Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • John C. Courtney
  • Efrain Antonio GonzalezEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1721

Generic Name

Valproate, divalproex sodium

Brand Name

Depakene, Depacon, Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakote Sprinkles, and Stavzor


Anticonvulsants, mood stabilizer, migraine prophylaxis

Proposed Mechanism(s) of Action

While the certain mechanism is unknown, it is believed to block voltage-sensitive sodium channels and to increase brain concentrations of GABA.


Acute mania, complex partial seizure disorder, simple and complex absence seizures, and migraine prophylaxis

Off-Label Use

Maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder, bipolar depression, psychosis, or schizophrenia

Side Effects


Polycystic ovaries, hepatoxicity (can be fatal), pancreatitis (can be fatal), and history of inducing suicidal ideation


Sedation, tremor, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting, constipation, weight gain, hyperandrogenism, hyperinsulinemia, problems controlling lipid level, and diminished bone mineral density

References and Readings

  1. Physicians’ desk reference (71st ed.) (2017). Montvale: Thomson PDR.Google Scholar
  2. Stahl, S. M. (2007). Essential psychopharmacology: The prescriber’s guide (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Additional Information

  1. Free drug online and PDA software. www.epocrates.com
  2. Free drug online and PDA software. www.medscape.com

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Socorro Mental HealthPresbyterian Medical ServicesSocorroUSA
  2. 2.College of PsychologyNova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  3. 3.Utah State UniversityLoganUSA