Anticonvulsant medicines such as valproate (for example,
Depakene or Depakote) and carbamazepine (for example, Tegretol) are often used
along with antipsychotic medicines to treat
Anticonvulsants can help
your mood, and if you take them along with antipsychotic medicines, you may
have less severe symptoms during
relapses of schizophrenia.
The U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on anticonvulsants and the
risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people
stop using these medicines. Instead, people who take anticonvulsant medicine
should be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take
anticonvulsant medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk
to a doctor.
Side effects of valproate may include
feeling sleepy and having little energy and an upset stomach. Uncommon side
effects can include weight gain, temporary hair loss, headaches, and confusion.
The medicines may also make
pancreatitis more likely in anyone who takes these
medicines and may make
polycystic ovary syndrome more likely in women who
Signs of pancreatitis include stomach pain, nausea and
Valproate also may cause
problems with liver function and blood disorders. You can track these problems
with liver function tests and blood counts. Watch for feeling tired, vomiting,
Do not use carbamazepine with the
medicine clozapine because both of these medicines can cause a severe drop in
the number of
white blood cells (agranulocytosis).
more information on anticonvulsants, see Drug Reference. (Drug Reference is not
available in all systems.)
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.