If you’re looking at treatment options for epilepsy, migraine, or bipolar disorder, you may want to learn more about Depakote. It’s a prescription drug that comes in three forms, all of which you take by swallowing.

Depakote delayed-release tablets and Depakote ER (extended-release) tablets* are used to:

  • treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder in adults
  • prevent migraine episodes in adults
  • treat certain types of seizures related to epilepsy in adults and children 10 years of age and older

Depakote delayed-release sprinkle capsules are used to:

  • treat certain types of seizures related to epilepsy in adults and children 10 years of age and older

The active ingredient in the drug is divalproex sodium. An active ingredient is what make a drug work.

Keep reading for details on Depakote and cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.

Note: For more details on Depakote, including its uses, see this in-depth article.

* “Delayed-release” means the drug doesn’t release into the body right away. “Extended-release” means the drug releases into the body slowly over time.

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The price you pay for Depakote can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage (if you have it), and the pharmacy you use.

To find out how much you’ll pay for Depakote, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider will cover Depakote. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Depakote in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Depakote requires prior authorization and you don’t receive it before you start treatment, you could pay the full cost of the drug.

Be sure to ask your insurance company whether Depakote requires prior authorization.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Depakote and cost.

How much does Depakote cost without insurance?

The cost of prescription drugs is usually lower with insurance than without insurance. If you don’t have insurance, what you pay for Depakote will depend on the pharmacy you use, your dosage, and the drug form.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the cost of Depakote without insurance. They can also tell you whether a generic version of the drug is a treatment option for you. Generics tend to be less expensive than brand-name drugs. For more information, see the “Is Depakote available as a generic?” section below.

The drugmaker has a patient assistance program called myAbbVie Assist to help lower the cost of Depakote for people without insurance. For resources that may help you find other cost-saving options, see the “Can I get help paying for Depakote?” section below.

Is the price of Depakote higher than the price of Depakote ER?

It varies. Your cost depends on factors such as the pharmacy you use, your treatment plan, and the type of insurance coverage you have.

The drugmaker has cost savings programs such as the Depakote savings card and Depakote mail-order pharmacy for people with insurance. With these programs, the cost for different forms of Depakote may not vary.

To find out your exact cost for the different forms of Depakote, talk with your pharmacist or insurance provider.

Depakote is available as the generic drugs divalproex sodium delayed-release (DR) tablet, divalproex sodium DR sprinkle capsule, and divalproex sodium ER (extended-release) tablet.*

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic is considered to be just as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics generally cost less than brand-name drugs.

To find out about the costs of Depakote and its generic versions, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

If you’ve been prescribed Depakote and you’re interested in using divalproex sodium instead, talk with your doctor. They may prefer that you take one version instead of the other. In addition, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider. This is because it may only cover one drug or the other.

* “Delayed-release” means the drug doesn’t release into the body right away. “Extended-release” means the drug releases into the body slowly over time.

Why is there such a cost difference between brand-name drugs and generics?

Years of research and testing are needed to ensure that brand-name drugs are safe and effective. This testing can make the drugs expensive.

The drugmaker of a brand-name drug can sell the drug for up to 20 years. After that, other drugmakers can create generic versions. This competition in the market can lead to lower costs for generics. And because generics have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t need to be studied again. This can also lead to lower generic costs.

Depending on what condition Depakote is being used to treat, you may take the drug long term. If you take Depakote long term, you may be able to lower your costs in the following ways:

Look into getting a 90-day supply of your medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply of Depakote if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of Depakote. If you’re interested in getting a 90-day supply of this drug, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost for Depakote. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. The drugmaker has a mail-order program that may provide you with Depakote cost savings. Some Medicare plans might help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug through mail order.

If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.

If you need help covering the cost of Depakote or understanding your insurance, check out these resources:

On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you still have questions about the cost of Depakote, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for Depakote.

Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:

  • What are the cost benefits of using Depakote instead of its generic version?
  • Do the different forms of Depakote vary in cost?
  • Do the higher strengths of Depakote cost more than the lower strengths?

To learn more about Depakote, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline 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.