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Generic Name: Valproate Injection (val-PRO-ate)
Brand Name: Depacon

Life-threatening liver failure has occurred in patients taking Valproate . Children younger than 2 years of age are at increased risk of developing life-threatening liver damage, especially those on more than 1 medicine to treat seizures and those with metabolic disorders, severe seizure disorders accompanied by retardation, or organic brain disease. Contact your doctor immediately if you or your child experiences a general feeling of discomfort, sluggishness, weakness, severe drowsiness, swelling of the face, loss of appetite, vomiting, or loss of seizure control. Liver function tests may be performed before and during therapy with Valproate . Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments. Valproate can also cause severe birth defects if it is used during pregnancy. Contact your doctor if you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant while taking Valproate . Valproate comes with an additional patient leaflet, "Important Information for Women Who Could Become Pregnant." Read it carefully. Cases of life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas have occurred with the use of Valproate . Report any stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or appetite loss to your doctor at once.

Valproate is used for:

Controlling certain types of seizures in the treatment of epilepsy in patients who are unable to take the oral form of Valproate . It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Valproate is an anticonvulsant. It works by increasing a certain chemical in the brain.

Do NOT use Valproate if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Valproate
  • you have liver problems, ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, or urea cycle disorder

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Valproate :

Some medical conditions may interact with Valproate . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of metabolic disease, blood disease, HIV, high blood levels of ammonia or glutamine, low levels of albumin, brain problems (eg, organic brain disease), mental retardation, inflammation of the pancreas, kidney problems, or low levels of white blood cells, or if you are scheduled for surgery
  • if you have a history of ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency or unexplained coma
  • if you have a family history of urea cycle disorders or unexplained infant deaths

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Valproate . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Benzodiazepines (eg, diazepam), carbamazepine, erythromycin, felbamate, fluoxetine, guanfacine, isoniazid, ketoconazole, risperidone, or salicylates (eg, aspirin) because the risk of serious side effects of Valproate , including blurred vision or other vision problems, clumsiness or unsteadiness, drowsiness, nausea, or vomiting, may be increased
  • Acyclovir, cancer medicines, cholestyramine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), mefloquine, meropenem, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen), or rifampin because they may decrease Valproate "s effectiveness
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), ethosuximide, lamotrigine, methylphenidate, primidone, tolbutamide, or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Valproate
  • Clonazepam because the risk of seizures may be increased
  • Topiramate because the risk of high ammonium levels and brain problems may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Valproate may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Valproate :

Use Valproate as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An additional patient leaflet is available with Valproate . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Valproate is usually administered as an injection at your doctor"s office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Valproate at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If Valproate contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • Valproate works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • Continue to use Valproate even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Valproate , use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Valproate .

Important safety information:

  • Valproate may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or changes in vision. Use caution while driving or performing other tasks requiring alertness, coordination, or physical dexterity. Using Valproate alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that cause drowsiness (eg, sedatives, tranquilizers) while taking Valproate . Valproate will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Valproate .
  • Diabetes patients - This medicine may cause incorrect test results with urine tests for ketones. Check with your doctor before you adjust the dose of your diabetes medicine or change your diet.
  • Lab tests, including blood cell counts and liver function tests, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Valproate with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially sleepiness.
  • Use Valproate with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 10 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed. CHILDREN younger than 2 years of age may be at increased risk of serious liver problems.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Valproate has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Valproate during pregnancy. Valproate is excreted into breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are taking Valproate .

Possible side effects of Valproate :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Change in appetite; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; hair loss; headache; indigestion; nausea; stomach pain; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weight changes.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abdominal cramps; abnormal thinking; change in menstrual period; changes in mood or behavior; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; difficulty speaking; difficulty urinating or other urination problems; extreme tiredness; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; general body discomfort; hallucinations; hearing loss; involuntary movements of the arms and legs; involuntary movements or chewing movements of face, jaw, mouth, or tongue; joint pain; lack of energy; loss of appetite; loss of coordination; loss of seizure control; memory loss; nosebleed; pounding in the chest; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; sore throat; swelling of the arms or legs; tremor; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual weakness; vision changes; yellowing of skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include deep sleep or coma; loss of consciousness; irregular or slow heartbeat (with possible dizziness, fainting, and confusion).

Proper storage of Valproate :

Store the undiluted solution of Valproate at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Because the product does not contain a preservative, any unused mixed portion should be discarded. Valproate is stable for 24 hours when added to compatible intravenous solutions and stored in glass or PVC bags at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep Valproate out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Valproate , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Valproate is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Valproate . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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