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Valproic acid tablet
What is this medicine?
Controlling certain types of seizures in the treatment of epilepsy in patients who are unable to take the oral form of Valproic acid. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Valproic acid is an anticonvulsant. It works by increasing a certain chemical in the brain. Valproic acid may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I tell my health care providers before I take this medicine?
Some medical conditions may interact with Valproic acid. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, are breast-feeding, or are of childbearing age
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of liver problems, cancer, blood disease (eg, low levels of white blood cells, low blood platelet levels), HIV infection, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, kidney problems, pancreas problems, low blood albumin levels, or high blood glycine levels
- if you have a history of metabolic problems, ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, brain problems (eg, organic brain disease), coma, high blood ammonia or glutamine levels, low body temperature, mental retardation, recurring vomiting and sluggishness, or recurring extreme irritability
- if you have a history of mental or mood problems, suicidal thoughts or actions, or alcohol abuse or dependence
- if you have decreased food or fluid intake, or if you are scheduled for surgery
- if you have a family history of urea cycle disorders or unexplained infant deaths
- if you take any other medicine for seizures
How should I use this medicine?
Use Valproic acid as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Valproic acid is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Valproic acid at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Valproic acid. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Do not use Valproic acid if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- Do not suddenly stop using Valproic acid. Suddenly stopping Valproic acid may cause seizures to occur more often. If you need to stop Valproic acid, your doctor will gradually lower your dose.
- Valproic acid works best if it is used at the same time each day.
- Continue to use Valproic acid even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of Valproic acid, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Valproic acid.
What may interact with this medicine?
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Valproic acid. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Clonazepam because the risk of seizures may be increased
- Topiramate because the risk of high ammonium levels and brain problems may be increased
- Benzodiazepines (eg, diazepam), felbamate, or salicylates (eg, aspirin) because they may increase the risk of Valproic acid's side effects
- Carbamazepine, carbapenem antibiotics (eg, imipenem), hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills), hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), mefloquine, rifampin, or ritonavir because they may decrease Valproic acid's effectiveness
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital, primidone), ethosuximide, lamotrigine, methylphenidate, quetiapine, rufinamide, tolbutamide, tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline), or zidovudine because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Valproic acid
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Valproic acid may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
What side effects may I notice from this medicine?
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Change in appetite; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; hair loss; headache; indigestion; mild pain or redness at the injection site; nausea; stomach cramps or pain; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weakness; weight changes.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue); abnormal thinking; blurred vision or other vision changes; changes in behavior; change in menstrual period; chest pain; chills; confusion; difficulty speaking; difficulty urinating or other urination problems; extreme tiredness; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; general body discomfort; hallucinations; hearing loss; involuntary movements of the arms and legs; involuntary movements or chewing movements of the face, jaw, mouth, or tongue; joint or muscle pain or weakness; lack of energy; loss of coordination; memory loss; new or worsening mental or mood changes (eg, aggressiveness, agitation, anxiety, depression, exaggerated feeling of well-being, hostility, impulsiveness, inability to sit still, irritability, panic attacks, restlessness); new or worsening seizures; nosebleed; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; severe or persistent pain; shortness of breath; sore throat; suicidal thoughts or actions; swelling of the arms or legs; swollen lymph nodes; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, severe stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes); tremor; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual weakness.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Do NOT use Valproic acid if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Valproic acid
- you have liver problems or a urea cycle disorder
- you have a genetic liver problem caused by a mitochondrial disorder (eg, Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome)
- the patient is younger than 2 years old and has a mitochondrial disorder
- you are taking Valproic acid to prevent migraine headaches and you are pregnant
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.