Depakote ER Precautions and Warnings

Depakote ER Precautions and Warnings Overview

Depakote ER can have a drug interaction with other medicines or not be a good drug for you if you have certain medical conditions, such as hepatic disease, known hypersensitivity to Depakote ER, urea cycle disorders, or pancreatitis.

It’s important to know all of the medicines that you or your family member takes. Use mydrugfx to keep a list of all medicines to share with your doctor. Only your doctor can prescribe prescription medicines for you. Do not stop taking any medicine without speaking to your doctor.


You should not take Depakote ER if you:

  • Have liver disease or significant liver problems.

Learn more about Depakote ER and Effect on Liver here

  • Have known allergy to the drug
  • Have urea cycle disorders
  • Are pregnant or nursing unless the risk versus benefit has been examined.


Other Depakote ER Warnings:

Depakote ER and Low Platelet Counts

Thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts) may happen when you are taking Depakote ER and may be related to the amount of Depakote ER you are taking. You will need tests before you start Depakote ER if you are having planned surgery. If you bleed easily, bruise, or show any signs of a clotting disorder, your dose of Depakote ER may be changed or discontinued by your physician.


Depakote ER and Low Body Temperature

Hypothermia (Below normal body temperature [less than 95°F] has occurred with valproate use with and without hyperammonemia (excess ammonia in the blood). This can also happen if you are taking topiramate (Topamax) with valproate. If you experience hypothermia with signs of lethargy (tiredness), confusion, coma, and major changes in other major organ systems such as the heart or lungs, you should stop taking valproate and seek medical care.


Depakote ER and Too Much Blood Ammonia

Hyperammnonemia (excess ammonia in the blood) has occurred in patients taking valproate even if liver function tests are normal. If you have unexplained lethargy (tiredness) and vomiting or changes in mental status, you may have too much ammonia in your brain and should have the ammonia levels in your blood tested. If you experience hypothermia (low body temperature), you should stop taking valproate. You will be watched closely for these symptoms and if elevated levels continue, you should stop taking valproate.

Taking Topirimate (Topamax) and Valproic Acid (Depakote) together has lead to too much ammonia in the blood. Low body temperature can be related to this condition.



Learn more about Depakote ER Drug Interactions.


Depakote ER Use in Children:

Depakote ER is not approved for bipolar mania or prophylaxis of migraine headaches in patients younger than 18 years old, seizures in patients younger than 10 years old or children under the age of 2 years because they are at considerably higher risk of fatal liver toxicity.

Depakote ER Use in the Elderly:

Elderly patients experience more drowsiness and dehydration which may lead to poor nutrition and weight loss. If you are elderly, your starting dose will be reduced and increased more slowly, your fluids and nutrition will be watched, and you will also be watched for somnolence (drowsiness).


Depakote ER and Alcohol

Since valproate products can cause central nervous system (CNS) side effects such as drowsiness, especially when combined with another depressant such as alcohol people should generally avoid consuming alcohol while taking Depakote ER.

Remember: Mixing alcohol and medicines puts you at risk for dangerous reactions. Protect yourself by avoiding alcohol if you are taking a medication and don’t know its effect. To learn more about a medicine and whether it will interact with alcohol, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.

Written & reviewed by: Lisa Erwin R.Ph. CGP | Last review date: Dec 2010. Click the References Link below for a complete list of references.

Written & reviewed by: Lisa Erwin R.Ph. CGP | Last review date: Dec 2010.
View References