Depakote vs. Abilify

Are Depakote and Abilify the Same Thing?

Depakote (divalproex sodium) and Abilify (aripiprazole) are used to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

Depakote is also used to treat epilepsy and migraine headaches.

Abilify is also used to treat schizophrenia, depression, autistic disorder, and some irritable behavior disorders.

Depakote and Abilify belong to different drug classes. Depakote is an anticonvulsant and Abilify is a psychotropic drug (antipsychotic).

Side effects of Depakote and Abilify that are similar include drowsiness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, constipation, weight changes, or vision changes/blurred vision.

Side effects of Depakote that are different from Abilify include diarrhea, mood swings, changes in menstrual periods, enlarged breasts, agitation, tremor (shaking), unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth, and hair loss.

Side effects of Abilify that are different from Depakote include dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, excess saliva or drooling, choking or trouble swallowing, headache, anxiety, and sleep problems (insomnia).

Both Depakote and Abilify may interact with phenobarbital, rifampin, antidepressants, or seizure medications.

Depakote may also interact with aspirin, carbapenem antibiotics, benzodiazepines, tolbutamide, warfarin, or HIV/AIDS medications.

Abilify may also interact with other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for anxiety), medications to treat high blood pressure or a heart condition, seizure medications, rifabutin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, or quinidine.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Depakote?

Common side effects of Depakote include:

  • drowsiness,
  • weakness,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach upset,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • mood swings,
  • changes in menstrual periods,
  • enlarged breasts,
  • weight changes,
  • agitation,
  • tremor (shaking),
  • vision changes,
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth, and
  • hair loss.

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including Depakote, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Abilify?

Common side effects of Abilify include:

  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • weakness
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach upset
  • tiredness
  • excess saliva or drooling
  • choking or trouble swallowing
  • blurred vision
  • headache
  • anxiety
  • weight gain
  • drowsiness
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • constipation

What Is Depakote?

Depakote (divalproex sodium) is a stable coordination compound comprised of sodium valproate and valproic acid used to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, epilepsy, and migraine headaches. Generic Depakote (termed divalproex sodium) is available under several other names.

What Is Abilify?

Abilify is a prescription medicine used to treat a certain type of depression called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Abilify belongs to a class of medicines known as SNRIs (or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors).

Abilify is also used to treat or manage:

  • Schizophrenia
  • manic or mixed episodes that happen with bipolar I disorder
  • major depressive disorder (MDD) when ABILIFY is used with antidepressant medicines
  • irritability associated with autistic disorder
  • Tourette's disorder

Abilify Injection is a prescription medicine used to treat:

  • agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania

It is not known if Abilify is safe or effective in children:

  • under 13 years of age with schizophrenia
  • under 10 years of age with bipolar I disorder
  • under 6 years of age with irritability associated with autistic disorder
  • under 6 years of age with Tourette's disorder


Another term that has been previously used for bipolar disorder is ___________________. See Answer

What Drugs Interact With Depakote?

Depakote may interact with ritonavir, phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, primidone, aspirin, carbapenem antibiotics, felbamate, rifampin, amitriptyline, nortriptyline, carbamazepine, clonazepam, diazepam, ethosuximide, lamotrigine, tolbutamide, warfarin, zidovudine, lorazepam, and topiramate.

What Drugs Interact With Abilify?

Do not take Abilify if you are allergic to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients in Abilify. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in Abilify.

How Should Depakote Be Taken?

The recommended initial dose of Depakote to treat mania is 750 mg daily in divided doses. The dose of Depakote to treat epilepsy as monotherapy should be initiated at 10 to 15 mg/kg/day. The recommended starting dose of Depakote to treat migraines is 250 mg twice daily.

How Should Abilify Be Taken?

Take Abilify exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Do not change the dose or stop taking Abilify yourself.

  • Abilify can be taken with or without food.
  • Abilify tablets should be swallowed whole.
  • If you miss a dose of Abilify, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, just skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Abilify at the same time.
  • If you have been prescribed Abilify Discmelt, take it as follows:
    • Do not open the blister until ready to take the Discmelt tablet.
    • To remove one Discmelt tablet, open the package and peel back the foil on the blister to expose the tablet.
    • Do not push the tablet through the foil because this could damage the tablet.
    • Immediately upon opening the blister, using dry hands, remove the tablet and place the entire bilify Discmelt Orally Disintegrating Tablet on the tongue.
    • Tablet disintegration occurs rapidly in saliva. It is recommended that bilify Discmelt be taken without liquid. However, if needed, it can be taken with liquid.
    • Do not attempt to split the Discmelt tablet.


What Is Bipolar Disorder? Symptoms, Manic Episodes, Testing See Slideshow

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AbbVie. Depakote Product Information

Otsuka Pharmaceutical. Abilfy Drug Information.

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