Depakene (Valproic Acid)

(℞) Prescription Required

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Depakene 50mg/mL

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Manufactured by: Abbott Laboratories Ltd.
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Depakene 50mg/mL
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Valproic Acid 250mg

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Manufactured by: Apotex Inc
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Valproic Acid 250mg
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Valproic Acid 500mg

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Manufactured by: Pharmascience Inc.
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Valproic Acid 500mg
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Valproic Syrup 50mg/mL

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Manufactured by: Apotex Inc
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Valproic Syrup 50mg/mL
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Depakene (Valproic Acid) Dosage and Side Effects

DEPAKENE is used to control epilepsy.

Proper Use of this medication

Please consult your doctor before taking any other medication, including over-the-counter medicines. Some drugs can produce various side effects when they are used in combination with DEPAKENE.

It is important to keep your appointments for medical checkups.

The doctor may need to take blood tests to measure the amount of DEPAKENE in your blood when adjusting your medications.

Usual dose:

It is very important to take DEPAKENE exactly as instructed by your doctor.

The recommended starting dose of DEPAKENE will be decided by your doctor based on your weight, your seizures or manic episodes and your concomitant medications. Be sure to tell your doctor all the prescription and over the counter medications that you are currently taking. Your doctor will gradually increase the dosage until your condition is well controlled without experiencing side effects. You should carefully follow the instructions that were given to you and not change your dose without consulting with your doctor.

DEPAKENE may be taken with or without food.

Overdose:

If you accidentally take an overdose of DEPAKENE, you should contact your doctor or nearest hospital emergency, or your Regional Poison Control Centre, even though you may not feel sick.

Missed dose:

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because of the risk of increasing your epileptic seizures.

If you miss a dose, you should not try to make up for it by doubling up on your next dose. You should take your next regularly scheduled dose and try not to miss any more doses.

Side Effects

You should check with your doctor or pharmacist right away if you notice any bothersome or unusual effects while taking DEPAKENE.

The most commonly reported adverse reactions include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, sleepiness, headache, diarrhea, weakness, tremor and dizziness. Changes in hair are also reported, such as hair loss or in increase in hair on face, chest and back. If any of these affect you severely, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

You should know that this does not mean that you will experience such effects, because people can react in different ways to the same medicine.

Warnings and Precautions

Serious Warnings and Precautions

  • Hepatotoxicity: liver failure resulting in death has occurred in patients receiving DEPAKENE. These incidents usually occurred during the first 6 months of treatment with DEPAKENE. Patients taking several anticonvulsant drugs, children, those with a history of liver disease, metabolic disorders, severe seizure disorders accompanied by mental retardation, and those with brain disease may be at particular risk. Experience has indicated that children under the age of 2 years are at a considerably increased risk of developing fatal hepatotoxicity, especially those on multiple anticonvulsants.

  • Teratogenicity: DEPAKENE can produce birth defects to an unborn baby. Accordingly, the use of DEPAKENE in women of childbearing potential requires that the benefits of its use be weighed against the risk of injury to the fetus.

  • Pancreatitis: cases of life threatening pancreas disorder have been reported in both children and adults receiving DEPAKENE. Some cases have occurred shortly after first use as well as after several years of use. Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and/or anorexia can be symptoms of pancreatitis that require immediate medical evaluation.

BEFORE you use DEPAKENE talk to your doctor or pharmacist if:

  • you have a history of, or suffer from a liver disease, such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes);

  • you have ever had an unusual or allergic reaction to DEPAKENE (including fever or rash);

  • you are allergic to any component of DEPAKENE capsules or oral solution;

  • you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant;

  • you are breast-feeding (nursing); DEPAKENE passes into breast milk;

  • you are taking any other prescription or over the counter medicine;

  • you have kidney disease;

  • you have other medical conditions including a history of unexplained coma, intellectual disability or any type of brain dysfunction;

  • you have a psychiatric disorder or have thoughts of suicide;

  • you consume alcohol on a regular basis.

Precautions while taking DEPAKENE:

  • Your doctor will monitor your response to DEPAKENE on a regular basis. However, if your seizures get worse, you should tell your doctor immediately.

  • Since DEPAKENE may cause poor coordination and/or drowsiness, you should not engage in hazardous activities, such as driving and operating machinery, until you know that you don’t become drowsy from the drug.

  • You should not stop taking your medication unless directed by your doctor. You should always check that you have an adequate supply of DEPAKENE. You should remember that this medicine was prescribed only for you; it should never be given to anyone else.

Women of Childbearing Potential:

  • All women of childbearing age who are being treated with DEPAKENE should talk to their healthcare providers about using other possible treatments instead of DEPAKENE. If the decision is made to use DEPAKENE, you must use an effective method of birth control (contraception). You should talk to your doctor about the best kind of birth control to use while you are taking DEPAKENE.

Pregnant Women:

  • If you take DEPAKENE during pregnancy, your child has a higher risk for birth defects and adverse effects on IQ and brain development, which can begin early in the pregnancy, even before you know that you are pregnant.

  • There may be other medications to treat your condition that have a lower chance of birth defects.

  • If you are planning to become pregnant, or if you become pregnant while taking DEPAKENE, you should promptly inform your doctor. Do not suddenly stop taking the drug. Appropriate treatment options will need to be discussed with your physician to ensure the benefits outweigh the risks.

Interactions with this medication

Serious Drug Interactions

  • Rare cases of coma have been reported in patients receiving DEPAKENE alone or when taken with phenobarbital.

  • Serious skin reactions (such as conditions called Stevens-Johnson syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis) have been reported when DEPAKENE and lamotrigine were taken together.

Drugs that may interact with DEPAKENE include:

  • anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine, lamotrigine, primidone, topiramate, felbamate, phenytoin, ethosuximide, phenobarbital;

  • anticoagulants such as acetylsalicylic acid, warfarin, dicumarol;

  • benzodiazepines such as diazepam, lorazepam, clonazepam;

  • some medicines used to treat infections such as rifampin;

  • some medicines used to treat diabetes such as tolbutamide;

  • some HIV-antiviral medication such as zidovudine;

  • any of the group of antibiotics in the carbapenem class such as doripenem, ertapenem, imipenem, meropenem;

  • some medicines used to treat heartburn and peptic ulcers such as cimetidine;

  • medicines used to treat depression such as Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline;

  • antipsychotics.

Other related products

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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