side effects of Valproic acid? (depakote?)

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Hi All,
My son (9 yr old) is on valproic acid for the past 1 week. The first 4 days & night he slept - the dr said it was due to the loading dosage from ER, which was very scary. Now he seems reasonably alert.
BUT when he has slept 99% in bed & you think he fell asleep, he suddenly stands straight up & starts to say something... Then I tell him to go to sleep & he sleeps right away in few moments. So far, it has happened 3 times during last 1 week and he has never done it before.
Also from a sound sleep he wakes up very suddenly and sits freshly, telling me to play with him. Today he did it at 4am lol!
Pls help, also I'd like to hear some commonly observed side effects (though the prescription listed all the scariest side effects from a-z).
Thanks so much!
I was on depakote for a Loooooong time. :) I was really groggy the first weak or two when they started me on it. Other than that, the only side effect I had was weight gain. :)
I would check out this site to hear others experience

My cat has been waking up at 4 am wanting me to play with him too. Must be something in the air. (actually I think he has a GF somewhere... came home with black eye today)
Children often respond quite differently than adults on the same medication. I took Depakote for about 3 months and it agitated me into a screaming banshee. I was breaking dishes and tossing furniture. Neurontin did the same thing but no quite so violent.
Depakote/valproate turned Stacy into a zombie. She was drowsy all the time and slept half the day on the couch. It was horrible (for her).
One thing I hesitate to even mention, depakote did was bring on suicidal thoughts. Most of us are depressed from time to time and when switching AED's and being uncontroled, depressions deepen. I would sit at my desk and look at all the medications I was taking and think I should just swallow evey pill in every bottle and be done with it. Once I stopped depakote those thoughts went away. It was scary.
For about the first month Kater was on Depakote (she was 4) all she did was sleep, and be crabby. Her day was pretty much like this: Sleep on the bus to school, wake up for about 20 mins, sleep through story time at school, sleep all the way home, take a nap at home, sleep on the bus back to school....To the point where the teacher asked "why so you send her??" So that maybe they will believe me when I tell them that the kid can't function anymore?? Then they threw Ethosuximide into the mix. Boy was that a treat. After having my sweet lil girl turn into a monster, and having a (crazy) Dr. tell me that it was normal and that since he was resigning I should just wait it out until they found her another Dr. I stopped giving it to her Against Medical Advice. Her current Dr. ripped me a new one for taking her health into my own hands, but I stick by my choice since they didn't have to live with her.
Thank you for all your replies. It is very scary to think of all these possible side effects. My child can't express it all due to his language delay, but now I know what all to look for atleast...
One more Q.
has anyone created a file / table, for entering Epilepsy data? I think I shd create one, before that thought of checking out if available already... any website reference? Currently I'm just noting down in a diary. But I think a table format would be much better.
Thanks a lot!
My wife keeps a diary too. I used to write things down on a monthly calendar with codes/symbols. I think it's easier to see patterns that way.
Perhaps being sleepy during the day it could affect his sleep routine, I would not worrie about it, let time go, because it is a few time he is taking it.
:hello: Amy

Depakote was odd with me for I was
never alone with that AED, it was
always in conjunction with another AED
but it's been ages since I've been on it.

It either had no effect on me or it made
me very sleepy, but I never truly was on
it long enough for it to be doing much of
anything because the Neuro would have
an EEG run and didn't like how it was coming
up on the EEG and would scratch those
AED set up and titrate me on something
i felt horrible too!

I was on depakote not too long ago and i was feeling horrible. headaches, nausea, dizziness, and my sinuses was really bad.
Now I am on topamax, not a big change; still feel the same.
When I was on Depakote, all I wanted to do was eat and sleep for the first couple weeks....I gained 7 pounds in 3 weeks. But it did a great job in stopping my seizures. I was completely seizure free while I was on it (I was on it for two months)

I stopped it because I felt I was gaining weight too quickly and I was always sleeping. I also have migraines, so I switched to Topamax, which I have been on since then.
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I'm sort of like Bee91..........

Depakote made me TIRED, and I GAINED 65 pounds in a YEAR....AHEM. NO THANK YOU. It DID do a GREAT job of controlling my szs, and my migraines too, for the most part. But boy, did I SLEEP.
I hate depakote. It made me blow up like a whale! Plus I cant be on it. During child bearing yrs they dont like to put you on it. I am 25. You are not in that boat but thats my take on that crazy drug...sorry to say that but all these meds do something crazy to me. Keppra - I would fall asleep literally during a meal!
Good luck. Its hard to find the right drug. I did the same thing about taking myself off a drug and I got reamed out then dismissed as a patient :-( Oh well its my body and they would not listen to my symptoms and like you said they do not have to deal with them. SO I commend you. Do your own research and take what you can ffrom the dr that you feel is good. Drs are human and sometimes they forget that they make mistakes too. You were only doing what you felt was best!
Sorry someone said in this forum they took it into their own hands (not you wrong person) and took their child off a medicine.
I took depakote for many years and it made me gain weight and upset my stomach alot. You just have to be careful with that medicine though because it affects the liver. Your son's liver functions need to be tested once a year to make sure everything is fine. Take care and good luck.
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