Compare Depakote vs. Lamictal

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

Depacon
(valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex)

Lamictal
(lamotrigine)

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.Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood. Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.
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Coupons for Depakote
Best available price for 60 (500mg) tablets of depakote
Coupons for Lamictal
Best available price for 30 (100mg) tablets of lamictal
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 Lamictal
66%
-20% worse vs. Depakote
58%
-18% worse vs. Depakote
18%
-9% worse vs. Depakote
184 reviews
Have you used Lamictal (lamotrigine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
DepakoteLamictal
  • 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 »
  • Dizziness 25%
  • Headache 9%
  • Double vision 21%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 16%
  • Nausea 9%
  • Blurred vision 11%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Sore throat 1%
  • Rash 5%
More Lamictal side effects »
How it works
DepakoteLamictal
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.Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to calm nerve activity in the brain.
Type of medication
DepakoteLamictal
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
DepakoteLamictal
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Sprinkle
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for
DepakoteLamictal
Risk factors for serious side effects
DepakoteLamictal
  • Children under age 2
  • History of metabolic disorders
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Topamax
Detailed Depacon (valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex) risks & warnings »
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Increasing the dose too quickly
  • Taking birth control pills
Detailed Lamictal (lamotrigine) 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.

Food
DepakoteLamictal
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
DepakoteLamictal
  • Can cause liver damage, so it's probably not safe if you already have liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Weight
DepakoteLamictal
  • 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
DepakoteLamictal
  • 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.
  • Effective at lowering the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. Typically used together with other medications for severe seizure disorders.
  • Works best for partial, tonic-clonic, and absence seizures.
  • A first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective long-term treatment for stabilizing mood. Prevents both depressive and manic episodes, but the effect is greater for preventing depression.
  • Doesn't require routine blood tests.
Downsides and risks
DepakoteLamictal
  • 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.
  • Can cause double vision, dizziness, sleepiness, and headache.
  • Has the risk of a rare but life-threatening rash.
  • Can make hormonal birth control less effective.
  • Might be less effective than other medicines for treating manic episodes (acute mania) in people with bipolar disorder.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DepakoteLamictal
  • 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.
  • Follow dose adjustments set by your doctor to minimize skin rash.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Report rash, blurry vision, fever, persistent headache, or neck stiffness to your doctor.
  • Makes hormonal birth control less effective.
  • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
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 LamictalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lamictal (lamotrigine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it