Health

Critical shortage of epilepsy drug, Divalproex, ends

Apotex, Canada's largest manufacturer of Divalproex Sodium, is expected to restart shipments of the essential epilepsy drug after encountering problems with manufacturing 10 months ago.

Drug used in the treatment of seizures and mood disorders

Apotex, Canada's largest manufacturer of Divalproex Sodium, reportedly restarts shipments of the essential epilepsy drug after encountering problems with manufacturing 10 months ago.

The drug is used in the treatment of seizures and mood disorders.

The company reported on the Canadian Drug Shortage Database that the 500-milligram formulation of the drug, known by its brand name as Apo-Divalproex, was on its way to wholesalers and could be available  for use in early May. 

Lower dose tablets will reportedly take more time to restock.

The 500-milligram strength tablets of Apo-Divalproex begins shipping to wholesalers today. Other doses to begin shipping after. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Apotex's problems with Apo-Divalproex, also known as Epival, had a ripple effect on other makers of the drug, causing a national shortage.

The drug is used to treat epileptic convulsions and off-label use includes psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder.

So many people need it, it's on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines, meaning it's meant to be "available within the context of functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms." 

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