Depakote vs Seroquel – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Depakote

It is the brand name of a drug called divalproex sodium that belongs to a group of medications called anti-epileptic or anticonvulsants drugs. It works by increasing the amount of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

The medication is produced by Abbot Laboratories. It was originally approved by the FDA to treat bipolar disorder in 1995.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to prevent migraines as well as to treat seizures and manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder.

Dosage

The usual initial recommended dose is 250mg taken two times per day. Then, the dosage can be increased to 1g per day.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • headaches;
  • nausea;
  • diarrhea;
  • constipation;
  • upset stomach.

Less common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;
  • blurred vision;
  • increased appetite;
  • depression;
  • nervousness;
  • dizziness;
  • vomiting;
  • insomnia;
  • changes in appetite;
  • rash;
  • abnormal thinking;
  • tremor;
  • hair loss;
  • weight gain or weight loss;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • changes in mood or mood swings;
  • back pain.

Alcohol

This medication can cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision, especially when combined with alcohol.

To make sure that this anticonvulsant is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • suicidal thoughts or actions;
  • liver problems caused by a genetic mitochondrial disorder;
  • a family history of urea cycle disorder;
  • HIV or CMV infection;
  • a history of depression.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

This anticonvulsant should not be used in women who are or may fall pregnant since the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit. Also, it passes into breast milk and may negatively affect the infant, therefore, avoid it if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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Drug Interactions

The following medications could interact moderately with this anticonvulsant:

  • Amitriptyline (Elavil);
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol);
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor);
  • Salicylates (Doans Pills);
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil);
  • Topiramate (Topamax);
  • Felbamate (Felbatol);
  • Rifampin (Rifadin);
  • Rufinamide (Banzel);
  • Warfarin (Coumadin).

Seroquelmeds

It is the brand name of a drug called quetiapine, an antipsychotic drug which works by changing the actions of dopamine and serotonin in the brain to improve thinking, mood,  and behavior.

It is manufactured by AstraZeneca and was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1997.

Uses

This antipsychotic is used together with antidepressant drugs to treat the major depressive disorder in adults. The symptoms of the major depressive disorder are defined as lasting at least 12 days.

Additionally, it is used to treat bipolar disorder in adults and children who are at least 10 years old. Also, it is used to treat schizophrenia in adults and children who are at least 13 years old.

Dosage

For schizophrenia, the recommended initial dose is 25 mg two times a day. The dosage is increased to 300 to 400 mg a day.

For depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder, the recommended initial dosage is 50 mg once a day. Starting the second day, the recommended dose is 100 mg once a day, then, it increases to 200 mg once a day.

Note – if you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • dry mouth;
  • weakness;
  • a sore throat;
  • problems with movement;
  • stomach pain;
  • unexplained weight gain;
  • nausea;
  • dizziness;
  • vomiting;
  • constipation;
  • increased appetite.
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Less common side effects may include:

  • seeing halos around lights;
  • high fever;
  • a mask-like appearance of the face;
  • uncontrollable movements of the lips, arms, face, or legs;
  • eye pain;
  • problems with speech;
  • skin sores;
  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • uneven heartbeat;
  • trouble swallowing;
  • increased thirst;
  • very stiff muscles;
  • tremors;
  • blurred vision;
  • low blood cell counts;
  • increased urination;
  • fruity breath odor;
  • dry mouth;
  • painful mouth sores;
  • tunnel vision;
  • sudden weakness;
  • fainting;
  • a sore throat;
  • dry skin;
  • red or swollen gums;
  • drowsiness;
  • excessive sweating;
  • confusion.

To make sure that this antipsychotic medication is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a history of heart attack or stroke;
  • heart rhythm problems;
  • low or high blood pressure;
  • a personal history of diabetes;
  • low white blood cell counts;
  • abnormal prolactin levels;
  • liver disease;
  • abnormal thyroid tests;
  • kidney disease;
  • trouble swallowing;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • heart disease;
  • cataracts;
  • high LDL and total cholesterol;
  • high triglycerides.

Overdose

If you take too much quetiapine, call the local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention.

Addiction

This antipsychotic medication is abused by some people for a recreational “high.” It is known by the street names of “Suzie-Q” or “Q-ball.”

The problem is that this antipsychotic medication may increase the risk for suicide, especially when used in higher doses. Let your doctor know right away if you are taking this drug and experience:

  • worsening depression;
  • extreme worry;
  • symptoms of aggression;
  • thoughts of suicide;
  • restlessness;
  • acting without thinking;
  • irritability;
  • panic attacks;
  • abnormal excitement.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Since it can pass into your breast milk and may negatively affect the infant, avoid this antipsychotic medication if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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Also, there are no well-done studies regarding the safe use of this antipsychotic medication during pregnancy, hence, if you are pregnant, consult your doctor before using it.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, particularly:

  • antifungal medicine;
  • blood pressure medicine;
  • seizure medicine;
  • heart medicine;
  • melatonin;
  • drugs to treat HIV/AIDS;
  • tuberculosis medicine;
  • drugs to treat mental illness;
  • antiviral medicine to treat hepatitis;
  • St. John’s wort;
  • NyQuil;
  • antibiotics.

Bottom Line – Depakote vs Seroquel

Depakote (active ingredient – divalproex sodium) is a medication used to prevent migraine headaches and to treat manic episodes related to bipolar disorder. In addition, it is used to treat various types of seizure disorders. The medication works by affecting specific chemicals in the human body which may be involved in causing seizures.

Seroquel (active ingredient – quetiapine) is a short-acting antipsychotic drug that is used to treat bipolar I disorder, schizophrenia as well as an add-on treatment for anxiety and major depression in people who haven’t responded to other medication.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3848041/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8120960
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2656326/

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