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Epival is an oral tablet usually pink or peach in color and is made up of an anticonvulsant drug called divalproex. We carry the brand name Epival in 125mg, 250mg, and 500mg!
This is a medication given to those who suffer from epilepsy. This is a seizure disorder, a form of a neurological disorder where the brain activity becomes abnormal resulting in unusual behavior, sensations, a loss of awareness, and of course, seizures. This medication may be used in combination with other seizure medications or used alone. Epival is also used to treat manic episodes. Manic episodes occur in people who suffer from manic depression, more commonly known as bi-polar disorder. Manic depression causes extreme mood swings (emotional highs like mania and emotional lows like depression).
Divalproex work on the activity of neurotransmitters (certain brain chemicals) called GABA and glutamate and has a stabilizing effect on nerves. This helps to reduce the fluctuations in severe moods.
Follow directions given to your by your doctor. It is important to take this medication exactly the way you are directed otherwise you risk suffering a rebound seizure.
Epival should be swallowed whole, with or without food.
The average dose for seizures is 15mg per kg of body weight once a day. This dose is usually increased every week by 5mg – 10mg per kg of body weight a day until side effects prevent further increase or until the seizures have stopped.
To treat manic episodes, start with a dose of 250mg 3 times per day. When taking doses higher than 250mg, they must be divided and taken at separate times.
Some medical conditions as well as medications to treat those conditions shouldn’t be mixed with Epival (Divalproex) as they can cause unwanted adverse interactions and sometimes be fatal. Tell your doctor about all past medical conditions as well as all medications you are currently taking including prescription, over the counter, herbal supplements and vitamins, to determine if this medication is right for you.
Epival may cause behavioral changes; this includes an increase of aggressive, hostile, anxious, disorientated behaviors. You may also experience decreased memory while on this medication.
This medication may make it more difficult for blood to clot and should be taken with precaution if you are on any sort of blood thinning medications (anticoagulants). Discuss with your doctor how your condition may affect this medication to determine if the you need any special monitoring or a dose adjustment.
If you have kidney disease or reduced kidney function, liver disease or reduced liver function, pancreatitis, or suicidal thoughts speak to your doctor about your condition before proceeding with Epival.
You should not take this medication if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This medication can harm a nursing infant and could cause birth defects to an unborn baby. Speak with your doctor before using Epival if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Common side effects of Epival (Divalproex) may include:
The above side effects should not alarm you.
Serious side effects of Epival (Divalproex) may include:
If you have any of the above side effects, contact your doctor right away.
Signs to watch for:
signs of bleeding: unusual nosebleeds, bruising, blood in urine, coughing blood, bleeding gums, cuts that don't stop bleeding.
signs of depression: poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, thoughts of suicide or other mood changes.
signs of liver problems: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools.
signs of muscle damage: muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, or brown or discoloured urine - especially if you also have a fever or a general feeling of being unwell.
signs of pancreatitis: abdominal pain on the upper left side, back pain, nausea, fever, chills, rapid heartbeat, swollen abdomen.
severe skin reactions on a large area of the body or on the lips: ulcers, blisters, pain, redness, skin peeling.
signs of a serious allergic reaction: abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting , or swelling of the face and throat.
Is this medication safe for kids?
It is safe for both infants and older children. If it is given to infants under 2 years old, it must be given with no other medications and should be closely monitored by a doctor. For the treatment of mania, it is not recommended for those under 18.
What are the possible birth defects this drug can cause to an unborn baby?
A mother should not use this drug while pregnant because it can cause a defect of the babys spine, called spina bifida. It can also cause cleft palate, heart defects, autism, or a slowed or reduced mental development.
Can I drink alcohol while on Epival?
Though it is not a deadly interaction, mixing alcohol with divalproex can cause an increase in side effects like drowsiness. This may occur when mixing this drug with any kind of sedating medication, like cannabis.
Are there any other conditions (besides kidney and liver problems and suicidal thoughts) that may interact poorly with this medication?
Yes, you should avoid using Divalproex if you suffer from a urea cycle disorder, Alpers syndrome, Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome, conditions caused by nervous system breakdowns or if you have porphyria.
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