Bipolar Disorder Home > Depakote Side Effects
Shakiness, nausea, drowsiness, and headaches are among the most common side effects reported with Depakote. Side effects that are less frequent but potentially serious can include unexplained bruising or bleeding, depression, and worsening of seizures. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any of these more serious Depakote side effects.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Depakote® (divalproex sodium); however, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate Depakote quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Depakote. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Depakote side effects with you.)
Depakote has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and are then compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, some of the most common Depakote side effects included:
- Shakiness (tremors) -- in up to 57 percent of people
- Nausea -- up to 48 percent
- Headaches -- up to 31 percent
- Drowsiness -- up to 30 percent
- Vomiting -- up to 27 percent
- Weakness -- up to 27 percent
- Dizziness -- up to 25 percent.
Some other common side effects, occurring in 5 percent to 24 percent of people, included:
- Hair loss (see Depakote and Hair Loss)
- Abdominal pain (or stomach pain)
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Flu symptoms, such as a fever or chills
- Double vision
- Insomnia (see Depakote and Insomnia)
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain (see Depakote and Weight Gain)
- Back pain
- Coordination problems
- Uncontrollable eye movements
- Swelling or water retention in the arms, legs, or feet
- Memory loss (amnesia)
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Increased appetite or loss of appetite
- A fever
- Emotional problems
- Weight loss.