How Does Depakote Work?

Depakote® (divalproex sodium) is approved for several different uses, including the treatment of epileptic seizures and manic episodes. The medication has been shown to be very effective, but how does it work?
 
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that occurs when there are recurring, brief changes in how the brain's electrical system works. These changes in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms).
 
Depakote works by increasing the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a natural brain chemical that stops or slows down certain brain signals. Increasing GABA helps to prevent the abnormal brain signals that lead to a seizure. It is also thought that Depakote may prevent seizures by affecting sodium channels in the brain.
 
(For more information on how Depakote works, click Depakote. This article also provides information about this drug's specific effects, dosing guidelines, warnings, and potential side effects.)
 
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