Several studies have evaluated the safety and effectiveness of divalproex ER.
Divalproex ER for Mania
In one study, the short-acting version of divalproex 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 divalproex had at least as much improvement in bipolar symptoms as those taking lithium (and more improvement compared to those taking a "sugar pill").
Divalproex ER for Migraines
Another study looked at using divalproex ER for migraine prevention. People taking divalproex ER had fewer migraines compared to those not taking the drug.
Divalproex ER for Epilepsy
In one study, the short-acting version of divalproex was added on to other seizure medications in people with complex partial seizures that were not adequately controlled. Those who added divalproex to their seizure medications decreased their seizure frequency, compared to those who did not take the medication.
Other studies have shown that using divalproex alone is also effective for complex partial seizures.
Some general considerations for when and how to take divalproex ER include:
- Divalproex ER comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth once daily.
- Divalproex 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 divalproex ER tablets, as they are extended-release tablets.
- Divalproex ER should be taken at the same time each day to maintain even levels of the drug in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Divalproex ER will not work if you stop taking it.
- Do not stop taking divalproex ER without first discussing it with your healthcare provider (see Depakote Withdrawal).