Several studies have evaluated the safety and effectiveness of Depakote ER in treating the aforementioned conditions.
In one study, the short-acting version of Depakote was compared to lithium (Lithobid®, Eskalith®) or a sugar pill (placebo) to treat people who were hospitalized with an episode of mania. After three weeks, those taking Depakote had at least as much improvement in bipolar symptoms as those taking lithium (and more improvement compared to those taking a sugar pill).
Another study looked at using Depakote ER for migraine prevention. People taking this drug had fewer migraines compared to those not taking it.
In one study, the short-acting version of Depakote was added to other seizure medications in people with complex partial seizures that were not adequately controlled. Those who added Depakote to their seizure medications decreased their seizure frequency, compared to those who did not take the medication.
Other studies have shown that using Depakote alone is also effective for complex partial seizures.
Some general considerations for when and how to take Depakote ER include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth once daily.
- Depakote ER can be taken with or without food. If the drug upsets your stomach, try taking it with food.
- Do not crush, break, or chew the tablets, as they are extended-release tablets.
- Depakote ER should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Depakote ER will not work if you stop taking it.
- Do not stop taking Depakote ER without first discussing it with your healthcare provider (see Depakote Withdrawal).