Q. . I have been taking 1250mg of Depakote daily for the last four months and have gained 30 pounds. While continuing to take this dosage, will diet and exercise take off the weight, or would a different medication be better? I have never gained so much weight, so fast in my life. What steps can I take to lose the weight and still control my type II bipolar illness?


  A. Depakote is a good medication with a bad side effect of weight gain. There seems to be a biological drive to eat that cannot be stopped. You may want to discuss using an alternative medication like Topamax with your doctor. It can even be added on as 300-400 mg daily and it will decrease your appetite. If it helps, maybe you can stop the Depakote, but always consult with your doctor first.