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Depakote for Bipolar Disorder

Depakote® (divalproex sodium) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of epileptic seizures and the prevention of migraines. Healthcare providers will also often prescribe Depakote for bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a serious brain disease that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. Currently, it is thought that bipolar disorder may be at least partially genetic (see Bipolar Causes). Between episodes, most people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms (see Bipolar Disorder Symptoms). Effective bipolar disorder treatment usually involves a combination of psychotherapy (see Bipolar Psychosocial Treatments) and bipolar medications.
Specifically, Depakote is approved to treat episodes of mania. It is not approved for long-term use once the manic episode has resolved, though it is often used "off-label" in this manner.
(Click Depakote Uses to find out how bipolar disorder can be treated with Depakote, to learn more about the other approved uses for this medication, and for information on whether this drug can be used in children.)
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