How STAVZOR may help control epilepsy
How does STAVZOR work?
STAVZOR is a valproic acid (valproate) medication that works as an anti-epileptic (anticonvulsant) drug for seizures.
Although it is not completely understood how valproate works in the brain for individuals with epilepsy, scientists believe it regulates the balance of brain chemicals. It does so by increasing the amount of a natural chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Could STAVZOR work for me?
Your doctor will work with you to help determine if STAVZOR may be right for controlling your seizures.
STAVZOR may be used to help prevent several types of seizures:
- STAVZOR is indicated for treatment of complex partial seizures in adult and pediatric patients (ages 10 and above). The seizures may occur by themselves or with absence seizures.
- STAVZOR is also indicated for therapy in the treatment of simple and complex absence seizures –– and as adjunct therapy (combined with other therapies) in patients with multiple seizure types that include absence seizures.
How is STAVZOR different from other valproate medications?
STAVZOR is a unique soft gel formulation that can help you start – and stay – on your antiseizure therapy. Staying on your medication may help reduce the likelihood of seizures.
- Did you know: The size of pills causes up to 84% of people to hesitate taking medications?
The smaller size, soft gel formulation of STAVZOR make the medication easy to swallow.
STAVZOR is up to 40% smaller than other valproate medications. In fact, STAVZOR is a form of valproate that comes in a small, easy-to-swallow form, a soft gel capsule that patients prefer.
Formulated to be gentler on the stomach
In addition, the unique enteric formulation of STAVZOR delivers the drug to your small intestine, not your stomach. It's designed to reduce reflux and gastric irritation.
Important Safety Information You Should Know about STAVZOR
Liver problems Your doctor should check your liver function before you start taking STAVZOR and at frequent intervals while you're on therapy. If you feel generally ill (malaise), weak, and tired, if your face is swollen and you lose your appetite, and start vomiting, call your doctor immediately.
Pregnancy: Birth defectsWomen who can become pregnant need to know that valproic acid has been associated with birth defects, in particular with spina bifida, a condition in which the baby's spinal canal fails to close. If you are planning to become pregnant, you should discuss the risks of birth defects, along with other possible treatment options, with your doctor. If you do become pregnant while taking STAVZOR, call your doctor immediately.
Read more important safety information about pregnancy.
PancreatitisSome people taking valproate have experienced a serious, life-threatening illness called pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas). If you experience stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and/or loss of appetite, call your doctor immediately.
Common side effects reported in studies with valproate were nausea, drowsiness, vomiting, and dizziness. These are not all the side effects that may occur. You will find a complete list of side effects in the full Prescribing Information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Recent Information about Antiepileptic Medications including STAVZOR® (valproic acid) Delayed Release Capsules for any use
For Patients and Caregivers
All antiepileptic medicines, used for any condition, may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some patients. Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. Keep all follow-up visits with the healthcare provider as scheduled. Call the healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.
Watch for and call the healthcare provider right away to report if you or your family member see the appearance or worsening of symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the appearance of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to the healthcare provider.
For Healthcare Professionals
All antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including STAVZOR, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Anyone considering prescribing Stavzor or any other AED must balance their risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with the risk of untreated illness.
Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.
For medical inquiries specific to Stavzor, please call 1-800-455-8070