VALPROIC ACID (val PROE ik AS id) is used to treat certain types of seizures in patients with epilepsy.
Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 10 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
changes in vision
redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
suicidal thoughts or other mood changes
unusual bleeding or bruising
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
loss of appetite
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
certain antibiotics like ertapenem, imipenem, meropenem
certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, clonazepam, diazepam, ethosuximide, felbamate, lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, rufinamide, topiramate
certain medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
female hormones, like estrogens and birth control pills, patches, or rings
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Keep out of reach of children.
Store at room temperature below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
if you often drink alcohol
low platelet counts
suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
urea cycle disorder (UCD)
an unusual or allergic reaction to divalproex sodium, sodium valproate, valproic acid, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not get better or they start to get worse.
Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medicine and dosage times.
You may get drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening depression or thoughts of suicide. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.
Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Women who become pregnant while using this medicine may enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. This registry collects information about the safety of antiepileptic drug use during pregnancy.
This medicine may cause a decrease in folic acid and vitamin D. You should make sure that you get enough vitamins while you are taking this medicine. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care professional.