Divalproex Sodium (Page 3 of 18)

2.4 Conversion from Divalproex Sodium Delayed-Release Tablets to Divalproex Sodium Extended-Release Tablets

In adult patients and pediatric patients 10 years of age or older with epilepsy previously receiving divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets, divalproex sodium extended-release tablets should be administered once-daily using a dose 8 to 20% higher than the total daily dose of divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets (Table 1). For patients whose divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets total daily dose cannot be directly converted to divalproex sodium extended-release tablets, consideration may be given at the clinician’s discretion to increase the patient’s divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets total daily dose to the next higher dosage before converting to the appropriate total daily dose of divalproex sodium extended-release tablets.

Table 1. Dose Conversion
*
These total daily doses of divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets cannot be directly converted to an 8 to 20% higher total daily dose of divalproex sodium extended-release tablets because the required dosing strengths of divalproex sodium extended-release tablets are not available. Consideration may be given at the clinician’s discretion to increase the patient’s divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets total daily dose to the next higher dosage before converting to the appropriate total daily dose of divalproex sodium extended-release tablets.

Divalproex Sodium Delayed-Release Tablets Total Daily Dose (mg)

Divalproex Sodium Extended-Release Tablets (mg)

500 *-625

750

750 *-875

1,000

1,000 *-1,125

1,250

1,250-1,375

1,500

1,500-1,625

1,750

1,750

2,000

1,875-2,000

2,250

2,125-2,250

2,500

2,375

2,750

2,500-2,750

3,000

2,875

3,250

3,000-3,125

3,500

There is insufficient data to allow a conversion factor recommendation for patients with divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets doses above 3,125 mg/day. Plasma valproate C min concentrations for divalproex sodium extended-release tablets on average are equivalent to divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets, but may vary across patients after conversion. If satisfactory clinical response has not been achieved, plasma levels should be measured to determine whether or not they are in the usually accepted therapeutic range (50 to 100 mcg/mL) [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)] .

2.5 General Dosing Advice

Dosing in Elderly Patients

Due to a decrease in unbound clearance of valproate and possibly a greater sensitivity to somnolence in the elderly, the starting dose should be reduced in these patients. Starting doses in the elderly lower than 250 mg can only be achieved by the use of divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets. Dosage should be increased more slowly and with regular monitoring for fluid and nutritional intake, dehydration, somnolence, and other adverse reactions. Dose reductions or discontinuation of valproate should be considered in patients with decreased food or fluid intake and in patients with excessive somnolence. The ultimate therapeutic dose should be achieved on the basis of both tolerability and clinical response [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] .

Dose-Related Adverse Reactions

The frequency of adverse effects (particularly elevated liver enzymes and thrombocytopenia) may be dose-related. The probability of thrombocytopenia appears to increase significantly at total valproate concentrations of ≥ 110 mcg/mL (females) or ≥ 135 mcg/mL (males) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)] . The benefit of improved therapeutic effect with higher doses should be weighed against the possibility of a greater incidence of adverse reactions.

G.I. Irritation

Patients who experience G.I. irritation may benefit from administration of the drug with food or by slowly building up the dose from an initial low level.

Compliance

Patients should be informed to take divalproex sodium extended-release tablets every day as prescribed. If a dose is missed it should be taken as soon as possible, unless it is almost time for the next dose. If a dose is skipped, the patient should not double the next dose.

2.6 Dosing in Patients Taking Rufinamide

Patients stabilized on rufinamide before being prescribed valproate should begin valproate therapy at a low dose, and titrate to a clinically effective dose [see Drug Interactions (7.2)] .

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Divalproex Sodium Extended-Release Tablets, USP are available containing divalproex sodium, USP equivalent to 250 mg or 500 mg of valproic acid.

  • The 250 mg tablets are white, film-coated, round, unscored tablets debossed with M over 177 on one side of the tablet and blank on the other side.
  • The 500 mg tablets are white, film-coated, oval, unscored tablets debossed with M 473 on one side of the tablet and blank on the other side.

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