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Depakote for treating headaches in a child???

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posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 09:50 AM
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I'm not 100% sure this is in the right forum... please feel free to move to where it fits.

Ok! Well I understand this may be a touchy subject. And yes, I do understand I am on a "conspiracy theory website" gathering opinions. I'm not going to use these opinions in place of good medical care.
So here goes...

My daughter who has been suffering from migraines since age 4 was recently prescribed depakote. She is 8 now.
For the most part, I have them under control. Good diet, tons of water, no artificial anything, vitamin supplements and we avoid all the triggers. She's had allergy tests, and pretty much every other test out there ran. Everything comes back normal. In the migraine journal I've been keeping, it seems she reacts to barometric pressure changes. Which there is NOTHING I can do about that. So we manage the pain and nausea, and she's back to normal in a day or 2.

So yesterday, after waiting 4 months to be seen by one of the top pediatric neurologists in this half of the country, he looked my daughter over, did a few basic neuro tests (that her regular pediatrician always does) and looked her skin over. She has a few birthmarks. I thought mostly because of her very mixed ethnicity. According to the doctor, your skin and brain develops at the same time in the womb. So more birthmarks = more issues with the brain. I have yet to really find anything on google about this. So after pointing out the birthmarks, he informed me that she was to start a daily medication. I was semi onboard with this until he said it was Depakote. The list of side effects of depakote goes on and on. It is used as treatment for seizures, migraines, the manic stage of bipolar, and some other off label uses.
They told me that while on the medication, she would have to have cognitive behavioral therapy as the depakote will slow her cognitive abilities. She won't be able to ride a bike, a scooter, or do anything that requires her to be alert. So... in my opinion.... her quality of life would be diminished DAILY. Instead of just a day or two every few months when she gets a migraine.
I don't want to come across like I am against doctors or Big Pharma. They save lives daily and help billions of people. I just can not fathom why on earth they would put her on such a strong medication. At a somewhat high does. 375mg a day to start. She does not have any learning disabilities or any other health issues besides these migraines that happen from time to time. While they are um-pleasant, we have managing them down to a science. Since we are on an HMO, I am going to pay out of pocket to get a second opinion from a private doctor.
Has anyone on here been on depakote? Has anyones children been on depakote?




posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 10:01 AM
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reply to post by Denco
 


I was on Depakote for more than a year after I had suffered a grand mal seizure. I was not aware of its uses to treat migraines, but I am not a doctor so who knows. It did indeed slow my cognitive abilities and made me feel lethargic and cloudy at times. I don't remember any other side effects, but maybe lack of memory was in fact a side effect.....hmmmm, I'll have to ponder that thought. Anyway, its not something I (as a layman) would consider giving a child but I would also assume the dosage you have been prescribed is lower than what I was given. I stopped taking the drug voluntarily and have never had another seizure. That was in 1995 or so. I wish you the best of luck.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by Denco
 
He may be top in his field but I definitely would not give it to my child ever.Aside from the list of side affects I believe it's currently in a tort case,I don't remember the damage off hand,but do know it's bad stuff.....good luck with your child most of the time children do grow out of these types of headaches.Have you tried taking her off all food additives?I say this because my son suffers cluster headaches and the neurologist had me remove all artificial sweeteners and food preservatives. I medicate him(with motrin or mild narcotic) when they become sever,he gets them less often these days.

my brother(6'5 very big guy) was on depakopte and he did not like the side effects and quit taking them,slow,tired all the time,weight gain ..ect..ect
edit on 2-6-2011 by TWILITE22 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 10:17 AM
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The treatment is worse than the problem. Depakote is no joke, and it's a shame a doctor would suggest such a radical medication for that. Are you 100% sure there is no toxins sneaking into her diet you aren't aware of? Perhaps a compound in the water supply? Do you cook with Fluoridated water? Every time I think I've eliminated all the BS additives in food, I find out later there were hidden ingredients and have to adjust my diet again.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 10:19 AM
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NO! do not take this medication. With out getting into too many details I will tell you that all I have ever seen from people on this medication is bad. This is not something that I would ever take or suggest someone ask their Dr about taking.


If I could suggest something different and that is Medical marijuana. I do not know how you view this medication but from what I have seen with people who have chronic migraines or headaches is a great improvement. I am not talking about smoking it either. I don't know if you live in a state where it is legal or not but this is something I would suggest you look into.

**edit**
Okay so if you are in Denver then it is very Medical Marijuana friendly

edit on 2-6-2011 by Vodo34861 because: add information.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 10:39 AM
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My daughter was put on Depakote at four after having a seizure. She had the flu the week before this episode, and they decided she was Epileptic. We went to several specialists for this verdict, even though there was no further proof of this prognosis. She then developed learning disabilities, needed speech badly, was tested for autism, and eventually we noticed that one side of her face, mouth, and corner of her eye was twisting like would happen to a stroke survivor.

We decided to drop the medication completely. We then took her to Specialists in Iowa City, she underwent testing there, and they think she had never had Epilepsy to begin with. She is now 15. Never had another seizure, had years of speech, and is now a straight A student.

Depakote set her years behind in development. Here in Illinois they have lawyers looking for lawsuits because of Depakote causing birth defects. I would never recommend it, and would definitely not go with just one professional opinion. Good luck with you, and your daughter!


Bloodnoir



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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Years ago one of my sons was on it for a short time. It did give him problems with cognitive skills and that made his teachers think he had ADD or something related ! Get that 2nd opinion before you start your child on that crap. ONE drug used for such a wide array of problems? That should make you think twice all by itself.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:07 AM
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I can't believe her Dr would prescribe Depakote for
migraines. My granddaughter was on Depakote
for 2 or 3 years for Bi Polar condition, which I don't
think she even had. She would shake like a leaf
all day and she was always tired and complaining
of how the drug made her feel. She stopped the
drug herself and hasn't had any more problems.
Before Depakote she was a straight A student -
when she was on the drug her grades dropped
and her behavior didn't improve until she stopped
the drug. I would not recommend at all!



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by Vodo34861
 


Your advice is to give an 8 year old child Marijuana, a powerful Psychoactive drug, are you serious....?



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by JibbyJedi
The treatment is worse than the problem. Depakote is no joke, and it's a shame a doctor would suggest such a radical medication for that. Are you 100% sure there is no toxins sneaking into her diet you aren't aware of? Perhaps a compound in the water supply? Do you cook with Fluoridated water? Every time I think I've eliminated all the BS additives in food, I find out later there were hidden ingredients and have to adjust my diet again.


Yep I sure do cook with fluoridated water. Like you said, once you think you've eliminated everything, you realize something else!
I have a pretty good water filter on the tap, but sometimes don't think to use the filtered water to cook with.




posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by Floyd101
 


Your use of key words is shameful. Caffeine is a very powerful Psychoactive drug and yet we don't seem to have a problem pouring it down kids throats all day long. And yes I do fully support what I stated. As I said it should be in another form other than smoking it though. But please continue forth with your brain washed opinion of something people have been using for centuries.
edit on 2-6-2011 by Vodo34861 because: Clarification.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:34 AM
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I just seen on TV yesterday that there is a lawsuit going on about symptoms caused by Depakote. There is no way I would ever submit any child, or anyone for that matter, to what was labeled as side effects.
Please, do not use this drug, ever.

www.drugs.com...



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:37 AM
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Denco:

My daughter was on Depekote for Seizure Disorder, diagnosed at the age of 18 months. Please do not allow your daughter to take it!

Depekote was creating a zombie child, seriously. I was the primary care giver for three years. I spent 20 hours a day with my little girl. We did everything we could as most parents do, diet, chemical exposure, etc...

I understand how you feel about your daughter.

My daughter is now on Valpraic Acid and currently we are diminishing the doses to take her off it. The difference is night and day between the two.

As for migraines I do not understand how Depekote could even fit into the picture.

Honestly, keep getting more opinions from other Ped Nueros. I would even go outside of the mainstream and look into a Holistic approach, Acupuncture, Reki, etc...

Regards and Nameste,

-Chung



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:43 AM
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Heh, they tried this on my oldest yrs ago.... "off label" drug use that suddenly becomes "on label" drug use in pediatrics.


SHe had seizures after her first MMR which they denied the vaccine was the reason.After her second set of MMR and more severe seizures and hospitalization : they finally admitted to be a vaccination reaction for which we filled out VAERS reports. She went to a pediatric neurologist and he wanted to put her on Depakote for the seizures that were caused by a vaccine reaction. We got a second opinion and yrs later a very well known pediatric neurologist said she was autistic, high IQ/high functioning, and profound processing issues... from the vaccine. It was terrible throughout her childhood, but we kept up on latest diets and supplements and selective main stream medications.. you wouldnt really even know how bad off she was or her diagnosis if you met her now. College level classes as a senior ( home schooled), drivers license, very popular.... normal kid. I fear that if Id have given her Depakote with the whole slowing down her development ( when she WAS NOT an epileptic to begin with.. it was a reaction to a vaccine) that she would not be in the great shape she is now.

If I were you Id NOT give her the Depakote. The side effects are terrible and I feel its a poison to a brain that doesnt need it to control seizures.. which it does very well. Im surprised they jumped to Depakote though.. its usually Neurontin for pain, neuropathic and migraine. ALso, Depakote being used for this is a relatively new use of the drug. Last time I checked for kids they use periactin and elavil... but I havent worked as an RN in a while
Imitrex works great for some.. but I dont think they use it in pediatrics just yet.. If you HAVE to use a medication for migraines in a child, I swear just because the age of the drug and "oldie but goodie" reputation.. Id use Elavil.. amitriptyline. Makes folks tired and zombish... but take it at night and adjust the dosage with a decent Dr. Side effects are much less than depakote for sure.

For us: We DID have to use some of the main stream drugs.. Concerta is rough stuff..... some of the stuff she dealt with in the begining was incredibly bad. It wasnt just a slow kid.. it was hellish for her as far as her brain just not "connecting" correctly. The greatest results we had were nutrition and supplement. I know it sounds goofy, but it truly made a HUGE difference.

Let me ask, have you taken your daughter to a REAL allergist? WHy Im asking is that my cousins son I think was BORN with migraines.... they gave him all kinds of weird drugs, nothing helped and I swear the poor kid had every side effect he could. FInally took him to an allergist when he was 10 or 11.. they had been seeing a neurologist this whole time... and he was allergic to several things. Common things.. but when they were completely eliminated he had NO more migraines. Two of the things he was allergic to and the final thing they eliminated was the chemicals in the fake wood panneling ( sp?) and the actual carpet in their home! They moved as it was a rental and voila.. **no** headaches... no harsh medications needed. He is using allergy medications and avoidance techniques since he is an adult now and just within real life things its sometimes unavoidable... but does have Imitrex for emergencies or if he was been exposed to those things.

I wish you luck.. trust me, its hard figuring out the best course of action when you see your child suffering. I hope to see a revival of sane pediatric medical practices within my lifetime.. but Im not holding my breath. If anything, its gotten MUCH worse. Seems the quicker they can get you hooked on a pill the better for them... not necessarily better for the child. Who knows what the true long term effects of the meds are after the child reaches adulthood. I have seen VERY few of these "scientific studies" that address that question.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 12:30 PM
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I forgot to mention earlier that I have barometric headaches. They
are almost as bad as migraines, it could be your child doesn't
even have migraines, they are difficult to diagnose, especially
in a child. I take Ibuprofen and rest, that may be the best
for your child. Don't forget doctors. get rewards from Big Pharma.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by Denco
 


OP, please understand I'm not trying to tell you to disregard what your doctor says, but hear me out. I was prescribed Depakote for migraines in my 30's. One of the side effects was severe trembling in my hands. At the time, I was doing calligraphy work to supplement my income and it caused me to have to decline some of the work. After realizing the Depakote was not having an effect on my headaches at all, I stopped taking it. Of course, the trembling stopped.

A few years later, I decided to stop taking ALL prescription medications, whether they were for migraines or otherwise. What I found out after that was very disturbing. I learned that most of the medications I'd been prescribed over the years for migraines had been prescribed "off shelf," meaning they had not actually been tested specifically for treatment of migraines, this included Depakote. Depakote is a heavy duty drug. Please, please, please, research this medication and consider a second a opinion. These drugs are not to be taken lightly, especially when prescribed for our children.

Thanks for posting, OP.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 03:16 PM
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Originally posted by NightGypsy
reply to post by Denco
 


OP, please understand I'm not trying to tell you to disregard what your doctor says, but hear me out. I was prescribed Depakote for migraines in my 30's. One of the side effects was severe trembling in my hands. At the time, I was doing calligraphy work to supplement my income and it caused me to have to decline some of the work. After realizing the Depakote was not having an effect on my headaches at all, I stopped taking it. Of course, the trembling stopped.

A few years later, I decided to stop taking ALL prescription medications, whether they were for migraines or otherwise. What I found out after that was very disturbing. I learned that most of the medications I'd been prescribed over the years for migraines had been prescribed "off shelf," meaning they had not actually been tested specifically for treatment of migraines, this included Depakote. Depakote is a heavy duty drug. Please, please, please, research this medication and consider a second a opinion. These drugs are not to be taken lightly, especially when prescribed for our children.

Thanks for posting, OP.


I'm so glad your trembling stopped. I have read that for some, it's irreversible.
I don't think I was ever going to give my daughter this medication. I just wanted to gather some opinions. It just seems like a terrible drug.
I've been researching holistic doctors today and am going to take that approach. Since this isn't anything life threatening, I feel comfortable disregarding the docs advice. I want what's best for my children and have always respected doctors. But this is too much. She does NOT have a seizure disorder. AND her migraines have been treated with zofran (nausea) and ibuprofen. So it's not like what we have been doing isn't stopping them. It's just preventing them that seems to be a bit of a challenge. No matter what I do.

Thank you EVERYONE for your input. It's really sad that we live in 2011 and our medical care isn't better.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by Denco
 


Unless there's a big missing piece in your story, I would recommend getting a different doctor. That is an extreme and dangerous solution, definitely not a first line treatment, IMO. Take my advice for what it costs and considering that this is not a medical opinion.

I'm a believer of natural healing by nutrition plus old wisdom and experience combined with new science and research, such as epigenetics and natural receptor-modulating substances. I've found this approach incredibly effective and generally avoid anything with toxicities or dangerous side-effects, especially if they are prescription pharmaceuticals. I'm not opposed to presciption medications in some cases, but I tend to do a lot of research before taking them and when doctors nonchalantly prescribe dangerous medicine to children, I get leary.

Here would be my basic nutritional and herbal support for an 8 year old with a generally decent diet and no other major issues... I've also included some research papers and reasoning along with each herbal recommendation. Please understand that this is not medical advice and only a laypersons opinion:

Supplemental nutrition over diet:
1. A great kids vitamin, such as those made by Garden of Life for kids... Consider those the standard...

2. Often underestimated greens mix: I'd also consider something like a vegetable greens drink to give her more than the usual high-potency greens intake. A good one is "Amazing Grass, Green Superfood Chocolate Drink Powder", I know a number of kids who hate vegetables and love it.

3. Kids brain development support: Fish oil (best one I know for a number of reasons is Wholemega 500mg by Natural Chapter), Lecithin mixed into the chocolate greens (might want to mix a tiny bit of Nestle Quick as well, but don't defeat the purpose
).. best lecithin for this purpose would be the Now Foods, GMO free granules.

4. Brain development herb, not migraine specific: Bacopa Monnieri (best I've found is Tattva's herbs, but something called Bacopa Enlighten is also good. Whatever brand, look for 50% baccosides and 200-400mg for children. This has been shown time and again to have positive and lasting effects on general brain function and performance in children to the elderly and is believed to work as a neuroprotective substance. No serious side effects have ever been reported in thousands of years of use that I know of. All studies show it requires about 3 months of daily use to show lasting benefits.
ijib.classicrus.com...

To generally improve the condition of migraines over time, I'd recommend to add feverfew to the foundation above, as it has been shown in double blind studies to help with migraines and also has not been shown to have any negative side effects beyond upset stomach at times, which should be no issue if taken with food:
"http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(88)92289-1/abstract"

Ginko biloba, a well known herb used to imrpove mental function after stroke, generally improves brain circulation and is not known to be anything but beneficial has also been show to reduce migraines in children. Though large studies are lacking, it makes sense from an herbal perspective, as migraines are sometimes considered a vascular disorder in the brain, which is one thing improved with use of ginko.
www.springerlink.com...

If you want to cap this off with a prescription medicine that seems to work in children and has been shown to be fairly safe, a nasal dose of sumatriptan has been shown effective and relatively side-effect free in children. Since they are children after all, I'd still limit this kind of thing to when it's really needed:
www.neurology.org...

I hope you get all this figured out. The good thing about an approach like the above is that it will also generally contribute to improved mental development and health. If you decide to take any of the pointers, I'd love to hear back on your experience.



posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 02:44 PM
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My grandmother is on it. The effects are amazing. She was a delusional Alzheimer patient. (DSMIV Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type, with late onset 290.20 With delusions) Then after 2 weeks on Depakote (valproic acid) she came out of the fog and stopped worrying about the boogey man in the basement; she's able to live at home alone again after several weeks in a nursing home.

Downside... if you miss a dose or stop taking it all together you can have an immediate life threatening seizure, even if you've never had a seizure before.

Pretty scary... But she knows who I am again.

Sri Oracle



posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by Floyd101

Your advice is to give an 8 year old child Marijuana, a powerful Psychoactive drug, are you serious....?


And depakote is not a powerful psychoactive drug?

At least medical marijuana can't kill you if you miss a dose.

Sri Oracle



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