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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.11Lamictal
Reviews for Lamictal
66%
of people (All ages) say Lamictal is worth it
58%
say it works well
18%
say it's a big hassle
184 reviews
Have you used Lamictal (lamotrigine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Depakote
46%
+20% better vs. Lamictal
40%
+18% better vs. Lamictal
27%
+9% better vs. Lamictal
Have you used Depacon (valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LamictalDepakote
  • Dizziness 25%
  • Headache 9%
  • Diplopia 21%
  • Ataxia 16%
  • Nausea 9%
  • Blurred vision 11%
  • Rhinitis 5%
  • Somnolence 7%
  • Pharyngitis 1%
  • Rash 5%
More Lamictal side effects »
  • Nausea 7%
  • Somnolence 7%
  • Dizziness 8%
  • Vomiting 9%
  • Accidental injury 6%
  • Asthenia 3%
  • Abdominal Pain 1%
  • Dyspepsia 1%
  • Any side effect 4%
  • Rash 3%
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
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LamictalDepakote
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Sprinkle
  • Liquid
Used for
LamictalDepakote
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
Detailed Lamictal (lamotrigine) risks & warnings »
  • Children under age 2
  • History of metabolic disorders
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Topamax
Detailed Depacon (valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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
LamictalDepakote
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
LamictalDepakote
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Can cause liver damage, so it's probably not safe if you already have liver problems.
Weight
LamictalDepakote
No weight related info.
  • May cause hair loss and weight gain.
  • Can cause upset stomach, hair loss, weight gain, sleepiness, and tremor.
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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about LamictalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lamictal (lamotrigine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about DepakoteSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Depacon (valproate, valproic acid, or divalproex)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it