Compare Lamictal vs. Depakote

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

Lamictal
(Lamotrigine)

Depacon
(Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex)

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.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.178571428571429Lamictal
Reviews for Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
67%
of people say Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is worth it
58%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex)
46%
21% vs. Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
39%
19% vs. Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
27%
8% vs. Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
Side effects
LamictalDepakote
  • Double vision 41%
  • Dizziness 27%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 18%
  • Blurred vision 15%
  • Nausea 14%
  • Vomiting 14%
  • Headache 10%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Incoordination 4%
More Lamictal side effects »
  • Nausea 34%
  • Muscle weakness 20%
  • Vomiting 20%
  • Abdominal pain 17%
  • Dizziness 12%
  • Headache 10%
  • Double vision 7%
  • Involuntary eye movement 7%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 7%
  • Accidental injury 6%
More Depakote side effects »
How it works
LamictalDepakote
Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to calm nerve activity in the brain.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.
Type of medication
LamictalDepakote
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Available as
LamictalDepakote
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Sprinkle
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
LamictalDepakote
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Lamictal (Lamotrigine)The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex)
Risk factors for serious side effects
LamictalDepakote
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Increasing the dose too quickly
        • Taking birth control pills
        • Stopping Lamictal (Lamotrigine) suddenly
        Detailed Lamictal (Lamotrigine) risks & warnings »
          • Children under age 2
          • History of metabolic disorders
            • History of depression
              • History of metabolic disorders
              • People also taking Topamax
              • People also taking Topamax
                • Stopping Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex) suddenly
                Detailed Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex) risks & warnings »
                Pregnancy category
                LamictalDepakote
                CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

                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.

                See the FDA package insert
                DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

                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.

                See the FDA package insert
                Alcohol
                No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
                Food
                • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
                • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
                Kidneys and liver
                No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
                Sex
                No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
                Sleep
                No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
                Weight
                No specific weight-related info.
                • Can cause upset stomach, hair loss, weight gain, sleepiness, and tremor.
                • May cause hair loss and weight gain.
                Upsides and benefits
                LamictalDepakote
                • 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.
                • 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.
                Downsides and risks
                LamictalDepakote
                • 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.
                • 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.
                Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
                LamictalDepakote
                • Follow dose adjustments set by your doctor to minimize skin rash.
                • 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.
                • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
                • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
                • Don't use if pregnant.
                • Requires routine blood tests.
                • 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.
                • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
                Learn more
                More about LamictalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
                More about DepakoteSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert