Valproate sodium (Intravenous route)
Hepatic failure resulting in fatalities has occurred in patients receiving valproic acid and its derivatives. Children younger than 2 years are at a considerably increased risk of developing fatal hepatotoxicity. Patients should be monitored closely and liver function tests should be performed prior to therapy and at frequent intervals thereafter, especially during the first 6 months. Valproate can cause major congenital malformations, particularly neural tube defects (eg, spina bifida). Valproate should not be administered to a woman of childbearing potential unless the drug is essential to the management of her medical condition. Pancreatitis, including fatal hemorrhagic cases, has been reported in both children and adults receiving valproate. If pancreatitis is diagnosed, valproate should ordinarily be discontinued .
Uses of This Medicine:
Valproate sodium injection is used alone or together with other medicines to control certain types of seizures (convulsions) in the treatment of epilepsy. This medicine is an anticonvulsant that works in the brain tissue to stop seizures.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using This Medicine:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of valproate sodium injection in children. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children below 2 years of age.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of valproate sodium injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects (e.g., tremors or unusual drowsiness), which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving valproate sodium injection.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems—
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine:
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins. This medicine is given slowly, so the needle will remain in place for about an hour.
Your doctor will only give you a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves. You will be switched to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.
This medicine should come with a medication guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Precautions While Using This Medicine:
It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely while you are using this medicine to see if it is working properly and to allow for a change in the dose. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant (especially during your first trimester) can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
It is very important to take folic acid before getting pregnant and during early pregnancy to lower chances of harmful side effects to your unborn baby. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for help if you are not sure how to choose a folic acid product.
Liver problems may occur while you are using this medicine. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: abdominal pain or tenderness; clay-colored stools; dark urine; decreased appetite; fever; headache; itching; loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting; skin rash; swelling of the feet or lower legs; unusual tiredness or weakness; or yellow eyes or skin.
Pancreatitis may occur while you are using this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fever, or lightheadedness.
Check with your doctor right away if you are having unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness or feelings of sluggishness, changes in mental status, or vomiting. These may be symptoms of a serious condition called hyperammonemic encephalopathy.
Valproate sodium injection may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.
Do not stop receiving this medicine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping completely.
Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.
Valproate sodium injection may cause serious allergic reactions that affect several parts of the body (e.g., liver or kidney). Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of the following symptoms: fever; dark urine; headache; rash; stomach pain; swollen lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin; unusual tiredness; or yellow eyes or skin.
This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates or medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Side Effects of This Medicine:
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Updated: 6/13/2013
Copyright © 1984- Thomson Micromedex. All rights reserved.