Compare Depakote vs. baclofen

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Depacon
(valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex)

Lioresal
(baclofen)

Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood. Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex) is good long-term prevention for epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines, but can cause weight gain.Relaxes your muscles. Lioresal (baclofen) is a first choice treatment for muscle spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries, but it's not recommended for other types of muscle spasms.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.44Depakote
Reviews for Depakote
46%
of people (All ages) say Depakote is worth it
40%
say it works well
27%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Depacon (valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for baclofen
61%
-15% worse vs. Depakote
55%
-15% worse vs. Depakote
15%
-12% worse vs. Depakote
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Depakotebaclofen
  • Nausea 7%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Dizziness 8%
  • Vomiting 9%
  • Accidental injury 6%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Abdominal pain 1%
  • Indigestion 1%
  • Any side effect 4%
  • Rash 3%
More Depakote side effects »
  • Drowsiness 27%
More baclofen side effects »
How it works
Depakotebaclofen
Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works. It seems to increase the amount of GABA, a chemical that calms nerves in the brain.Lioresal (baclofen) is a gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA) agonist. It's not clear how it works, but GABA is believed to help calm down nerves. Muscle spasms are thought to be started by overactive nerves.
Type of medication
Depakotebaclofen
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Depakotebaclofen
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Sprinkle
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
Depakotebaclofen
Risk factors for serious side effects
Depakotebaclofen
  • Children under age 2
  • History of metabolic disorders
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Topamax
Detailed Depacon (valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex) risks & warnings »
  • Stopping Lioresal (baclofen) too quickly
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
Detailed Lioresal (baclofen) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
Depakotebaclofen
No alcohol related info.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
Food
Depakotebaclofen
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
Depakotebaclofen
  • Can cause liver damage, so it's probably not safe if you already have liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sleep
Depakotebaclofen
No sleep related info.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
Weight
Depakotebaclofen
  • May cause hair loss and weight gain.
  • Can cause upset stomach, hair loss, weight gain, sleepiness, and tremor.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
Depakotebaclofen
  • Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with absence, tonic-clonic, and complex partial seizures.
  • One of the first-line options to stabilize mood for people with bipolar disorder.
  • Helpful in preventing frequent migraine headaches.
  • A better option for seniors compared to other muscle relaxants since it has fewer side effects than other similar medicines.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) is available as a generic and is a relatively inexpensive medication.
Downsides and risks
Depakotebaclofen
  • Can cause upset stomach, hair loss, weight gain, sleepiness, and tremor.
  • Can cause liver damage, so it's probably not safe if you already have liver problems.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Except for specific muscle spasms caused by brain injury or multiple sclerosis, Lioresal (baclofen) is not a recommended medicine.
  • If you've been taking Lioresal (baclofen) regularly for a long time, you'll need to get off of it slowly.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you sleepy.
  • If you've had a stroke, Lioresal (baclofen) may not work as well, and you're more likely to experience side effects.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Depakotebaclofen
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Don't use if pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • May cause hair loss and weight gain.
  • Different versions of Depakote have different dosing. Be careful.
  • Report confusion, persistent abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin, or easy bruising to your doctor.
  • Takes 3 to 4 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Don't stop taking Lioresal (baclofen) suddenly without talking to your doctor if you've been on it for a long time. It can be dangerous. Your doctor will help you get off it slowly over time.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
Learn more
More about DepakoteSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Depacon (valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about baclofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it