Depakene is commonly prescribed to treat complex partial seizures and simple or complex absence seizures in people with epilepsy. It works by increasing the level of a certain brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid. Factors that can affect the dosage of Depakene that your healthcare provider prescribes include your weight, other drugs you're taking, and the type of seizures being treated. The medication comes in the form of capsules or oral syrup.
What Is Depakene?
Depakene® (valproic acid) is a prescription medication used to control seizures in people with epilepsy. Specifically, the drug is approved to treat complex partial seizures and simple or complex absence seizures.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that occurs when there are recurring, brief changes in the electrical system of the brain. This change in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms).
Depakene works by increasing the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a natural brain chemical that stops or slows down other brain signals. Increasing GABA helps prevent the abnormal brain signals that lead to a seizure. It is also thought that Depakene may prevent seizures by affecting sodium channels in the brain.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Depakene [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: Abbott Laboratories;2006 October.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed May 31, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed May 31, 2007.
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