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Depakote Side Effects or Withdrawal Symptoms

I have realy hard time lately, you probobly know what I mean... I have soft bipolar, bipolar II with no mania. Week and a half ago after takin 250 of Depakote for about 2 months and taking 500 for about 1 month (blood work was done) my doctor decided upper me up to 750 for a week then take 1000mg. At the same day I went up to 750 I have decreased my Xanax XR cutting down frm 1.5mg to 1mg. I was taking the Xanax for almost two years. First two days on higher depakote and less xanax was fine, third and fourth i felt depressed, anxious, my head was clouded, couldn't concentrate, think, weird sensation on the face,diarrhea, weekness, sleepy, I was a wreck. Then next two days was much better, but then it started again but the symptoms are less sever, but iI still cannot concentrate and have cloudy head and derealization, face sensation, blurry vision, diarrhea anxiety that I will never be better. Two days ago I upped my Depakote to 1000mg. Yesterday, I had bad depression episode for about 3 hours in the afternoon, I was crying. I see that Depakote controlls my cycling, I am not going up and down that much. I really want it to work and live normal life :-(. My question is, are the symptoms I experience side effects of Depakote or withdrawal from Xanax???? Please help me!!!!! I am sttill taking .5 Xanax Xr in the mn and .5 in the evening so it is still there, I've just reduced the dosage!!! I also take small dosage of 600mg lithium, 25mg of lamictal and 2.5mg o Lexapro a day. Most of them my pdoc wants to get rid off. Thanks!!
9 Responses
447130 tn?1225474466
I'm not a doc but it sounds a lot like me coming off xanax. Maybe it was just too fast ans the depakote change didn't help the situation. You may have to have your pdoc up your xanax and wean even slower. It takes awhile with xanax but the good news is it can be done fairly easily if done slowly.
Stay with us, we are all here to help.
Best wishes,
Avatar universal
Thank You Erin,
I feels so good when somebody reads and responds to your question. I am only 29 and want to live fairly normal life. Sometimes it is so hard. It is so hard for me to find right combo of meds. Hopefully that's the xanax withdrawals not the Depakote which I realy want to work. After being on 500 for 3 days my blood level was about .22 and my doc said that after a week should be arround 50 at this dosage. i've seen some improvement but still deeped down into depression rapid cycling. Therefore; he decided upper me up to 750 and then to 1000mg, that I took twice already. How long it takes for Depakote to work at the right dosage???? Hopefully, xanax dosage reduction goes away and depakote will start working.
Thanks so much for your help!!!!
Avatar universal
Any Help??? Also, how long it takes for the Depakote to start working or reach the right concentration in the blood after bumping the dosage?
715599 tn?1230776966
I have been on depakote since August, and it has been the best thing in my life. I just started noticing severe hair loss.  I went to my Dermatologist and she has me counting how many strands I lose in a 7 day period.  I can tell you I am losing more than 150 strands a day.  My scalp is really sore and when I wash it it falls out even more.  I don;t know what to do.  I am on 1,000 milg at nighttime including sequerole.  Is there anything else I could take for the mood disorders.  This drug really controlled the highs and lows I had on a daily basis.

607502 tn?1288251140
You need to speak to your doctors.

There are a host of mood stabilisers from Lithium to Lamactil and Seroquel and others - however no one can advise but your psychiatrist and they can make the best decision - i assume you have spoken to your psychiatrist when you started noticing this side effect?

If not its important that you do, its a basic educational principle that we need to read about the drugs we take and speak to our psychiatrists and doctors when we are concerned and on any side effects being noticed.  Remember the doctors work for you not the other way around ok.

BTW : Hair loss is a side effect of depakote occuring in 5-10% of patients.

Here is a list of Depakote Side effects and information on the drug in case your doctor neglected to give it to you : www.medscape.com/druginfo/patienthandout?cid=med&drugid=1788&drugname=Depakote+Oral&monotype=patienthandout
715599 tn?1230776966
Thanks Monkey for the advice.  I have a call into my doctor and he I will have to try another medication or perhaps go on a lower dose of the depakote (1,000).  I had very few side effects, until recently with the hair loss.  I would have thought I would have had the hair loss sooner.  I have been on it since August.  My Dermatologist thinks it's my alopecia.  I had a history of that over the years.  In my early teens and then again in my late 30's.  I am now experiencing menopause.  Maybe that is it too.  It could be a combo of everything.  It's the trials and tribulations of being a woman I suppose.

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