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Intravenous Dilution Guidelines

Valproate SODIUM (Depacon ®)

The authors make no claims of the accuracy of the information contained herein; and these suggested doses and/or guidelines are not a substitute for clinical judgment. Neither GlobalRPh Inc. nor any other party involved in the preparation of this document shall be liable for any special, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting in whole or part from any user's use of or reliance upon this material.    PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER CAREFULLY BEFORE ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE. BY ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE DISCLAIMER.

Usual Diluents

D5W, NS , LR

Standard Dilutions   [Amount of drug] [Infusion volume] [Infusion rate]

[Prescribed dose / 50-100 ml]

[Infusion rate: 60 minutes - Maximum rate: 20 mg/min]

Stability / Miscellaneous

Label: Do not Refrigerate. Supplied: 500 mg/ 5ml Vial

Package Insert Data:
DEPACON should be administered as a 60 minute infusion (but not more than 20 mg/min) with the same frequency as the oral products, although plasma concentration monitoring and dosage adjustments may be necessary.
In one clinical safety study, approximately 90 patients with epilepsy and with no measurable plasma levels of valproate were given single infusions of DEPACON (up to 15 mg/kg and mean dose of 1184 mg) over 5-10 minutes (1.5-3.0 mg/kg/min).

Administration: Rapid infusion of DEPACON has been associated with an increase in adverse events. There is limited experience with infusion times of less than 60 minutes or rates of infusion > 20 mg/min in patients with epilepsy. DEPACON should be administered intravenously as a 60 minute infusion, as noted above. It should be diluted with at least 50 mL of a compatible diluent. Any unused portion of the vial contents should be discarded. Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit.

Compatibility and Stability
DEPACON was found to be physically compatible and chemically stable in the following parenteral solutions for at least 24
hours when stored in glass or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bags at controlled room temperature 15-30°C (59-86°F).
• dextrose (5%) injection, USP
• sodium chloride (0.9%) injection, USP
• lactated ringer's injection, USP


BOX WARNING

HEPATOTOXICITY

HEPATIC FAILURE RESULTING IN FATALITIES HAS OCCURRED IN PATIENTS RECEIVING VALPROIC ACID AND ITS DERIVATIVES. EXPERIENCE HAS INDICATED THAT CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF TWO YEARS ARE AT A CONSIDERABLY INCREASED RISK OF DEVELOPING FATAL HEPATOTOXICITY, ESPECIALLY THOSE ON MULTIPLE ANTICONVULSANTS, THOSE WITH CONGENITAL METABOLIC DISORDERS, THOSE WITH SEVERE SEIZURE DISORDERS ACCOMPANIED BY MENTAL RETARDATION, AND THOSE WITH ORGANIC BRAIN DISEASE. WHEN DEPACON IS USED IN THIS PATIENT GROUP, IT SHOULD BE USED WITH EXTREME CAUTION AND AS A SOLE AGENT. THE BENEFITS OF THERAPY SHOULD BE WEIGHED AGAINST THE RISKS. ABOVE THIS AGE GROUP, EXPERIENCE IN EPILEPSY HAS INDICATED THAT THE INCIDENCE OF FATAL HEPATOTOXICITY DECREASES CONSIDERABLY IN PROGRESSIVELY OLDER PATIENT GROUPS.

THESE INCIDENTS USUALLY HAVE OCCURRED DURING THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF TREATMENT. SERIOUS OR FATAL HEPATOTOXICITY MAY BE PRECEDED BY NON-SPECIFIC SYMPTOMS SUCH AS MALAISE, WEAKNESS, LETHARGY, FACIAL EDEMA, ANOREXIA, AND VOMITING. IN PATIENTS WITH EPILEPSY, A LOSS OF SEIZURE CONTROL MAY ALSO OCCUR. PATIENTS SHOULD BE MONITORED CLOSELY FOR APPEARANCE OF THESE SYMPTOMS. LIVER FUNCTION TESTS SHOULD BE PERFORMED PRIOR TO THERAPY AND AT FREQUENT INTERVALS THEREAFTER, ESPECIALLY DURING THE FIRST SIX MONTHS.

TERATOGENICITY

VALPROATE CAN PRODUCE TERATOGENIC EFFECTS SUCH AS NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS (E.G., SPINA BIFIDA). ACCORDINGLY, THE USE OF VALPROATE PRODUCTS IN WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING POTENTIAL REQUIRES THAT THE BENEFITS OF ITS USE BE WEIGHED AGAINST THE RISK OF INJURY TO THE FETUS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT WHEN THE TREATMENT OF A SPONTANEOUSLY REVERSIBLE CONDITION NOT ORDINARILY ASSOCIATED WITH PERMANENT INJURY OR RISK OF DEATH (E.G., MIGRAINE) IS CONTEMPLATED. SEE WARNINGS, INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS.

PANCREATITIS

CASES OF LIFE-THREATENING PANCREATITIS HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN BOTH CHILDREN AND ADULTS RECEIVING VALPROATE. SOME OF THE CASES HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED AS HEMORRHAGIC WITH A RAPID PROGRESSION FROM INITIAL SYMPTOMS TO DEATH. CASES HAVE BEEN REPORTED SHORTLY AFTER INITIAL USE AS WELL AS AFTER SEVERAL YEARS OF USE. PATIENTS AND GUARDIANS SHOULD BE WARNED THAT ABDOMINAL PAIN, NAUSEA, VOMITING, AND/OR ANOREXIA CAN BE SYMPTOMS OF PANCREATITIS THAT REQUIRE PROMPT MEDICAL EVALUATION. IF PANCREATITIS IS DIAGNOSED, VALPROATE SHOULD ORDINARILY BE DISCONTINUED. ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR THE UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITION SHOULD BE INITIATED AS CLINICALLY INDICATED. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS .)


CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
DEPACON exists as the valproate ion in the blood. The mechanisms by which valproate exerts its therapeutic effects have not been established. It has been suggested that its activity in epilepsy is related to increased brain concentrations of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).


Pharmacokinetics ---------
Bioavailability
Equivalent doses of intravenous (IV) valproate and oral valproate products are expected to result in equivalent Cmax, Cmin, and total systemic exposure to the valproate ion when the IV valproate is administered as a 60 minute infusion. However, the rate of valproate ion absorption may vary with the formulation used. These differences should be of minor clinical importance under the steady state conditions achieved in chronic use in the treatment of epilepsy.

Administration of DEPAKOTE (divalproex sodium) tablets and IV valproate (given as a one hour infusion), 250 mg every 6 hours for 4 days to 18 healthy male volunteers resulted in equivalent AUC, Cmax, Cmin at steady state, as well as after the first dose. The Tmax after IV DEPACON occurs at the end of the one hour infusion, while the Tmax after oral dosing with DEPAKOTE occurs at approximately 4 hours. Because the kinetics of unbound valproate are linear, bioequivalence between DEPACON and DEPAKOTE up to the maximum recommended dose of 60 mg/kg/day can be assumed. The AUC and Cmax resulting from administration of IV valproate 500 mg as a single one hour infusion and a single 500 mg dose of DEPAKENE syrup to 17 healthy male volunteers were also equivalent.

Patients maintained on valproic acid doses of 750 mg to 4250 mg daily (given in divided doses every 6 hours) as oral DEPAKOTE (divalproex sodium) alone (n = 24) or with another stabilized antiepileptic drug [carbamazepine (n = 15), phenytoin (n = 11), or phenobarbital (n = 1)], showed comparable plasma levels for valproic acid when switching from oral DEPAKOTE to IV valproate (1-hour infusion).

Eleven healthy volunteers were given single infusions of 1000 mg IV valproate over 5, 10, 30, and 60 minutes in a 4-period crossover study. Total valproate concentrations were measured; unbound concentrations were not measured. After the 5 minute infusions (mean rate of 2.8 mg/kg/min), mean Cmax was 145 ± 32 µg/mL, while after the 60 minute infusions, mean Cmax was 115 ± 8 µg/mL. Ninety to 120 minutes after infusion initiation, total valproate concentrations were similar for all 4 rates of infusion. Because protein binding is nonlinear at higher total valproate concentrations, the corresponding increase in unbound Cmax at faster infusion rates will be greater.

Distribution
Protein Binding
The plasma protein binding of valproate is concentration dependent and the free fraction increases from approximately 10% at 40 µg/mL to 18.5% at 130 µg/mL. Protein binding of valproate is reduced in the elderly, in patients with chronic hepatic diseases, in patients with renal impairment, and in the presence of other drugs (e.g., aspirin). Conversely, valproate may displace certain protein-bound drugs (e.g., phenytoin, carbamazepine, warfarin, and tolbutamide). (See PRECAUTIONS - Drug Interactions for more detailed information on the pharmacokinetic interactions of valproate with other drugs.)


CNS Distribution
Valproate concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) approximate unbound concentrations in plasma (about 10% of total concentration).

Metabolism
Valproate is metabolized almost entirely by the liver. In adult patients on monotherapy, 30-50% of an administered dose appears in urine as a glucuronide conjugate. Mitochondrial ß-oxidation is the other major metabolic pathway, typically accounting for over 40% of the dose. Usually, less than 15-20% of the dose is eliminated by other oxidative mechanisms. Less than 3% of an administered dose is excreted unchanged in urine.

The relationship between dose and total valproate concentration is nonlinear; concentration does not increase proportionally with the dose, but rather, increases to a lesser extent due to saturable plasma protein binding. The kinetics of unbound drug are linear.


Elimination
Mean plasma clearance and volume of distribution for total valproate are 0.56 L/hr/1.73 m2 and 11 L/1.73 m2, respectively. Mean terminal half-life for valproate monotherapy after an intravenous infusion of 1000 mg was 16 ± 3.0 hours.

The estimates cited apply primarily to patients who are not taking drugs that affect hepatic metabolizing enzyme systems. For example, patients taking enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs (carbamazepine, phenytoin, and phenobarbital) will clear valproate more rapidly. Because of these changes in valproate clearance, monitoring of antiepileptic concentrations should be intensified whenever concomitant antiepileptics are introduced or withdrawn.



INDICATIONS AND USAGE
DEPACON is indicated as an intravenous alternative in patients for whom oral administration of valproate products is temporarily not feasible in the following conditions:

DEPACON is indicated as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy in the treatment of patients with complex partial seizures that occur either in isolation or in association with other types of seizures. DEPACON is also indicated for use as sole and adjunctive therapy in the treatment of patients with simple and complex absence seizures, and adjunctively in patients with multiple seizure types that include absence seizures.

Simple absence is defined as very brief clouding of the sensorium or loss of consciousness accompanied by certain generalized epileptic discharges without other detectable clinical signs. Complex absence is the term used when other signs are also present.

SEE WARNINGS FOR STATEMENT REGARDING FATAL HEPATIC DYSFUNCTION.


CONTRAINDICATIONS
VALPROATE SODIUM INJECTION SHOULD NOT BE ADMINISTERED TO PATIENTS WITH HEPATIC DISEASE OR SIGNIFICANT HEPATIC DYSFUNCTION.

Valproate sodium injection is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to the drug.

Valproate sodium injection is contraindicated in patients with known urea cycle disorders (see WARNINGS).


WARNINGS
Hepatotoxicity
Hepatic failure resulting in fatalities has occurred in patients receiving valproic acid. These incidents usually have occurred during the first six months of treatment. Serious or fatal hepatotoxicity may be preceded by non-specific symptoms such as malaise, weakness, lethargy, facial edema, anorexia, and vomiting. In patients with epilepsy, a loss of seizure control may also occur. Patients should be monitored closely for appearance of these symptoms. Liver function tests should be performed prior to therapy and at frequent intervals thereafter, especially during the first six months of valproate therapy. However, physicians should not rely totally on serum biochemistry since these tests may not be abnormal in all instances, but should also consider the results of careful interim medical history and physical examination.

Caution should be observed when administering valproate products to patients with a prior history of hepatic disease. Patients on multiple anticonvulsants, children, those with congenital metabolic disorders, those with severe seizure disorders accompanied by mental retardation, and those with organic brain disease may be at particular risk. Experience has indicated that children under the age of two years are at a considerably increased risk of developing fatal hepatotoxicity, especially those with the aforementioned conditions. When DEPACON is used in this patient group, it should be used with extreme caution and as a sole agent. The benefits of therapy should be weighed against the risks. Use of DEPACON has not been studied in children below the age of 2 years. Above this age group, experience with valproate products in epilepsy has indicated that the incidence of fatal hepatotoxicity decreases considerably in progressively older patient groups.

The drug should be discontinued immediately in the presence of significant hepatic dysfunction, suspected or apparent. In some cases, hepatic dysfunction has progressed in spite of discontinuation of drug.


Pancreatitis
Cases of life-threatening pancreatitis have been reported in both children and adults receiving valproate. Some of the cases have been described as hemorrhagic with rapid progression from initial symptoms to death. Some cases have occurred shortly after initial use as well as after several years of use. The rate based upon the reported cases exceeds that expected in the general population and there have been cases in which pancreatitis recurred after rechallenge with valproate. In clinical trials, there were 2 cases of pancreatitis without alternative etiology in 2416 patients, representing 1044 patient-years experience. Patients and guardians should be warned that abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and/or anorexia can be symptoms of pancreatitis that require prompt medical evaluation. If pancreatitis is diagnosed, valproate should ordinarily be discontinued. Alternative treatment for the underlying medical condition should be initiated as clinically indicated (see BOXED WARNING).


Urea Cycle Disorders (UCD)
Valproate sodium is contraindicated in patients with known urea cycle disorders.

Hyperammonemic encephalopathy, sometimes fatal, has been reported following initiation of valproate therapy in patients with urea cycle disorders, a group of uncommon genetic abnormalities, particularly ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency. Prior to the initiation of valproate therapy, evaluation for UCD should be considered in the following patients: 1) those with a history of unexplained encephalopathy or coma, encephalopathy associated with a protein load, pregnancy-related or postpartum encephalopathy, unexplained mental retardation, or history of elevated plasma ammonia or glutamine; 2) those with cyclical vomiting and lethargy, episodic extreme irritability, ataxia, low BUN, or protein avoidance; 3) those with a family history of UCD or a family history of unexplained infant deaths (particularly males); 4) those with other signs or symptoms of UCD. Patients who develop symptoms of unexplained hyperammonemic encephalopathy while receiving valproate therapy should receive prompt treatment (including discontinuation of valproate therapy) and be evaluated for underlying urea cycle disorders (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS).

Interaction with Carbapenem Antibiotics
Carbapenem antibiotics (ertapenem, imipenem, meropenem) may reduce serum valproic acid concentrations to subtherapeutic levels, resulting in loss of seizure control. Serum valproic acid concentrations should be monitored frequently after initiating carbapenem therapy. Alternative antibacterial or anticonvulsant therapy should be considered if serum valproic acid concentrations drop significantly or seizure control deteriorates (see Drug Interactions).

Somnolence in the Elderly
In a double-blind, multicenter trial of valproate in elderly patients with dementia (mean age = 83 years), doses were increased by 125 mg/day to a target dose of 20 mg/kg/day. A significantly higher proportion of valproate patients had somnolence compared to placebo, and although not statistically significant, there was a higher proportion of patients with dehydration. Discontinuations for somnolence were also significantly higher than with placebo. In some patients with somnolence (approximately one-half), there was associated reduced nutritional intake and weight loss. There was a trend for the patients who experienced these events to have a lower baseline albumin concentration, lower valproate clearance, and a higher BUN. In elderly patients, dosage should be increased more slowly and with regular monitoring for fluid and nutritional intake, dehydration, somnolence, and other adverse events. Dose reductions or discontinuation of valproate should be considered in patients with decreased food or fluid intake and in patients with excessive somnolence (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).


Thrombocytopenia
The frequency of adverse effects (particularly elevated liver enzymes and thrombocytopenia [see PRECAUTIONS ]) may be dose-related. In a clinical trial of DEPAKOTE as monotherapy in patients with epilepsy, 34/126 patients (27%) receiving approximately 50 mg/kg/day on average, had at least one value of platelets less than or equal 75 x 109/L. Approximately half of these patients had treatment discontinued, with return of platelet counts to normal. In the remaining patients, platelet counts normalized with continued treatment. In this study, the probability of thrombocytopenia appeared to increase significantly at total valproate concentrations of greater than or equal 110 µg/mL (females) or greater than or equal 135 µg/mL (males). The therapeutic benefit which may accompany the higher doses should therefore be weighed against the possibility of a greater incidence of adverse effects.

Post-traumatic Seizures
A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of IV valproate in the prevention of post-traumatic seizures in patients with acute head injuries. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either IV valproate given for one week (followed by oral valproate products for either one or six months per random treatment assignment) or IV phenytoin given for one week (followed by placebo). In this study, the incidence of death was found to be higher in the two groups assigned to valproate treatment compared to the rate in those assigned to the IV phenytoin treatment group (13% vs 8.5%, respectively). Many of these patients were critically ill with multiple and/or severe injuries, and evaluation of the causes of death did not suggest any specific drug-related causation. Further, in the absence of a concurrent placebo control during the initial week of intravenous therapy, it is impossible to determine if the mortality rate in the patients treated with valproate was greater or less than that expected in a similar group not treated with valproate, or whether the rate seen in the IV phenytoin treated patients was lower than would be expected. Nonetheless, until further information is available, it seems prudent not to use DEPACON in patients with acute head trauma for the prophylaxis of post-traumatic seizures.


Usage In Pregnancy
VALPROATE CAN PRODUCE TERATOGENIC EFFECTS. DATA SUGGEST THAT THERE IS AN INCREASED INCIDENCE OF CONGENITAL MALFORMATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF VALPROATE BY WOMEN WITH SEIZURE DISORDERS DURING PREGNANCY WHEN COMPARED TO THE INCIDENCE IN WOMEN WITH SEIZURE DISORDERS WHO DO NOT USE ANTIEPILEPTIC DRUGS DURING PREGNANCY, THE INCIDENCE IN WOMEN WITH SEIZURE DISORDERS WHO USE OTHER ANTIEPILEPTIC DRUGS, AND THE BACKGROUND INCIDENCE FOR THE GENERAL POPULATION. THEREFORE, VALPROATE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING POTENTIAL ONLY AFTER THE RISKS HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY DISCUSSED WITH THE PATIENT AND WEIGHED AGAINST THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF TREATMENT.

THERE ARE MULTIPLE REPORTS IN THE CLINICAL LITERATURE THAT INDICATE THE USE OF ANTIEPILEPTIC DRUGS DURING PREGNANCY RESULTS IN AN INCREASED INCIDENCE OF CONGENITAL MALFORMATIONS IN OFFSPRING. ANTIEPILEPTIC DRUGS, INCLUDING VALPROATE, SHOULD BE ADMINISTERED TO WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING POTENTIAL ONLY IF THEY ARE CLEARLY SHOWN TO BE ESSENTIAL IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THEIR MEDICAL CONDITION.

Antiepileptic drugs should not be discontinued abruptly in patients in whom the drug is administered to prevent major seizures because of the strong possibility of precipitating status epilepticus with attendant hypoxia and threat to life. In individual cases where the severity and frequency of the seizure disorder are such that the removal of medication does not pose a serious threat to the patient, discontinuation of the drug may be considered prior to and during pregnancy, although it cannot be said with any confidence that even minor seizures do not pose some hazard to the developing embryo or fetus.


Human Data
Congenital Malformations
The North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry reported 16 cases of congenital malformations among the offspring of 149 women with epilepsy who were exposed to valproic acid monotherapy during the first trimester of pregnancy at doses of approximately 1,000 mg per day, for a prevalence rate of 10.7% (95% CI 6.3%-16.9%). Three of the 149 offspring (2%) had neural tube defects and 6 of the 149 (4%) had less severe malformations. Among epileptic women who were exposed to other antiepileptic drug monotherapies during pregnancy (1,048 patients) the malformation rate was 2.9% (95% CI 2.0% to 4.1%). There was a 4-fold increase in congenital malformations among infants with valproic acid-exposed mothers compared with those treated with other antiepileptic monotherapies as a group (Odds Ratio 4.0; 95% CI 2.1 to 7.4). This increased risk does not reflect a comparison versus any specific antiepileptic drug, but the risk versus the heterogeneous group of all other antiepileptic drug monotherapies combined. The increased teratogenic risk from valproic acid in women with epilepsy is expected to be reflected in an increased risk in other indications (e.g., migraine or bipolar disorder).

THE STRONGEST ASSOCIATION OF MATERNAL VALPROATE USAGE WITH CONGENITAL MALFORMATIONS IS WITH NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS (AS DISCUSSED UNDER THE NEXT SUBHEADING). HOWEVER, OTHER CONGENITAL ANOMALIES (E.G. CRANIOFACIAL DEFECTS, CARDIOVASCULAR MALFORMATIONS AND ANOMALIES INVOLVING VARIOUS BODY SYSTEMS), COMPATIBLE AND INCOMPATIBLE WITH LIFE, HAVE BEEN REPORTED. SUFFICIENT DATA TO DETERMINE THE INCIDENCE OF THESE CONGENITAL ANOMALIES IS NOT AVAILABLE.


Neural Tube Defects
THE INCIDENCE OF NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS IN THE FETUS IS INCREASED IN MOTHERS RECEIVING VALPROATE DURING THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY. THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC) HAS ESTIMATED THE RISK OF VALPROIC ACID EXPOSED WOMEN HAVING CHILDREN WITH SPINA BIFIDA TO BE APPROXIMATELY 1 TO 2%. THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS (ACOG) ESTIMATES THE GENERAL POPULATION RISK FOR CONGENITAL NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS AS 0.14% TO 0.2%.

Tests to detect neural tube and other defects using current accepted procedures should be considered a part of routine prenatal care in pregnant women receiving valproate.

Evidence suggests that pregnant women who receive folic acid supplementation may be at decreased risk for congenital neural tube defects in their offspring compared to pregnant women not receiving folic acid. Whether the risk of neural tube defects in the offspring of women receiving valproate specifically is reduced by folic acid supplementation is unknown. DIETARY FOLIC ACID SUPPLEMENTATION BOTH PRIOR TO AND DURING PREGNANCY SHOULD BE ROUTINELY RECOMMENDED TO PATIENTS CONTEMPLATING PREGNANCY.


Other Adverse Pregnancy Effects
PATIENTS TAKING VALPROATE MAY DEVELOP CLOTTING ABNORMALITIES (SEE PRECAUTIONS - GENERAL AND WARNINGS). A PATIENT WHO HAD LOW FIBRINOGEN WHEN TAKING MULTIPLE ANTICONVULSANTS INCLUDING VALPROATE GAVE BIRTH TO AN INFANT WITH AFIBRINOGENEMIA WHO SUBSEQUENTLY DIED OF HEMORRHAGE. IF VALPROATE IS USED IN PREGNANCY, THE CLOTTING PARAMETERS SHOULD BE MONITORED CAREFULLY.

PATIENTS TAKING VALPROATE MAY DEVELOP HEPATIC FAILURE (SEE WARNINGS - HEPATOTOXICITY AND BOX WARNING). FATAL HEPATIC FAILURES, IN A NEWBORN AND IN AN INFANT, HAVE BEEN REPORTED FOLLOWING THE MATERNAL USE OF VALPROATE DURING PREGNANCY.


Animal Data
Animal studies have demonstrated valproate-induced teratogenicity. Increased frequencies of malformations, as well as intrauterine growth retardation and death, have been observed in mice, rats, rabbits, and monkeys following prenatal exposure to valproate. Malformations of the skeletal system are the most common structural abnormalities produced in experimental animals, but neural tube closure defects have been seen in mice exposed to maternal plasma valproate concentrations exceeding 230 µg/mL (2.3 times the upper limit of the human therapeutic range) during susceptible periods of embryonic development. Administration of an oral dose of 200 mg/kg/day or greater (50% of the maximum human daily dose or greater on a mg/m2 basis) to pregnant rats during organogenesis produced malformations (skeletal, cardiac, and urogenital) and growth retardation in the offspring. These doses resulted in peak maternal plasma valproate levels of approximately 340 µg/mL or greater (3.4 times the upper limit of the human therapeutic range or greater). Behavioral deficits have been reported in the offspring of rats given a dose of 200 mg/kg/day throughout most of pregnancy. An oral dose of 350 mg/kg/day (approximately 2 times the maximum human daily dose on a mg/m2 basis) produced skeletal and visceral malformations in rabbits exposed during organogenesis. Skeletal malformations, growth retardation, and death were observed in rhesus monkeys following administration of an oral dose of 200 mg/kg/day (equal to the maximum human daily dose on a mg/m2 basis) during organogenesis. This dose resulted in peak maternal plasma valproate levels of approximately 280 µg/mL (2.8 times the upper limit of the human therapeutic range).


PRECAUTIONS [See Package insert - Extensive]


OVERDOSAGE
Overdosage with valproate may result in somnolence, heart block, and deep coma. Fatalities have been reported; however patients have recovered from valproate serum concentrations as high as 2120 µg/mL.

In overdose situations, the fraction of drug not bound to protein is high and hemodialysis or tandem hemodialysis plus hemoperfusion may result in significant removal of drug. General supportive measures should be applied with particular attention to the maintenance of adequate urinary output.

Naloxone has been reported to reverse the CNS depressant effects of valproate overdosage. Because naloxone could theoretically also reverse the antiepilepsy effects of valproate, it should be used with caution in patients with epilepsy.


DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
DEPACON IS FOR INTRAVENOUS USE ONLY.

Use of DEPACON for periods of more than 14 days has not been studied. Patients should be switched to oral valproate products as soon as it is clinically feasible.

DEPACON should be administered as a 60 minute infusion (but not more than 20 mg/min) with the same frequency as the oral products, although plasma concentration monitoring and dosage adjustments may be necessary.

In one clinical safety study, approximately 90 patients with epilepsy and with no measurable plasma levels of valproate were given single infusions of DEPACON (up to 15 mg/kg and mean dose of 1184 mg) over 5-10 minutes (1.5-3.0 mg/kg/min). Patients generally tolerated the more rapid infusions well (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). This study was not designed to assess the effectiveness of these regimens. For pharmacokinetics with rapid infusions, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Pharmacokinetics - Bioavailability.


Initial Exposure to Valproate
The following dosage recommendations were obtained from studies utilizing oral divalproex sodium products.

Complex Partial Seizures
For adults and children 10 years of age or older.


Monotherapy (Initial Therapy)
DEPACON has not been systematically studied as initial therapy. Patients should initiate therapy at 10 to 15 mg/kg/day. The dosage should be increased by 5 to 10 mg/kg/week to achieve optimal clinical response. Ordinarily, optimal clinical response is achieved at daily doses below 60 mg/kg/day. 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 µg/mL). No recommendation regarding the safety of valproate for use at doses above 60 mg/kg/day can be made.

The probability of thrombocytopenia increases significantly at total trough valproate plasma concentrations above 110 µg/mL in females and 135 µg/mL in males. The benefit of improved seizure control with higher doses should be weighed against the possibility of a greater incidence of adverse reactions.

Conversion to Monotherapy
Patients should initiate therapy at 10 to 15 mg/kg/day. The dosage should be increased by 5 to 10 mg/kg/week to achieve optimal clinical response. Ordinarily, optimal clinical response is achieved at daily doses below 60 mg/kg/day. 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 (50-100 µg/mL). No recommendation regarding the safety of valproate for use at doses above 60 mg/kg/day can be made. Concomitant antiepilepsy drug (AED) dosage can ordinarily be reduced by approximately 25% every 2 weeks. This reduction may be started at initiation of DEPACON therapy, or delayed by 1 to 2 weeks if there is a concern that seizures are likely to occur with a reduction. The speed and duration of withdrawal of the concomitant AED can be highly variable, and patients should be monitored closely during this period for increased seizure frequency.


Adjunctive Therapy
DEPACON may be added to the patient's regimen at a dosage of 10 to 15 mg/kg/day. The dosage may be increased by 5 to 10 mg/kg/week to achieve optimal clinical response. Ordinarily, optimal clinical response is achieved at daily doses below 60 mg/kg/day. 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 µg/mL). No recommendation regarding the safety of valproate for use at doses above 60 mg/kg/day can be made. If the total daily dose exceeds 250 mg, it should be given in divided doses.

In a study of adjunctive therapy for complex partial seizures in which patients were receiving either carbamazepine or phenytoin in addition to DEPAKOTE (divalproex sodium), no adjustment of carbamazepine or phenytoin dosage was needed (see CLINICAL STUDIES). However, since valproate may interact with these or other concurrently administered AEDs as well as other drugs (see Drug Interactions ), periodic plasma concentration determinations of concomitant AEDs are recommended during the early course of therapy (see PRECAUTIONS - Drug Interactions).


Simple and Complex Absence Seizures
The recommended initial dose is 15 mg/kg/day, increasing at one week intervals by 5 to 10 mg/kg/day until seizures are controlled or side effects preclude further increases. The maximum recommended dosage is 60 mg/kg/day. If the total daily dose exceeds 250 mg, it should be given in divided doses.

A good correlation has not been established between daily dose, serum concentrations, and therapeutic effect. However, therapeutic valproate serum concentrations for most patients with absence seizures is considered to range from 50 to 100 µg/mL. Some patients may be controlled with lower or higher serum concentrations (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).

As the DEPACON dosage is titrated upward, blood concentrations of phenobarbital and/or phenytoin may be affected (see PRECAUTIONS ).

Antiepilepsy drugs should not be abruptly discontinued in patients in whom the drug is administered to prevent major seizures because of the strong possibility of precipitating status epilepticus with attendant hypoxia and threat to life.


Replacement Therapy
When switching from oral valproate products, the total daily dose of DEPACON should be equivalent to the total daily dose of the oral valproate product (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY ), and should be administered as a 60 minute infusion (but not more than 20 mg/min) with the same frequency as the oral products, although plasma concentration monitoring and dosage adjustments may be necessary. Patients receiving doses near the maximum recommended daily dose of 60 mg/kg/day, particularly those not receiving enzyme-inducing drugs, should be monitored more closely. If the total daily dose exceeds 250 mg, it should be given in a divided regimen. There is no experience with more rapid infusions in patients receiving DEPACON as replacement therapy. However, the equivalence shown between DEPACON and oral valproate products (DEPAKOTE) at steady state was only evaluated in an every 6 hour regimen. Whether, when DEPACON is given less frequently (i.e., twice or three times a day), trough levels fall below those that result from an oral dosage form given via the same regimen, is unknown. For this reason, when DEPACON is given twice or three times a day, close monitoring of trough plasma levels may be needed.


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. Dosage should be increased more slowly and with regular monitoring for fluid and nutritional intake, dehydration, somnolence, and other adverse events. 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).


Dose-Related Adverse Events
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 greater than or equal 110 µg/mL (females) or greater than or equal 135 µg/mL (males) (see PRECAUTIONS). The benefit of improved therapeutic effect with higher doses should be weighed against the possibility of a greater incidence of adverse reactions.


Administration
Rapid infusion of DEPACON has been associated with an increase in adverse events. There is limited experience with infusion times of less than 60 minutes or rates of infusion > 20 mg/min in patients with epilepsy (see package insert  for ADVERSE REACTIONS).

DEPACON should be administered intravenously as a 60 minute infusion, as noted above. It should be diluted with at least 50 mL of a compatible diluent. Any unused portion of the vial contents should be discarded.

Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit.

Compatibility and Stability
DEPACON was found to be physically compatible and chemically stable in the following parenteral solutions for at least 24 hours when stored in glass or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bags at controlled room temperature 15-30°C (59-86°F).

dextrose (5%) injection, USP
sodium chloride (0.9%) injection, USP
lactated ringer's injection, USP

HOW SUPPLIED
DEPACON (valproate sodium injection), equivalent to 100 mg of valproic acid per mL, is a clear, colorless solution in 5 mL single-dose vials, available in trays of 10 vials (NDC 0074-1564-10).

Recommended storage: Store vials at controlled room temperature 15-30°C (59-86°F). No preservatives have been added. Unused portion of container should be discarded.

Manufactured at
Hospira, Inc.
McPherson, KS 67460 USA

Manufactured by
Hospira, Inc.
Lake Forest, IL 60045 USA

For
Abbott Laboratories
North Chicago, IL 60064, U.S.A.

Source: [package insert]
Disclaimer
The authors make no claims of the accuracy of the information contained herein; and these suggested doses are not a substitute for clinical judgment. Neither GlobalRPh Inc. nor any other party involved in the preparation of this program shall be liable for any special, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting in whole or part from any user's use of or reliance upon this material.  PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER CAREFULLY BEFORE ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE. BY ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE DISCLAIMER.
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