What Is Divalproex ER Used For?
For the most part, divalproex ER is used for the treatment epileptic seizures and mania, and for the prevention of migraine headaches. Occasionally, healthcare providers may also recommend the drug for treating other conditions. "Off-label" divalproex ER uses may include the treatment of hiccups, dementia, and agitation. The medication is approved for treating mania only in adults but can be used for migraine prevention and epilepsy treatment in children.
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Divalproex ER (Depakote ER®) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of the following conditions:
- Mania -- divalproex ER is approved to treat manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder (manic depression)
- Epilepsy -- divalproex ER is approved to treat complex partial seizures and simple or complex absence seizures
- Migraines -- divalproex ER is approved to help prevent migraine headaches (but it does not help treat a headache once it starts).
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a serious brain disease that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. Currently, it is thought that bipolar disorder may be at least partially genetic (see Bipolar Causes). Between episodes, most people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms (see Bipolar Disorder Symptoms). Effective bipolar disorder treatment usually involves a combination of psychotherapy (see Bipolar Psychosocial Treatments) and bipolar medications.
Divalproex ER is approved to treat manic or mixed episodes (which have characteristics of both mania and depression). It is not approved for long-term use, once the episode has resolved -- though it is often used "off-label" in this manner.