Drugs A - Z

Valproate Sodium Solution for injection

It is used to treat certain types of seizures in patients with epilepsy.

Generic Name: valproic acid  |  Brand Name: Depacon

Brand Names: Depacon, Depakene, Stavzor

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[Posted 06/30/2011] ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that children born to mothers who take the anti-seizure medication valproate sodium (Depacon) or related products [valproic acid (Depakene and Stavzor) and divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote CP, and Depakote ER)] during pregnancy have an increased risk of lower cognitive test scores than children exposed to other anti-seizure medications during pregnancy. This conclusion is based on the results of epidemiologic studies that show that children born to mothers who took valproate sodium or related products throughout their pregnancy tend to score lower on cognitive tests (IQ and other tests) than children born to mothers who took other anti-seizure medications during pregnancy. See the Drug Safety Communication for a data summary and additional information.

BACKGROUND: Valproate products are FDA-approved drugs to treat seizures, and manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder), and to prevent migraine headaches. They are also used off-label (for unapproved uses) for other conditions, particularly for other psychiatric conditions.

RECOMMENDATION: Healthcare professionals should inform women of childbearing age of the increased risk for adverse effects on cognitive development with prenatal valproate exposure, and should continue to counsel women of childbearing potential taking valproate about the increased risk of major malformations, including neural tube defects, when valproate is used during pregnancy. In addition, healthcare professionals should weigh the benefits and risks of valproate when prescribing this drug to women of childbearing age, particularly when treating a condition not usually associated with permanent injury or death. Alternative medications that have a lower risk of adverse birth outcomes should be considered. Patients should not stop taking valproate without talking to a healthcare professional. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

What is this medicine?

VALPROATE SODIUM (val PRO ate SO dee um) is used to treat certain types of seizures in patients with epilepsy.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • blood disease
  • brain damage or disease
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • low blood proteins
  • suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
  • urea cycle disorder (UCD)
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to divalproex sodium, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for infusion into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • aspirin
  • barbiturates, like phenobarbital
  • diazepam
  • isoniazid
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
  • meropenem
  • other seizure medicines
  • rifampin
  • tolbutamide
  • zidovudine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

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 medicine 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 medicine can cause blood problems. This can mean slow healing and a risk of infection. Problems can arise if you need dental work, and in the day to day care of your teeth. Try to avoid damage to your teeth and gums when you brush or floss your teeth.

This medicine 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.

The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine. Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care professional right away.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • changes in vision
  • changes in the frequency or severity of seizures
  • nausea, vomiting
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • stomach pain or cramps
  • trembling of hands or arms
  • unusual bleeding or bruising or pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • unusual swelling of the arms or legs
  • unusually weak or tired
  • worsening of mood, thoughts or actions of suicide or dying
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

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

  • change in menstrual cycle
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • headache
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of hair or unusual growth of hair
  • loss or increase in appetite
  • weight gain or loss

Where should I keep my medicine?

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

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


Last Updated: March 05, 2009
Licensed from
The Healthline Site, its content, such as text, graphics, images, search results, HealthMaps, Trust Marks, and other material contained on the Healthline Site ("Content"), its services, and any information or material posted on the Healthline Site by third parties are provided for informational purposes only. None of the foregoing is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Healthline Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Please read the Terms of Service for more information regarding use of the Healthline Site.
Advertisement