Migraine Headache

Preventing Migraine With Depakote

Depakote is a prescription medication used to prevent migraine headaches. However, this medicine may also be used to treat bipolar disorder. Here is all that you need to know about this medicine.

The exact functioning of Depakote has not been ascertained as of now. However, it is believed that this medication works in multiple ways, including pathways involving GABA. GABA is one of the chemicals used by the nerves for communication.

Depakote is a preventive medication and needs to be taken everyday to prevent migraines. The exact dosage varies from one individual to another depending upon the body weight, severity of the condition along with the body's response to the medicine.

Though this medicine needs to be taken with a glass of water, you may take it with food in case you deal with a stomach upset on consuming the medicine. Make sure that you swallow the tablet whole. Do not chew or crush the tablet. It is important that you take this medicine at the same time everyday to keep the medication constantly in your blood.

Though Depakote is an effective medicine, it does have its fair share of side effects. Some of the commonly caused side effects of this medicine include rash, weight gain, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, weakness, visual changes and back pain. Besides, this medicine is also known to cause substantial damage to the liver, especially during the first six months of usage. Prolonged use of this medicine has also been linked to the development of pancreatitis.

Precautions and contraindications

* Do not use this medicine if you are already using medications that pass through your liver. Medicines like phenytoin and carbamazepine metabolize quickly when you are taking Depakote.
* Pregnant women should strictly refrain from taking this medicine as it can cause birth defects. Also, this medication passes into breast milk, which can be harmful for the baby.
* Make sure that you get regular blood tests done when using this medicine. The reason for the same is that this medicine can cause problems with the blood count.
* It is important to consult your health care provider in case you experience any side effects.
* Tell your doctor if you have had a history of alcohol abuse, brain diseases, kidney diseases, poor nutrition or low body weight.
* Depakote may lead to hazy or blurred vision in some individuals. Thus, it is recommended that you do not perform any activity that requires mental alertness, after using this medicine.

It is important that you use this medicine under strict supervision of your health care provider.