Several conditions can be treated with Depakote. Uses of the drug specifically include the prevention of migraines and the treatment of epilepsy and manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. The medication is approved for treating seizures and preventing migraines in children (but should not be used for treating mania in children). Off-label Depakote uses may include the treatment of dementia, hiccups, and agitation.
What Is Depakote Used For? -- An Overview
- Mania -- Depakote is approved to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder (manic depression)
- Epilepsy -- Depakote is approved to treat complex partial seizures and simple or complex absence seizures
- Migraines -- Depakote is approved to help prevent migraine headaches (but does not help treat a headache once it starts).
There are several different Depakote products available. This article refers to regular Depakote delayed-release tablets and Depakote® Sprinkle capsules. For information on the long-acting form, see Depakote ER® (divalproex ER).
Depakote Sprinkle capsules are approved just for epilepsy (not for mania or migraines), although many healthcare providers prescribe them for these uses.
Depakote and Mania
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.
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.