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Sodium Valproate (Valproic Acid)

Uses

This drug is used to treat specific types of seizures, bipolar disorder and also prevent migraine headaches.

IUPAC name: sodium; 2-propylpentanoate

Drug class: Anticonvulsant/ Antiepileptic drug

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Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This anti-epileptic medicine works by restoring the production of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) that calms the brain and helps in decreasing the abnormal activity of nerve impulses in the brain that produce seizures.

 Side effects

It can cause dizziness, drowsiness, diarrhea, headaches, constipation, hair loss, weight changes, tremor, strange negative thoughts, visual changes, ringing in the ears, weakness, disorientation, vomiting, chest discomfort, fever/chills, rash, itching, and breathing difficulties.

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to it, or if you have other allergies,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

When you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, dementia, pancreatitis, dehydration, bleeding issues, coma, lack of coordination,

If you have undergone any type of surgery,

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.

This drug’s adverse effects are more severe in older adults and children (younger than 6 years).

This medication may affect your mental health.

Use of this medication should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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