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  • Switching from Dilantin to Depakote

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    Old 04-25-2002, 09:10 AM   #1
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    Question Switching from Dilantin to Depakote

    I had my first grand mal seizure on October 9th of 2000. I had just quit taking Paxil after 4 months and had the seizure three days later. I went to the neurologist and I didn't want to take the Tegretol he prescribed. I thought the Paxil triggered it because I felt very weird coming off of it.

    I had my second grand mal seizure May 30th of 2001. I had several auras that day (too many to count) but I didn't know what they were. I thought I was getting sick or just tired. I had auras a few months earlier but never went into a grand mal seizure. I was put on 400mg Dilantin daily at the hospital and my nuero decided to keep me on it since I had already started.

    I had my third grand mal seizure while sleeping right before wake time on April 5th 2002. The nuero added 50mg of Dilantin to my daily dose for a total of 450mg and he also told me to take half in the morning and half at night. I had some blood work done at the time. I called today and they said they were going to switch me from Dilantin over to Depakote because my liver enzymes were too high. I have to take Dilantin until the Depakote level is high enough to quit the Dilantin. After looking into Depakote I see that it causes hair loss and can cause severe liver damage as well.

    Does anyone here have experience with Depakote vs. Dilantin? How long will it take to wean me off of Dilantin? Have I done damage to my liver because of the high enzyme count? Will liver damage repair itself? I would ask my nuero but all they seem to want to do is have me go in for blood work then change my prescription then back for blood work etc. This is kind of frustrating. It also sucks because now I have to pay for two prescriptions per month instead of the one so I would like to drop the Dilantin as soon as possible and figure out if the Depakote is going to be O.K. so I can get back on my three month prescription plan. It's hard to use this plan when you don't know what you are going to be taking or not taking next month!


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    Old 05-08-2002, 08:37 PM   #2
    Beth's Mom
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    Our daughter took Depakote for about 15 years (she is now 23). We switched her to another med because her weight ballooned to 250 lb.---she is now about 150lb.
    ---Other than the weight gain we liked Depakote, which oddly enough was called Valproic Acid when first brought into this country from Great Britain back in the late 1970's.
    There are meds that could be used with Depakote to curb the appetite, I would think. Beth's problem was that the Depakote was eventually not covering most of her seizure activity.
    Good Luck and God be with you.
    Beth's Mom

    Old 05-10-2002, 05:49 PM   #3
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    DonnaL58 asked me to look out for you (I've been gone for a while). 'I switched' from Dilantin to Depakene (a chemical cousin ) in 1978, and that stopped seizures dead in their tracks. This switch was when Depakene 1st came out, and for 20 years, I was seizure-free (except for the occasional one which were explained by low levels, or fooling around with meds.

    My liver enzymes were always elevated, but no neuro or epileptologist or other doc was alarmed. Most felt they needed to be higher to be of significant damage, and one doc indicated that for elevated enzymes to be a real concern, I'd be "sick, real sick" (yellow skin, itchy, incoherent )


    Old 05-10-2002, 07:46 PM   #4
    Beth's Mom
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    Annie (Rey)
    Are you still on Depakote? Is it covering all your seizures? Do you have grand mal seizures presently?
    Noticed your profile said you are a registered nurse, which ranks higher on my list than most doctors as you have seen more than they have!
    Have you ever tried any other meds besides Dilantin and Depakote?
    Have you ever tried Felbatol or Neurontin or known of anyone who did, so that you could tell me of yours or their experiences.
    Beth's Mom

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