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Depakote For Anxiety


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#1 jenn-rn

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:01 AM

My doc wants me to take Depakote 250mg for anxiety. Nothing else has worked. From what I've read, Depakote is a nasty drug with all kinds of horrible side effects, so I'm very reluctant to start taking it. Lamictal handles my depression but I have anxiety that is really affecting my life. Seroquel is like a horse tranquilizor - I took 1/4 of a 25mg tablet last night and feel drugged this morning. I'm very irritable.

With a low dose of 250mg a day, do you think the side effects will be less dramatic? I'm a pretty small person - 110lbs - so I'm not sure.

Thoughts?
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#2 In_Remission_Tristan

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:22 AM

Not everyone has had a bad experience with Depakote. I take 2000mg a day and its a miracle drug for me with very few side effects. So just go at it with an open mind.

#3 andrea3821

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:33 AM

I have had virtually no side effects with Depakote. The only things I would say are that it has put me back into depression and I gained about five pounds over the last month. I would not consider it to be "nasty" at all.

For anxiety, .5mg/1mg PRN of Ativan has helped me. Have you tried any of the benzos yet? I guess the question is if you're trying to treat social anxiety or general anxiety.
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Andrea

Trying to figure out if I really have what they say I have. Been off meds for about a month and I'm "normal" now. :?
Recent meds: Depakote (1000mg BID=further depression), Strattera (60mg=hypersexual and nauseous...lovely combination, but at least not depressed anymore), Ambien (10mg nightly=dependence), Ativan (1mg PRN...down to about once/month)
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#4 jenn-rn

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:41 AM

I have had virtually no side effects with Depakote. The only things I would say are that it has put me back into depression and I gained about five pounds over the last month. I would not consider it to be "nasty" at all.

For anxiety, .5mg/1mg PRN of Ativan has helped me. Have you tried any of the benzos yet? I guess the question is if you're trying to treat social anxiety or general anxiety.



How long have you been on Depakote? I can't do benzos either. I'm kind of at the end of med choices. It's either this is try to control it through counseling, which is not working well.
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#5 Jerod Poore

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:40 PM

With a low dose of 250mg a day, do you think the side effects will be less dramatic? I'm a pretty small person - 110lbs - so I'm not sure.


A person's size has nothing to do with potential side effects and little to do with how much of a medication they need. In general a low dosage means side effects that aren't that bad. Starting low and increasing slowly keeps it that way.

Keep in mind that Depakote inhibits how you clear Lamictal from your system. At 250mg there's not much of an impact, but at 500mg or more it will start to make a difference. More Depakote (up to a certain point) is the functional equivalent of taking more Lamictal.
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#6 Peregrine

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:16 PM

With a low dose of 250mg a day, do you think the side effects will be less dramatic? I'm a pretty small person - 110lbs - so I'm not sure.


When tapering off Depakote, I started noticing a dramatic lessening of side effects below about 500mg, so I would really think that 250mg should be reasonable from the side effect point of view unless things go awry. I may be going back on it soon, and am also hoping that a low dosage will make the side effect profile better for me! But be very careful with what Jerod said concerning the effect of Depakote on Lamictal effective dosage. Your pdoc had better be paying attention, but you should be too. Hope it works!
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Meds I can't/won't take: imipramine (and probably any other TCA), due to severe speech inhibition and slurring ; risperidone, due to lactation and other nasty side effects ; trazodone, as 1/4 of the smallest tablet (25mg, so 6.25mg) made me sleep 12-14 hours and be a zombie otherwise ; Cymbalta (despite it being awesome) due to postural orthostatic tachycardia.

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#7 Pillboxfox

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:47 PM

At 750mg a day, Depakote made me tired, stoned and slow. It did help for anxiety but in my case the Remeron and Zyprexa I take handle it better. I also take Haldol PRN for anxiety and it works.

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#8 bittersweet

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 03:26 PM

Now that I've cut back to 500 mg depakote, the tremors have gone away, I'm even watching my diet and losing weight that I gained when on up to 1500 mg of it. I wouldn't be too worried about 250 mg to start, other than the effect others mentioned about combo with Lamictal.

I'm on a combo therapy too - low dose lithium and depakote though. Can't tolerate "therapeutic" levels of either when alone, but so far the combo seems to be OK for me.
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Current treatment for the mentally interesting stuff: Fanapt, fluvoxamine (luvox), melatonin, ambien. Currently in maintenance treatment with ECT- partial response. Other meds: nexium, pepcid AC, flonase spray

Meds I have tried: prozac, trazodone, desipramine, nortriptyline, other TCA's, wellbutrin, diazepam, xanax, paxil, zoloft, effexor, lithium, depakote, zyprexa, buspar, neurontin, topomax, lamictal, abilify, trileptal, various sleep meds (ambien, halcion, rozerem, lunesta), cymbalta, pristiq, nuvigil, wellbutrin XL, celexa, geodon, saphris, lexapro, viibryd, and there may be more - yes I have been called treatment-resistant!

#9 mj1127

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 04:34 PM

Have you tried Neurontin? I've found it to work very well for my anxiety, and have not experienced any side effects, except a little fatigue when I first started taking it.

Depakote is very effective for anxiety or agitation. However, it makes me depressed. It doesn't do this for everyone, but I know I can't take it, even at 250mg. I gained some weight when I took it, but it came off as soon as I stopped. I had no other real side effects other than having no migraines for the whole time I was over 1000mg. That was great.

I would try any gentler options, such as Neurontin, you haven't already tried before Depakote. If it does come to Depakote, you may have no problems at all with it; some people do. Or you may have problems. Either way, you won't know unless you try it.
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#10 In_Remission_dukewizard1986

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 05:37 AM

Depakote basically increases levels of GABA. It does so supposedly by increasing the levels of the enzymes that break down Glutamate into GABA. It prevents this enzyme from being broken down so more is available.

GABA is responsible for chilling out the brain and body, so taking depakote over time calms the mind. However, It will not work quickly. It will help strengthen some Benzodiazapenes because they like all tranquillizers bind to GABA receptors which reduce anxiety. Do not take more than 250 - 500mg or you will get some nasty side effects.

Now, if you have to use benzodiazapenes do so sparingly. They are not very euphoric but are very calming and therefore very addictive. They are also nearly impossible to quit if you have been using it for a long time.


#11 In_Remission_dragonslayer428

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 07:42 AM

I was given Depakote for acute migraines. Given, I was already taking an SSRI at the time, Depakote made me a nervous wreck (after a week of taking it) and caused me to have an anxiety attack (which is rare for me when I am taking my meds). I will never touch that stuff again.

#12 Classically_James

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 08:54 PM

Haldol prn for anxiety can be very effective (and cheap). Virtually every time I've gone to the mental ward they give me 5 mg haloperidal 3 or 4 times a day, in addition to a low dose of Ativan. It might be worth a try.
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