Can divalproex help treat bipolar disorder?

Divalproex (brand name Depakote) has been used as an anticonvulsant—to treat seizures—for several decades. It has also been extensively researched as a mood stabilizer in bipolar illness. Divalproex is equally effective in both euphoric and mixed manic episodes. It is also effective in rapid-cycling bipolar disorder and for individuals whose illness is complicated by substance abuse or anxiety disorders. Unlike other mood stabilizers, divalproex can be given in relatively large initial doses for acute mania, which may produce a more rapid response.

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