Compare Depakote vs. desipramine

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

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.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 97 reviewsforDepakote
Stabilizes your mood.

Norpramin (desipramine) is not a first choice for treating depression because of its effects on the heart, but it can be good if other medicines haven't worked.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) is available in generic and in many different strengths, so the dose can be more customized.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) has fewer side effects than similar tricyclic antidepressants.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't recommended if you or your family has heart disease, seizures, or glaucoma.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't a first choice for depression because it has more side effects than other antidepressants.
  • In some people, Norpramin (desipramine) can make you sleepy. In other people, Norpramin (desipramine) can keep you awake.
  • If you have diabetes, Norpramin (desipramine) can make your blood sugar go up.
  • Not recommended in children under 12 years of age.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Sprinkle
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
97 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
26possible side effects
  • Nausea
    48%
  • Headache
    31%
  • Asthenia
    27%
  • Vomiting
    27%
  • Somnolence
    27%
  • Tremor
    25%
  • Dizziness
    25%
  • Abdominal Pain
    23%
  • Diplopia
    16%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
  • Anorexia
    12%
  • Amblyopia/Blurred Vision
    12%
  • Flu Syndrome
    12%
  • Infection
    12%
  • Dyspepsia
    8%
  • Ataxia
    8%
  • Nystagmus
    8%
  • Fever
    6%
  • Emotional Lability
    6%
  • Thinking Abnormal
    6%
  • Alopecia
    6%
  • Weight Loss
    6%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Amnesia
    5%
  • Bronchitis
    5%
  • Rhinitis
    5%
See more detailed side effects
The Norpramin (desipramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Pregnancy
  • Liver damage
    • Children under age 2
    • History of metabolic disorders
  • Pancreatitis
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Increased bleeding
  • Mental changes due to high ammonia
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • People also taking Topamax
  • Low body temperature
    • People also taking Topamax
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Higher risk of suicide
    • People under age 24
  • Possible bipolar disorder
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Fentanyl
    • Tramadol
    • Buspirone
    • ADHD medicines
    • Triptans
  • Changes to the heartbeat
    • History of heart disease
  • Higher risk for seizures
    • History of seizures
    • History of brain damage or alcohol withdrawal
See more detailed risks and warnings