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valproic acid (depakote, depakene)

available over the counter: no

uses: control of certain types of  seizures;  used to treat acute mania

mechanism of action: depresses activity of certain portions of the brain

side effects
• common: nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, cramps, loss of appetite
• less common: drowsiness, constipation, skin rash, headache
• serious: abdominal pain, muscle weakness, lethargy, abnormal bleeding or bruising

concerns: do not stop medication abruptly;  taper, per physician over weeks


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