Asked by mina
What Side Effects Does Depakine Chrono Have?
My daugther currently takes Depakine Chrono - 500mg, but I am concerned about the side effects. What kind of side effects should I look out for in my daughter?
Hey, Mina. Depakine Chrono is the trade name used by the pharmaceutical company Sanofli to market valproic acid (or sodium valproate) in various parts of the world. In the US, Abbot markets a similar compound (divalproex sodium) under the trade name, Depakote. The drug is a pharmaceutical salt originally used to treat epilepsy, then later approved to treat bipolar disorder.
The drug is regarded as a "mood stabilizer," along with other mood stabilizers such as Lamictal and Neurontin, together with the natural salt lithium. Essentially, the drug helps slow down the brain, which makes it useful in treating mania, both to ease an episode and to prevent an episode. Though it has no demonstrated effect in treating depression, it is regarded as a mainstay med for bipolar.
There is a risk that the drug may effect: liver function. Blood tests are required from time to time to ensure that the liver is not affected.
More common side effects are weight gain and cognitive dulling. In the short term, these effects may be considered fair trade-offs until an individual is stabilized. Over the long term, however, physicians tend to err on the side of over-dosing, so it is up to you to be your own advocate. You and your doctor need to work together in finding that "just right" sweet spot.
Different people react to the drug in different ways, so what works for one person may not work for another. You will find a lot more about the drug by Googling "Depakote" rather than "Depakine."
Please note: I'm am not an MD. This is general information only.