Posts tagged ‘depakote’

Bipolar Disorder and Women’s Health

A recent review of published literature revealed that bipolar disorder and its treatment are associated with reproductive and metabolic abnormalities in women. In particular, treatment with valproate (Depakote) was correlated with hormone changes and increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (pcos).

The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland in the brain interact with the gonads (reproductive organs) in a feedback loop to control the production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and related hormones. The hypothalamus is a brain structure associated with emotion, which probably explains its significance in this process.

Treatment with Depakote is also related to increased risk of insulin resistance and diabetes, liver dysfunction, and pancreatitis. The use of the drug (like all medications) must be determined by balancing the positive effects with the potential negative effects.

I may be frying my liver and subjecting myself to fluctuating hormone levels, but right now, I know that I need my Depakote!

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April 25, 2009 at 6:13 am 1 comment

Depakote and Suicidal Ideation

If you haven’t already heard — research suggests a link between Depakote and an increase in suicidal ideation. This may be in the form of frequent thoughts about death, wanting to die, planning suicide, or active suicide. It is not clear yet why Depakote would have this effect.

Personally, I have taken Depakote steadily for 12 years (well, except when I stopped my meds ;-)) and I have not noticed any increase in suicidal ideation, either on regular doses or when my dosage was raised. I think the increase is more likely when you first start on Depakote, or when the dose is titrated upward. Doctors and patients should be especially alert at these times for any signs of trouble.

April 24, 2009 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

Good News Regarding Depakote

If you are one of the many bipolar individuals who, like me, take a form of Depakote (valproic acid or VPA) to manage your moods, here’s some potentially good news. A recent research study on mice indicated that valproate may prevent and/or treat Alzheimer’s disease. A hallmark finding in Alzheimers is the presence of plaques on brain cells. These plaques are made of amyloid beta-protein, a substance that is not fully understood at this time. However, the research with mice suggests that VPA inhibits the formation of this protein.
If this finding holds true for humans as well, then those of us who take Depakote will get an extra bonus as it reduces our chances of developing Alzheimer’s!

November 6, 2008 at 3:31 am 1 comment


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