Q. I am currently on Depakote (1750 mgs/day) and I recently heard that it can affect the pancreas and lead to pancreatitus. What has your experience been with this? Also, what symptoms should I be aware of if I think I might be suffering from pancreatitus?


  A. Any drug can cause pancreatitis. It is fairly rare with Depakote, and I have never seen it. It is fairly rare in folks without a history of concomitant alcohol abuse. You will get stomach pain, your abdomen can get rock hard, and it can hurt to bend or cough the pain is so bad. Your blood can be checked for enzymes that are released when the pancreatitis flares, so it should never get to the point where you are hurting so bad. Ask your doctor about having your amylase checked if you are worried to make sure all is okay.