Back to Blog
First, the English options I considered were: divalproex sodium (Depakote), sodium valproate, and valproic acid. My research told me that these are all valproates. So far, so good, I thought.
Next, I looked back at the French drug name alongside these options, looking for clues in the language. Do you see how divalproate de sodium includes the sodium of both divalproex sodium and sodium valproate, and the DI- of divalproex sodium, and, finally, the valproate found in sodium valproate and valproic acid. That’s where the confusion was lurking!
Next up, in my research, I found the following from the Epilepsy Foundation (great resource by the way!).
“Valproic acid dissociates to the valproate ion in the gastrointestinal tract, so its effects are virtually identical to those of other forms of valproate. These include oral divalproex sodium (Depakote or Depakote ER in the United States) and sodium valproate (Epilim in the UK and Australia), as well as an injectable solution of valproate sodium (Depacon). The divalproex sodium (Depakote) products, which are slower to dissolve, are promoted as less apt to cause stomach upset.”