valproic acid, divalproex, Depakote, Depakote Sprinkle, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Stavzor

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GENERIC NAME: valproic acid, divalproex

BRAND NAME: Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakote Sprinkle, Depakene, Depacon, Stavzor

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Valproic acid and its derivative, divalproex, are oral drugs that are used for the treatment of convulsions, migraines and bipolar disorder. The active ingredient in both products is valproic acid. Divalproex is converted to valproic acid in the stomach. Scientists do not know the mechanism of action of valproic acid. The most popular theory is that valproic acid exerts its effects by increasing the concentration of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that nerves use to communicate with one another. The FDA approved valproic acid in February, 1978 and divalproex in March 1983.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Valproic acid is used for the treatment of seizures, bipolar disorder, and prevention of migraines.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/15/2015

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