Bipolar Disorder Community
Depakote
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Depakote

Experiences? How common is the hair loss and weight gain?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I don't know the statstics but can offer you my experiences and that of people I know who have been on it.  My own experience and that of a lot of people I know is that weight gain is an issue and I personally stopped taking it because of that, however, this doesn't mean that everyone gains weight and I certainly wouldn't choose not to try a new med based on a small chance of weight gain.  You can always change to another med if you do not like the side effects of the one you are on.  With regard to hair loss, I never experienced that and nobody I know of has either, in fact my hair grew thicker!

I would never put anyone off trying a recommended med as we are all so different in our biological make-up.  Give it a go and see how you get on.
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Avatar_f_tn
I personally have been on Depakote for 17 years, and it's been a good drug for me.  I have had trouble gaining weight while on it, however.  I never had any problem with hair loss or any other side effects.  The only thing is that you have to get bloodwork done every so often, because there is a danger of liver problems.
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1100992_tn?1262360816
See, the weight gain really turns me off. I'm already overweight and can't afford to gain more. :/
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1216899_tn?1288573925
I just started depakote last night, and so far no immediate serious side effects. I have had a couple of sudden temperature rises, but other than that, so far, so good.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was on Depakote for 4 years.  It was a good medicine for me.  I was able to go to college and work 3 jobs, get engaged, get married.  It does cause weight gain. but can be managed.  I lost all the weight because a doctor put me on a diet of only 6 grams of fat per meal only 18 grams of fat a day.  I lost the weight almost overnight.  The medicine makes you hungry I just snacked on fat free saltines. I had to stop taking it because it was causing liver problems.  

I take Seroquel now which knocks me out at night.  It causes day time drowsniness, so I haven't really been able to work or be as productive as when I was on Depakote.

Not everyone gains weight though on Depakote, one of my friends had a major weight problem, she thought she was gonna gain the weight she lost while on Depakote but has not put on a pound in the last year.  

Good luck on your decision.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I was prescribed Depakote and it was not the right medicine for me AT ALL. I felt like I was literally losing touch with what my reality was and I have never felt like that since. Apparently I was a bit young to be put on Depakote- I was 20 - but I would never take it again. I have taken Abilify (which worked great with little to no side effects - but it was over $800 and my insurance had to be renewed so I went with Seroquel and I truly like it.) The weight gain is supposedly the same but I am curious, wj74, do you feel a craving to eat that is unusual? Mine is at night and I can tell you I know how crazy hungry it will make me. I keep a box of reduced fat triscuits next to my bed and a bottle of water and I find that a few triscuits helps me not indulge on ALL the stuff in the fridge.
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1100992_tn?1262360816
I crave sugar mostly. It's my biggest downfall. I noticed it more on the Abilify, although I didn't gain weight, just retained water. I also just have a hard time losing weight. I gained 60 pounds when I was pregnant with my daughter and can't get it off.
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