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What Happens If You Stop Taking Depakote?

Depakote Lawsuits d'Oliveira & Associates


Depakote, also known as divalproex sodium, is a medication commonly prescribed to treat various conditions such as epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines. This medication works by stabilizing the electrical activity in the brain, preventing seizures and mood swings. However, if you stop taking Depakote abruptly without the guidance of a healthcare professional, it can lead to several undesirable effects. In this article, we will explore the potential consequences of discontinuing Depakote without medical supervision.

The Importance of Medical Guidance

Before delving into the potential effects of stopping Depakote, it is crucial to emphasize the significance of seeking medical guidance when considering any changes to your medication regimen. Your healthcare provider is the best person to assess your specific situation and determine whether it is safe for you to stop taking Depakote. They can gradually taper the dosage to minimize any potential withdrawal symptoms and ensure a smoother transition.

Withdrawal Symptoms

When Depakote is abruptly discontinued, it can trigger withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can vary in intensity and duration depending on individual factors such as the dosage, duration of use, and overall health. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:

1. Rebound Seizures

For individuals taking Depakote to manage epilepsy, stopping the medication suddenly can lead to an increased risk of rebound seizures. These seizures can be more severe and frequent compared to those experienced before starting the medication. It is essential to work closely with your healthcare provider to ensure a gradual tapering of the dosage to minimize this risk.

2. Mood Swings

Depakote is often prescribed to stabilize mood in individuals with bipolar disorder. Discontinuing the medication abruptly can disrupt this stability and lead to mood swings. These mood swings can range from irritability and agitation to depressive or manic episodes. It is crucial to consult your healthcare provider to develop a plan for safely discontinuing the medication while minimizing the risk of mood disturbances.

3. Nausea and Vomiting

Suddenly stopping Depakote can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may occur as the body adjusts to the absence of the medication. It is important to communicate any discomfort to your healthcare provider during the discontinuation process so they can provide appropriate guidance and support.

4. Headaches

Depakote is sometimes prescribed to manage migraines. If you stop taking the medication abruptly, it can lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of headaches. It is advisable to work with your healthcare provider to gradually taper off the medication to minimize the risk of rebound headaches.

Increased Risk of Relapse

Another significant concern when discontinuing Depakote without medical supervision is the increased risk of relapse. Whether you are using the medication to manage epilepsy, bipolar disorder, or migraines, abruptly stopping can lead to a resurgence of symptoms. This can have a detrimental impact on your overall well-being and quality of life. It is essential to work closely with your healthcare provider to develop an appropriate plan for discontinuation while minimizing the risk of relapse.


In conclusion, stopping Depakote without medical guidance can have several negative consequences. These can include rebound seizures, mood swings, nausea and vomiting, headaches, and an increased risk of relapse. It is crucial to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medication regimen. They can provide the necessary guidance and support to ensure a safe and smooth transition while minimizing any potential side effects.

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