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A 42-year-old member asked:

How does depakote make bipolar people more stable?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Passer
Child Psychiatry 35 years experience
Mood stabilzer: Depakote, is the enteric coated form of valproic acid. Depakote works thru a neurotransmitter in the brain called: gaba. Gaba is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. The precise mechanism of action for treatment of bipolar disorder is unknown. Depakote is also used for the treatment of seizures as well as migraine headaches. While very effective, Depakote does have side effects such as weight gain.
Dr. Leonard Lado
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Vpa mechanism: Valproic acid (vpa) is one of the most widely used anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing agents for the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. One of the mechanisms by which vpa exerts its effect is through regulating the brain levels of serotonin. Wu et al 2011 report for the first time that vpa activates monoamine oxidase (MAO) . The latter is important in the modulation of levels of seroton.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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