Epilim (sodium valproate) is an antiepileptic medication. It works by preventing the abnormal electrical activity of the brain, increasing GABA (gamma amino butyric acid, neurotransmitter in the brain, which calms the nerves). Another way of action of epilim is a sodium channel blockage, which also helps preventing the seizures.
Patients with the bipolar affective disorder are sometimes treated with epilim. Here this medication works as a mood stabilizer, when the patient is experiencing the mania episode. Epilim is available on the market in many different forms: as crushable or enteric-coated tablets, as a syrup or injection.
This medication should be used as the specialist has prescribed it. Sometimes, missing a dose of the drug may provoke another seizure. Epilim therapy should not be stopped unless your doctor told you so. Use always the same brand of the medication, and consult your pharmacist if you have been given different brand. The reason is different absorption of the drug in different brands. Enteric-coated tablets should not be crushed, they are meant to be swallowed whole.
If taken with other anti-epileptics or benzodiazepines, this medication may cause drowsiness and affect your ability to drive or operate some machines. Diabetics may have false positive test to ketones in urine, while taking epilim. Patients suffering from diabetes, liver or kidney dysfunction, systemic lupus erythematosus, urea disorders and young children should be careful when using this medication. Epilim should not be used if you are allergic to any of the medications’ ingredients, have liver problems or porphyria.
Adverse effects of epilim
Intestinal problems are known side effect of epilim, patients may experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhea. This medication may be the cause of increased appetite and weight gain. Diet and exercise should be enough to keep this effect under control.
Epilim rarely affects blood cells, pancreas or liver, but the liver tests are recommended for the first six months of the treatment. However, low energy, tiredness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and yellowish skin or eyes have to be reported to your doctor. Edemas, unusual bruises and bleeding are also the reason to consult the doctor. Rarely, patients report cases of anemia, thrombocytopenia and leucopenia.
Sometimes, epilim can cause skin reaction, usually rash, itching, peeling of the skin or acne. This drug might cause hair loss. The condition is not permanent and the new hair might be different than before. There were cases of increased hair growth using epilim. Women may have problems with their menstrual periods – use of epilim might make the period irregular or stop them.
Epilim could cause ataxia, tremor, drowsiness and confusion. Rarely, patients using this medication are aggressive and have suicidal tendencies. Seek medical attention if you are experiencing those feelings while taking epilim.