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How is valproate (Depakote) used to treat bipolar I disorder?

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This anti-seizure medication also works to level out moods. It is faster acting than lithium for an acute episode of mania. It is also often used "off-label" for prevention of new episodes. As a mood stabilizer that can be used by a "loading dose" method -- beginning at a very high dose -- valproate allows the possibility of significant improvement in mood as early as four to five days.

SOURCES:
Moore, D. Handbook of Medical Psychiatry, Mosby, 2004.
National Institute of Mental Health web site: "Bipolar Disorder." 
Medical News Today: "Study Identifies Predictors Of Bipolar Disorders Risk."
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Bipolar Disorder -- What Increases Your Risk."
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on April 14, 2020

SOURCES:
Moore, D. Handbook of Medical Psychiatry, Mosby, 2004.
National Institute of Mental Health web site: "Bipolar Disorder." 
Medical News Today: "Study Identifies Predictors Of Bipolar Disorders Risk."
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Bipolar Disorder -- What Increases Your Risk."
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on April 14, 2020

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What other mood stabilizers are used to treat bipolar I disorder?

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