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What should I know about Depakote before taking it?

Depakote can cause liver damage, which may be serious. In some cases, it could be fatal. Children under age 2 who receive Depakote are most vulnerable to liver damage. Adults who take other medications to prevent seizures or who suffer from severe seizures and intellectual disabilities, those with urea cycle disorder, or liver disease are also at increased risk of liver damage from taking Depakote. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not take Depakote because of the risk of birth defects and decreased IQ in the child. Depakote has also been linked to an increased risk for severe pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening. Depakote also has been linked with a severe drug reaction that can cause fever, a rash and swollen lymph nodes. If you notice these symptoms, tell your doctor right away.  Finally, be aware that a small number of adults and children who take valproic acid (the active ingredient in Depakote) and other seizure medications develop suicidal thoughts. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.