depakote break in period

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Hey Everyone,

How long does it take to break into depakote. The initial side effects were unbearable, but it looks like I finally got my dose right and the seizures have stopped. I still have a lot of stuff I can't live with long term. I guess the main thing is I wake up, and get a good 2 hours in, but then I'm exhausted and end up needing a 5 hour nap. I spend a lot of my day delerious, and unable to focus. I definitely can't work or spend time with my kids :(

I've been on it for 3 weeks now, but only been 2 days free of seizures so I'm not really too sure what is the drugs and what was from seizures. Any experience or ideas on how long I can expect to get back to "normal". If it helps I take 750 mg at night and 500 mg in the morning.

I'm hoping to switch over to tegretol or topomax, but I expect it will be a few months for me to get into a doctor and start playing with that sort of stuff, so I guess just trying to figure out what I'm in for. Trying to be patient but it's hard.
My son (11) is on Depakote for absence seizures. He is currently on the 125 mg sprinkle capsules. He takes 2 in the am, 1 at lunch and one before bed. He started taking the meds last December. I started him at 1/2 capsule twice a day for a time and worked up to 1 capsule twice a day. For a while, he was seizure free from what I could tell. In January, he went for an MRI. After the MRI, his speech declined for about 6 weeks (probably from the anesthetic) and the seizures increased. BTW, he has autism along with the absence seizures. I increased the meds to 1 cap three times a day and then he was seizure free (from what I could tell) again UNTIL seasonal allergies kicked in March. I then increased him to the current amount and, for a while, the seizures went away. He was having seizures again, only this time they seemed more frequent and lasted longer. I decided to take him to a TCM doc. His seizures stopped (from what I can tell) for quite some time. Now they are peeking through again so I am not sure what to do next. I think his doc wants to increase the dose to 6 caps a day. I don't feel comfortable with this because the blood draws to check levels and liver function are not as frequent as they should be (I need my hubby there, he needs to be in a papoose, his veins STINK when he is on meds...blood draws end up with lots of poking and no sample to submit). UGH!!!

OH---I did notice that my son would get more aggressive, irritable and uncooperative when initially starting the meds and when we would increase the meds. Also, he would have trouble falling asleep for a few days with the med increase. The doc said this med is supposed to help behavior (yea, right...:tdown:).

Anyway, that is my experience with my son. He can not tell me how he feels because his language consists mostly of labeling and requesting things. I'm guessing his behavior is an indication of how he feels. The bad behaviors have taken a tremendous downturn :)woot::banana::woot:) since starting the TCM herbs. I think this is because they support his liver and also because the seizures are minimal now.

Hope this helps.
Hi reuben12 -- I don't think there is a standard "break-in" time for AEDs. Everyone seems to react differently. For anecdotal responses you might want to check out this link:

It shows what condition Depakote was prescribed for, how long the patient has been on it, what dose they are at, and what side effects they've experienced.
For me my intial first weeks with Depakote were good and I thought It was going to be the ticket(looking back I was almost manic)
The side effects on the Drug, as time went on , Sleeping, and Sensitivity issues
visual problems and depression and weight gain . Were what finally drove me to wean off.
Hope it works for you!

Thanks for the feedback. I'm in to see a doctor today. I'm not sure what I'm hoping for as the side effects seem to be wearing off a bit for me, but then again I'm having a seizure a day again now so they will probably just up my meds causing the side effects to increase....

It just seems like a bad drug.

What are you on now if you don't mind me asking?
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