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How does Depakote treat bipolar disorder?

Depakote increases healthy levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. An imbalance of neurotransmitters has been associated with bipolar (manic depressive) disorder. By increasing the amount of neurotransmitters, Depakote helps treat and prevent manic or mixed episodes that are caused by bipolar disorder. A manic episode is characterized by a definite period in which the mood is considerably altered. During this period, someone's mood can range from extremely elevated to severely irritable. This can be accompanied by symptoms, such as hyperactivity, insomnia, aggressiveness, grandiosity or poor judgment. A mixed episode occurs when signs of a manic episode are combined with those of a depressive episode, which include loss of interest or pleasure in any activity and a disheartened mood. However, the long term effect of Depakote (its use for more than three weeks straight) on manic episodes has not yet been evaluated.

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