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General Information
What should I know before taking this drug
Dosage information
Adverse reactions
Additional information if any
Divaa tab (Intas)
Valance- od tab [ Piramal HC] 
Divalproex sodium is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner. 
Divalproex sodium is pronounced as: dye-VAL-pro-ex 
Divalproex sodium is an anti psychotic and an anti convulsants drug. 
Divalproex sodium is used in the treatment of following
  • Prevention of Migraine attacks
  • Acute episodes of mania in bipolar disorder
  • Generalised tonic-clonic seizures
  • Absence seizure
  • Partial seizures
  • Take divalproex sodium exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If do not understand these instructions ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
  • Take oral dose of divalproex sodium preferably with meals to avoid gastric upset.
  • Take divalproex sodium at regular intervals as advised by your doctor for it to be effective.
  • Avoid taking heavy meals as it may slow down divalproex absortion and decrease its effectiveness.
  • Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer duration than recommended by your doctor as it may lead to drug- dependence.
  • Do not skip doses or stop taking divalproex sodium without consulting your doctor.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking divalproex sodium?

  • Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any OTC or prescription drugs like,
    1. Oral anticoagulant like warfarin
    2. Anti HIV drugs like Zidovudine
    3. Sedatives like lorazepam
    4. Anti convulsants like Topiramate, phenytoin, phenobarbitone, carbamazepine
  • Inform your doctor if you have following medical diseases , as Divalproex sodium should be used cautiously in these conditions
    1. Liver disease
    2. Blood disorder like Porphyrias
    3. HIV infection
    4. History of Pancreatitis
    5. Lupus erythematosus
    6. Family history of urea cycle disorder or sudden infant deaths
Do not use divalproex sodium concomitantly if you are using any other anti convulsant drug.

What are the precautions I should follow for divalproex sodium?

Children: Divalproex sodium should not be used in children less than 2 years old.

Old people:
Pregnant woman: Divalproex sodium belongs to  FDA pregnancy category D. This means that divalproex sodium can harm an unborn baby and cause birth defects if used during pregnancy. Do not use divalproex sodium with out your doctor consent however its use is justified if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
Lactating women: divalproex sodium passes into breast milk and harm nursing baby. Do not use divalproex sodium with out the consent from your doctor if you are breastfeeding your child.
Divalproex sodium is available in the form of tablets. 
Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.
Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication. 
If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose. 
In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.
The overdose symptoms of divalproex sodium include
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Drowsiness
  • Weak, slow pulse
Divalproex sodium may cause following side effects
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Tremors 
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drowsiness 
  • Weight gain
Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.
  • Allergic reaction like swollen lips, hives, difficulty in breathing, rashes. Peeling of skin etc
  • Uncontrolled movements of the hands, legs, tongue, face
  • Fever , chills, sore throat
  • Jaundice (yellowing of eyes, skin)
  • Mood changes
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts
  • Hallucination, delusions, confusion
  • Pancreatitis ( severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, jaundice etc)
Store divalproex sodium at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.
  • If you are a diabetic on this medication inform your lab personnel regarding divalproex sodium medication as it may cause false positive results in urine ketone bodies.
  • Do not use divalproex sodium in children less than 2 yrs as they are more prone for serious liver damage.
  • Divalproex sodium causes giddiness, drowsiness and visual disturbances as side effects. Therefore when affected do not drive, operate heavy machinery or perform unsafe tasks and avoid alcohol.
  • Divalproex sodium should be used cautiously in elderly patients as they more prone for side effects like muscle stiffness, involuntary movements etc.
  • Regular monitoring of your complete blood cell counts, liver function test is required when on this medication to look for possible side effects.
  • Inform your doctor and dentist regarding divalproex sodium medication prior to any planned procedure.
It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.
Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: April 04, 2012

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