Valproate (divalproex sodium, or Depakote; valproic acid, or Depakene) is one of the few drugs available that has been proven effective in treating rapid cycling bipolar and mixed states patients.
If valproates are added to an existing anti-epileptic drug regimen or other drugs are added to a regimen that contains valproate, additional dose adjustments will usually be needed.
Olanzapine (Zyprexa) was approved in 2003 for use in combination with lithium or valproate for treatment of acute manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.
Stomach cramps, indigestion, diarrhea, hair loss, appetite loss, nausea, and unusual weight loss or gain are some of the common side effects of valproate.
Valproic acid and sodium valproate interact with many of the other drugs used to treat epilepsy.
Valproate is prescribed alone or in combination with carbamazepine and/or lithium.