Compare Depakote vs. Dantrium

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

Depacon
(valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex)

Dantrium
(dantrolene)

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. Dantrium (dantrolene) effectively treats malignant hyperthermia (increased temperature and muscle contractions when receiving anesthesia) and is the only medicine used to treat the condition. Dantrium (dantrolene) is not a first-choice treatment for general muscle spasms because it can damage your liver.
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

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Have you used Dantrium (dantrolene)?
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Side effects
DepakoteDantrium
  • 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 »

The Dantrium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Dantrium side effects »
How it works
DepakoteDantrium
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.Dantrium (dantrolene) stops spasms and relaxes muscle cells by interfering with the release of calcium inside muscle cells.
Type of medication
DepakoteDantrium
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
DepakoteDantrium
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Sprinkle
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
DepakoteDantrium
  • Malignant Hyperthermia
Risk factors for serious side effects
DepakoteDantrium
  • Children under age 2
  • History of metabolic disorders
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Topamax
Detailed Depacon (valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex) risks & warnings »
  • Taking 800 mg or more Dantrium (dantrolene) per day
  • Women
  • Over 35 years old
  • Elderly
  • History of liver disease or dysfunction
Detailed Dantrium (dantrolene) 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.

Food
DepakoteDantrium
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
DepakoteDantrium
  • Can cause liver damage, so it's probably not safe if you already have liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sleep
DepakoteDantrium
No sleep related info.
  • Taking Dantrium (dantrolene) may make you feel dizzy or sleepy for the first few days, especially if you drink alcohol or take recreational drugs. Avoid driving or other activities requiring concentration until you know how your body responds to the medication. Your body should adjust to the medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if these symptoms bother you.
  • Dantrium (dantrolene) 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
DepakoteDantrium
  • 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
DepakoteDantrium
  • 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.
  • Dantrium (dantrolene) effectively treats malignant hyperthermia.
  • Can be used for muscle spasticity if other medications haven't worked.
  • Available as generic.
Downsides and risks
DepakoteDantrium
  • 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.
  • Not a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms because it can cause liver damage.
  • Can cause dizziness, sleepiness, and sometimes severe diarrhea.
  • Needs routine blood tests since it can injure your liver.
  • Dose needs to be increased slowly to minimize side effects.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DepakoteDantrium
  • 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.
  • Dantrium (dantrolene) can worsen liver function.You may need to have your blood checked regularly before starting Dantrium (dantrolene) and while you're on it.
  • Dantrium (dantrolene) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Dantrium (dantrolene) can cause diarrhea, but it usually goes away within the first few weeks. If it doesn't, talk to your doctor.
  • May make your skin sensitive to the sun. Wear sunblock and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight while on Dantrium (dantrolene).
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 DantriumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Dantrium (dantrolene)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it