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 thought that Depakote may also prevent seizures by affecting sodium channels in the brain.
This drug comes in the form of "sprinkle capsules" and tablets. Depakote tablets are "delayed-release," which means they have a special coating that prevents the drug from dissolving too early in the digestive tract (which can be irritating). The beads inside Depakote Sprinkle capsules also have this special coating.
(Click Depakote for more information on what Depakote is used for, to learn about the warnings associated with this medicine, and to find out what side effects may occur with the drug.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed August 8, 2008.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed May 30, 2007.
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