

Effectiveness for the treatment of certain types of seizures

Depakote and Depakote ER are effective for reducing the number of partial or absence seizures you have. To find out how the drugs performed in clinical studies, see the prescribing information for Depakote delayed-release tablets, Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules, and Depakote ER tablets.

The American Academy of Neurology guidelines recommend divalproex sodium (the active drug in Depakote and Depakote ER) as a treatment option for complex partial seizures and absence seizures.

Depakote and Depakote ER and children

Depakote and Depakote ER are FDA-approved to treat certain types of seizures in children ages 10 years and older with epilepsy:

For details on these conditions and uses, see “Depakote and Depakote ER for the treatment of certain types of seizures” above.

Depakote and Depakote ER are not FDA-approved to treat any other conditions in children.

Depakote and Depakote ER are sometimes used with other drugs.

Epilepsy. If you have epilepsy, your doctor may prescribe Depakote or Depakote ER with other anticonvulsant drugs to help control your seizures. Examples of other anticonvulsant drugs include:

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, others)
  • clobazam (Onfi)
  • eslicarbazepine acetate (Aptiom)
  • gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • lacosamide (Vimpat)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • levetiracetam (Keppra)
  • oxcarbazepine (Oxtellar XR)
  • perampanel (Fycompa)
  • pregabalin (Lyrica)

Bipolar disorder. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe other medications to help treat your bipolar disorder symptoms. They’ll usually do this if you’re taking Depakote or Depakote ER to treat manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder.

Examples of other medications include:

  • antipsychotics, such as:
    • aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Mycite)
    • asenapine (Saphris)
    • haloperidol
    • olanzapine (Zyprexa, Zyprexa Zydis)
    • quetiapine (Seroquel)
    • risperidone (Risperdal)
    • ziprasidone (Geodon)
  • benzodiazepines, such as:
  • mood stabilizers, such as lithium (Lithobid)

Migraine. If you’re taking Depakote or Depakote ER to help prevent migraine, you’ll typically take the drug alone. But if you have a migraine episode while taking Depakote or Depakote ER, you may be able to take pain-relieving medications to treat it.

Examples of pain relievers used to treat migraine include:

  • over-the-counter pain relievers, such as:
  • prescription pain relievers, such as:
    • acetaminophen/butalbital/caffeine (Fioricet)
    • acetaminophen and codeine (Tylenol with codeine)
    • acetaminophen/caffeine/dihydrocodeine (Trezix)
    • aspirin/butalbital/caffeine (Fiorinal)
  • triptans, such as:
    • almotriptan (Axert)
    • naratriptan (Amerge)
    • rizatriptan (Maxalt)
    • zolmitriptan (Zomig)
    • frovatriptan (Frova)

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about taking other drugs with Depakote or Depakote ER.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Depakote and Depakote ER.

Is Depakote or Depakote ER used for anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia? If so, what’s the dosage?

Depakote and Depakote ER are not specifically approved to treat anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia. So there aren’t recommended dosages for these conditions. However, they might be prescribed off-label* for these conditions if other medications haven’t worked well enough.

Depakote and Depakote ER are used to treat manic and mixed episodes of bipolar disorder. Symptoms of these episodes include anxiety and depression. Some people with severe manic or mixed episodes also have psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations. These can be similar to symptoms of schizophrenia.

If you’re interested in using Depakote or Depakote ER to treat anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia, talk with your doctor. They can help determine the best treatment options for your condition.

* Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Is Depakote or Depakote ER a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic?

Depakote and Depakote ER are not antipsychotics. They’re sometimes called mood stabilizers when used to treat bipolar disorder. Depakote and Depakote ER actually belong to a group of drugs called anticonvulsants (also called antiepileptics or seizure medications).

Anticonvulsants are used to help prevent seizures in people with epilepsy. However, some anticonvulsants, including Depakote and Depakote ER, have also been found effective for helping prevent migraine and treating bipolar disorder.

In bipolar disorder, Depakote and Depakote ER are used to treat manic and mixed episodes. They help stabilize rapidly changing moods, so they’re sometimes called mood stabilizers.

Antipsychotics are a different group of drugs used to treat manic episodes of bipolar disorder. These drugs are also used for certain other mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia.*

If you have questions about taking Depakote and Depakote ER for your condition, talk with your doctor.

* Depakote and Depakote ER may be prescribed off-label to treat schizophrenia if other medications haven’t worked well enough. To learn more, see “Is Depakote or Depakote ER used for anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia?” right above.

Does Depakote or Depakote ER come as a liquid? Is either drug given by IV?

No, Depakote and Depakote ER are not available as a liquid, and they are not given by IV injection.

If you have trouble swallowing tablets or capsules, Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules may be a good option for you. You can open these capsules and sprinkle their contents on soft food.

To read more about the different forms of Depakote or information about Depakote ER, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER Dosage” section above.

Does Depakote or Depakote ER cause sexual side effects?

Yes, Depakote and Depakote ER may cause sexual side effects.

Studies have found that valproic acid (part of the active drug in Depakote and Depakote ER) can interfere with your hormones. This interference can lead to various problems with sexual and reproductive function, including changes to periods in females,* and erectile dysfunction in males.*

If you have sexual side effects while taking Depakote or Depakote ER, talk with your doctor. They can help determine if the medication or other factors are causing the problem. If needed, they may suggest switching to a different medication.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the terms “female” and “male” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

Will Depakote or Depakote ER make you feel ‘high’?

No, taking Depakote or Depakote ER shouldn’t make you feel “high.”

Feeling high is a term used to describe feeling elated, excited, or full of energy. It can also be a symptom of a bipolar disorder manic episode, which Depakote and Depakote ER are used to treat. The drugs calm the overactivity in the brain that causes manic episodes, so they help relieve this symptom.

If you’d like to learn more about possible side effects of Depakote or Depakote ER, talk with your doctor. You can also refer to the “Depakote and Depakote ER side effects” section above.

Are there side effects from stopping Depakote or Depakote ER? Can you stop these drugs ‘cold turkey’?

Stopping Depakote or Depakote ER treatment shouldn’t cause side effects. These medications don’t cause dependence, and withdrawal symptoms haven’t been reported* in people who stop taking them “cold turkey.” Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that you may have if you stop taking a drug your body is dependent on. Stopping cold turkey is when you suddenly stop taking a drug.

However, stopping Depakote or Depakote ER treatment could make your manic episode, seizures, or migraine come back or worsen. For this reason, you should not stop taking Depakote or Depakote ER unless it’s recommended by your doctor. This is very important if you have epilepsy, because suddenly ending treatment could cause seizures that won’t stop.

If you’re interested in stopping treatment with Depakote or Depakote ER, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on how to do it safely. They may also recommend switching to a different medication.

* To learn about other side effects from Depakote and Depakote ER, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also view the prescribing information for Depakote delayed-release tablets, Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules, or Depakote ER tablets.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Depakote and Depakote ER, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label drug use is when a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is used for a purpose other than its approved use.

Alternatives for the treatment of manic or mixed episodes related to bipolar disorder

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat manic or mixed episodes related to bipolar disorder include:

  • lithium (Lithobid)
  • antipsychotics, such as:
    • aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Mycite)
    • asenapine (Saphris)
    • olanzapine (Zyprexa, Zyprexa Zydis)
    • paliperidone (Invega)
    • risperidone (Risperdal)
    • ziprasidone (Geodon)

Alternatives for the prevention of migraine

Examples of other drugs used to prevent migraine include:

Alternatives for treatment of certain types of seizures

Examples of other drugs used to treat certain types of seizures include:

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, others)
  • clobazam (Onfi)
  • eslicarbazepine acetate (Aptiom)
  • gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • lacosamide (Vimpat)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • levetiracetam (Keppra)
  • oxcarbazepine (Oxtellar XR)
  • perampanel (Fycompa)
  • pregabalin (Lyrica)
  • rufinamide (Banzel)

As with all medications, the cost of Depakote and Depakote ER can vary. To find current prices for Depakote delayed-release tablets in your area, check out GoodRx.com. You can also find prices for Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules and Depakote ER.


The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Depakote or Depakote ER. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company.

Before approving coverage for Depakote and Depakote ER, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Depakote and Depakote ER, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Depakote and Depakote ER, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help may be available.

Abbvie Inc., the manufacturer of Depakote and Depakote ER, offers a savings card to help lower the cost of its drug. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, visit the drug manufacturer’s website.

To learn more about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.

Mail-order pharmacies

Depakote and Depakote ER may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of Depakote and Depakote ER, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Generic version

Depakote and Depakote ER contain the active drug divalproex sodium. This active drug is also available as a generic medication. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

Generic versions of Depakote and Depakote ER include:

  • divalproex sodium DR (delayed-release) tablet
  • divalproex sodium DR sprinkle capsule
  • divalproex sodium ER (extended-release) tablet

If you’re interested in taking a generic form of Depakote medication, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if it comes in suitable forms and strengths for your condition.

If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant, your doctor will likely recommend that you don’t take Depakote or Depakote ER. They will usually recommend a different treatment option for your condition.People who are pregnant or could become pregnant should not take Depakote or Depakote ER unless other medications are unsuitable.

Depakote and Depakote ER have a boxed warning regarding the risk of fetal harm during pregnancy. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug administration (FDA).

If taken during pregnancy,Depakote and Depakote ER can cause serious developmental problems in a fetus. This can include neural tube abnormalities (disorders of the brain and spinal cord), such as spina bifida. Other issues can include hearing problems, and physical abnormality of the head, heart, or limbs.

In addition, taking either drug during pregnancy may cause children to have other developmental conditions. They may also have an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder.

If you become pregnant while taking Depakote or Depakote ER, talk with your doctor right away. They can discuss the risks and benefits of continuing treatment with this medication. They may also recommend a different treatment option for your condition.

Pregnancy registry

If you become pregnant while taking Depakote or Depakote ER, consider enrolling in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. This registry gathers information about how antiepileptic drugs (seizure medications) can affect pregnancy. This information can help people who are pregnant make informed decisions about their treatment. To learn more, visit the registry website, call 888-233-2334, or talk with your doctor.

Depakote and Depakote ER and fertility

Depakote and Depakote ER may cause reduced sperm count and infertility in males* taking the medication. It’s not known if Depakote or Depakote ER can affect fertility in females.*

If you’re concerned about how Depakote and Depakote ER may affect your fertility, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the terms “male” and “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

It may not be safe to take Depakote or Depakote ER during pregnancy.† If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Depakote or Depakote ER.

For more information about taking this drug during pregnancy, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER and pregnancy” section above.

Note: Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the terms “female” and “male” below refers to sex assigned at birth.

† Depakote and Depakote ER have a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

For females using Depakote and Depakote ER

Females who can become pregnant should use effective birth control while taking Depakote or Depakote ER. Talk with your doctor about suitable methods for you.

For males using Depakote and Depakote ER

The manufacturer of Depakote and Depakote ER hasn’t given birth control recommendations for males using the drug. If you’re a male taking Depakote or Depakote ER and have a sexual partner who can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs.

It’s not known if it’s safe to breastfeed while taking Depakote or Depakote ER. The medications can pass into breast milk and could cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

If you’re breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your child while taking Depakote or Depakote ER.

If you decide to breastfeed, talk with your doctor right away if your child develops symptoms that could be side effects of Depakote or Depakote ER. These symptoms can include unusual bruising or bleeding, and jaundice.

Alcohol doesn’t directly interact with Depakote and Depakote ER. However, it may be best to avoid drinking alcohol while using either drug. This is because it could increase the risk for or severity of certain side effects of the medication. These side effects include sleepiness and dizziness.

It’s also important to note that Depakote and Depakote ER can sometimes cause liver damage.† Consuming large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time can also lead to liver problems. This could increase the risk of liver damage with Depakote and Depakote ER.

If you have questions about the safety of drinking alcohol with this drug, talk with your doctor.

† Depakote and Depakote ER have a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

Depakote and Depakote ER can interact with several other medications. They can also interact with certain supplements and foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Depakote and Depakote ER and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Depakote and Depakote ER. This list does not include all drugs that may interact with Depakote and Depakote ER.

Before taking Depakote and Depakote ER, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Types of drugs that can interact with Depakote and Depakote ER include:

  • Carbapenem antibiotics. These are medications used to treat certain infections. Taking carbapenem antibiotics with Depakote or Depakote ER can make Depakote or Depakote ER less effective. Examples of these drugs include:
    • ertapenem (Invanz)
    • meropenem (Merrem)
  • Certain other antiepileptics. Depakote and Depakote ER are antiepileptic drugs. Taking other antiepileptics with them can change the effectiveness of either drug. It can also increase your risk for side effects from either drug. Your doctor may adjust your dosages if you take Depakote or Depakote ER with other antiepileptic drugs. Examples of these drugs include:
    • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitrol)
    • ethosuximide (Zarontin)
    • felbamate (Felbatol)
    • lamotrigine (Lamictal)
    • phenobarbital
    • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin). Clonazepam (Klonopin) is a medication used to treat panic disorder, muscle spasms, and certain types of seizures. If you have absence seizures, taking clonazepam with Depakote or Depakote ER may cause your absence seizures to last longer than usual.
  • Hormonal birth control. Taking hormonal birth control with Depakote or Depakote ER may make Depakote or Depakote ER less effective.
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor) or amitriptyline. Taking Depakote or Depakote ER with these antidepressants can increase your risk for side effects from amitriptyline or nortriptyline. Your doctor may lower your dosage of amitriptyline or nortriptyline if you also take Depakote or Depakote ER.
  • Propofol (Diprivan). Propofol is a medication used in anesthesia. Receiving propofol while taking divalproex sodium (the active drug in Depakote and Depakote ER) may raise your risk for side effects from propofol.
  • Rifampin (Rimactane). This medication is used to treat certain infections, including tuberculosis. Taking rifampin with Depakote or Depakote ER may make Depakote or Depakote ER less effective. Your doctor may adjust your dosage of Depakote or Depakote ER if you also take rifampin.

Depakote and Depakote ER and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Depakote and Depakote ER. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Depakote or Depakote ER.

Depakote and Depakote ER and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Depakote and Depakote ER. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with these drugs, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Depakote and Depakote ER and lab tests

Depakote and Depakote ER may affect the results of certain lab tests. These include:

If you have any lab tests, be sure your doctor knows if you are taking Depakote or Depakote ER. This will allow them to interpret your test results correctly.

You should always take Depakote and Depakote ER according to your doctor’s instructions.

Depakote and Depakote ER come in these forms:

Depakote delayed-release tablets. These tablets have a special coating that stops them being broken down by your stomach acid. The medication is released after the tablet has passed through your stomach. They’re usually taken two or three times per day.

Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules. The sprinkle capsules contain pellets that have a special delayed-release coating. This stops them being broken down by your stomach acid. The medication is released after the pellets have passed through your stomach.

The sprinkle capsules can be swallowed whole. If you have trouble swallowing tablets or capsules, Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules may be a good option for you. You can open the capsules and sprinkle their contents on soft food. They’re usually taken two or three times per day.

Depakote ER (extended-release) tablets. The extended-release tablets release the medication slowly into your body over 24 hours. You’ll only need to take them once per day.

When to take

Depakote delayed-release tablets and Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules are usually taken two or three times per day. Your doctor will instruct you on how often to take these medications.

Depakote ER tablets should be taken once per day. You should take them at the same time each day.

To help make sure you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Taking Depakote and Depakote ER with food

You can take Depakote and Depakote ER either with or without food. But if you find the medication upsets your stomach, it may help to take it with food.

Can Depakote and Depakote ER be crushed, split, or chewed?

Depakote delayed-release tablets and Depakote ER tablets should not be crushed, split, or chewed. Doing so will damage their delayed-release or extended-release action. These tablets should be swallowed whole. This is easier if you take them with water.

Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules should not be crushed or chewed. However, you can split these capsules open and sprinkle the contents onto a teaspoonful of soft food, such as applesauce. Swallow this right away, without crushing or chewing the contents. Another option is to swallow the capsules whole with water.

Depakote and Depakote ER are used to:

To read more about this medication and its uses, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER uses” section above.

What happens with bipolar disorder, epilepsy, and migraine?

Bipolar disorder, epilepsy, and migraine are all neurological conditions, which means they affect your brain and nerves.

With bipolar disorder, you have alternating episodes of mania (high mood) and depression (low mood).

With epilepsy, you have repeated seizures. With migraine, you have severe headaches, usually in addition to other symptoms such as vomiting and sensitivity to light or sound.

It’s not fully understood what causes these conditions. But manic episodes, seizures, and migraine episodes occur because of excessive activity in nerve cells in certain parts of your brain.

What do Depakote and Depakote ER do?

Depakote and Depakote ER increase the level of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain. GABA has a calming effect on the nerve cells in your brain.

By increasing the level of GABA, Depakote and Depakote ER reduce the excessive activity in your brain that causes manic symptoms, seizures, and migraine. This helps relieve manic and mixed episodes related to bipolar disorder. And it helps prevent seizures and migraine.

How long do they take to work?

Depakote and Depakote ER typically start working in 1 to 2 weeks, though it may take longer than this for some people. If you have bipolar disorder, you should notice symptoms of your manic or mixed episode start to ease during this time. If you have epilepsy or migraine, you should notice that you have fewer seizures or migraine episodes.

Talk with your doctor if you’re not sure if the medication is working for you.

This drug comes with several precautions.

FDA warnings

This drug has boxed warnings. These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

  • Liver damage. Depakote and Depakote ER can cause severe liver damage that, in some cases, may lead to death. Liver damage is most likely to occur in the first 6 months of treatment. This risk is highest in people with mitochondrial disorders, and in children younger than age 2 years. (Depakote and Depakote ER are not approved for use in this age group.) To learn more, see “Side effect details” in the “Depakote and Depakote ER side effects” section below.
  • Pancreatitis. Depakote and Depakote ER may cause severe pancreatitis that, in some cases, can lead to death. Pancreatitis can develop at any time during treatment. To learn more, see “Side effect details” in the “Depakote and Depakote ER side effects” section below.
  • Fetal harm. If taken during pregnancy, Depakote and Depakote ER can cause congenital abnormalities, such as spina bifida. Children born to females* who take Depakote or Depakote ER during pregnancy may also have other developmental conditions. To learn more, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER and pregnancy” section below.

Note: Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

Other precautions

Before taking Depakote and Depakote ER, talk with your doctor about your health history. These drugs may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to Depakote, Depakote ER, or any of their ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Depakote or Depakote ER. Ask your doctor about other medications that may be better options for you.
  • Liver problems. Doctors typically won’t prescribe Depakote or Depakote ER if you have liver problems or if you’ve had a liver problem in the past. In fact, Depakote and Depakote ER have a boxed warning* regarding liver damage. For more information, see “Side effect details” in the “Depakote and Depakote ER side effects” section above.
  • Mitochondrial disorder. Mitochondrial disorders are rare conditions caused by genetic changes that affect mitochondria (structures inside cells that produce energy). These disorders increase the risk of liver damage with Depakote and Depakote ER. Due to this risk, doctors typically won’t prescribe this medication if you have certain mitochondrial disorders, such as Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Urea cycle disorder. With urea cycle disorder, your body has trouble getting rid of a chemical called urea, which is made from ammonia. Depakote and Depakote ER can sometimes cause hyperammonemia (high ammonia level in your blood). This can cause ammonia to build up in your body. Due to the risk of hyperammonemia, doctors typically won’t prescribe Depakote and Depakote ER if you have a urea cycle disorder. Talk with your doctor about what other medications may be better options for you.
  • Digestive problems. If you have any digestive problems, such as having a colostomy, ileostomy, or diarrhea, talk with your doctor before taking Depakote or Depakote ER. With these conditions, this medication may pass through your digestive system without being fully absorbed. You may notice portions of the tablet or capsule in your stool. If this happens, the medication may not work as well for your condition. If you have digestive problems, your doctor may prescribe a drug other than Depakote or Depakote ER for you.
  • Older age. If you’re ages 65 years or older, your doctor will typically prescribe a lower dose of Depakote or Depakote ER than usual for you. Talk with your doctor to determine if this medication is safe for you. For more information, see “Side effect details” in the “Depakote and Depakote ER side effects” section above.
  • Pregnancy. Depakote and Depakote ER can harm a developing fetus if taken during pregnancy. Depakote and Depakote have a boxed warning* regarding this risk. For more information, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s not known if it’s safe to breastfeed while taking this medication. Depakote and Depakote ER can pass into breast milk. For more information, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Depakote and Depakote ER, see the “Depakote and Depakote ER side effects” section above.

* A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. Boxed warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Depakote and Depakote ER can lead to serious side effects.

Do not use more Depakote and Depakote ER than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get Depakote and Depakote ER from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good to use can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

You should store Depakote and Depakote ER at room temperature of 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C) in a tightly sealed container away from light. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Depakote or Depakote ER and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.