Delayed Release Valproic Acid
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking delayed release valproic acid if you have:
- Liver disease, such as liver failure or cirrhosis
- A urea cycle disorder
- Mental retardation
- A blood disorder
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Stavzor and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Stavzor and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Delayed Release Valproic Acid to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Delayed release valproic acid works for epilepsy by increasing the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a natural brain chemical that stops or slows down other brain signals. Increasing GABA helps prevent the abnormal brain signals that lead to a seizure. It is also thought that delayed release valproic acid may prevent seizures by affecting sodium channels in the brain. It is not clear exactly how delayed release valproic acid works for migraines or bipolar disorder.
Delayed release valproic acid capsules are "delayed release," which means they are specially designed to prevent the medications from dissolving too early in the digestive tract (which can be irritating to the stomach and esophagus). Delayed release valproic acid is similar to (but not equivalent to) Depakote® (divalproex sodium) tablets. Both medications provide valproate in a delayed-release form; however, delayed release valproic acid soft gel capsules are smaller and, therefore, easier to swallow, compared to Depakote tablets.