Depakote: valproic acid or divalproex sodium?

  1. So I thought I knew what this answer was from pharmacology, however, the information provided as I now enter my Mental Health class is conflicting.

    I have a sheet from my professor saying a few medications that we need to know before class. That's what I am doing. One of the medications is "valproic acid (Depakote)". I have my Davis's Drug Guide (2015), and my ATI book (9th ed.) to help me find the information.

    The problem is, Davis's is conflicting with both the sheet that my teacher gave me and the ATI book which both claim that Depakote is valproic acid. Davis's says that Depakote is actually divalproex sodium.

    I just want to know, as nurses in the field who see this medication often, which is the generic form of Depakote? I've never seen this medication. I cannot begin to gather information from Davis's if I can't follow the generic medication. I've never known Davis's to be wrong, but what do I know...

    Thanks for your time.
  2. Poll: What is the generic form of Depakote for bi-polar

    • valproic acid

      33.33% 1
    • divalproex sodium

      66.67% 2
    • Something else...

      0% 0
    3 Votes
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    About Mrs.D.

    Joined: Sep '14; Posts: 52; Likes: 21
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  4. by   elkpark
    Valproic Acid and Derivatives (Sodium Valproate, Divalproex Sodium) (Professional Patient Advice) -

    valproic acid/divalproex, Depakote: Drug Facts, Side Effects and Dosing

    They are related but slightly different drugs (divalproex sodium is a compound containing valproic acid), but lots of people use all the names interchangeably. Depakote is divalproex sodium. The trade name for valproic acid is Depakene.
  5. by   Mrs.D.
    Okay, thank you. That is what I thought I learned from pharmacology, but I was a bit thrown when both the ATI book, as well as the form my professor provided me conflicted. Much appreciated!
  6. by   liathA
    Depakote is divalproex sodium. Depakene is valproic acid. I believe the main reason the terms for valproates are often used interchangeably is because they all become valproic acid within the body - one of the nice things about Depakote is that you can do a blood test to see if the patient is within the therapeutic range for their condition, and what they test for is the blood level of valproic acid. The main reasons divalproex sodium is preferred to valproic acid as a prescription is that it's processed slower by the body - this both ameliorates GI upset (which is a common negative side effect with valproic acid) and allows for less frequent dosing (Depakote is available in extended release form that only needs to be taken once a day, instead of 2-3 times a day for valproic acid).