Health & Wellness

11 Foods to Avoid while on Depakote

Looking for foods to avoid while on Depakote. We all know that taking care of our mental and neurological health is a journey, one that involves many different therapies, medications, and lifestyle changes. For those who are prescribed Depakote (divalproex sodium) for epilepsy, bipolar disorder, or migraines, it’s essential to understand the relationship between medication and nutrition.

What we eat can have a significant impact on how our body responds to the medication as well as our overall well-being – so let’s make sure we’re eating right!

In this article, we will look into foods to avoid while on Depakote. You can reduce side effects, improve the efficiency of your treatment, and improve your general quality of life by paying attention to your nutrition.

In this Article

What is Depakote used for

Foods to Avoid while on Depakote

Depakote – also known as divalproex sodium -It’s a medication that is primarily prescribed to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines.

It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain. For people living with these conditions, Depakote can be an invaluable tool in managing their symptoms and improving their quality of life.

If you or someone close to you is dealing with one of these conditions, it is worth looking into this treatment option!

Foods to Avoid while on Depakote

Here we have listed what can you not take with depakote:

1. High-Fat Foods

Depakote is absorbed in the intestines, and high-fat foods can slow down this process. Eating a high-fat meal can delay when it kicks in, which could lead to fluctuations in how much of the drug is circulating through your body.

To ensure that Depakote works effectively for you and maintains its therapeutic levels, try not to eat too many fatty meals around the time when your dose should be taken.

2. Alcohol

When taking Depakote and drinking alcohol together, it can cause some severe side effects. The combination of both can significantly intensify the drowsiness and dizziness caused by either one on its own.

This could lead to impaired concentration or decision-making, which in turn could result in accidents or injuries. So please be mindful of this if you are taking medication that has these possible effects!

3. Aspartame

It’s essential to be aware of the potential interactions between aspartame and medications like Depakote. While everyone is different, some people have reported experiencing headaches or migraines after consuming aspartame.

If you are someone who suffers from migraines, it may be best to avoid triggers like artificial sweeteners in order to manage your condition better.

4. Excessive Salt

It’s essential to be mindful of how much salt we intake. Too much salt can lead to fluid retention and swelling in various parts of the body.

This is especially concerning for those taking Depakote as it may worsen specific side effects such as weight gain.

5. Grapefruit

Foods to avoid while on Depakote are Grapefruit and its juice. It contain compounds called furanocoumarins. These compounds can interfere with the activity of certain enzymes in our liver and intestines.

One such enzyme is cytochrome P450 3A4, which plays a crucial role in metabolizing medications like Depakote (divalproex sodium).

6. Sugary foods

Sugary foods can cause rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar levels, which can lead to mood swings and worsen symptoms for individuals with bipolar disorder or epilepsy.

Stable blood sugar levels are significant for keeping our moods stable and reducing the risk of seizures, so we must avoid rapid changes caused by overeating sugary food.

7. Caffeine

Both caffeine and Depakote can cause restlessness and anxiety in sensitive individuals, but when they are combined, these effects may become intensified, leading to increased feelings of jitteriness and nervousness.

8. Licorice

Licorice contains a chemical called glycyrrhizin, which can cause pseudoaldosteronism. Pseudoaldosteronism occurs when the body stores sodium while losing potassium, causing an electrolyte imbalance. Depakote (divalproex sodium) is also linked to electrolyte abnormalities, notably low sodium levels.

9. Fatty Meats

High-fat foods can interfere with the absorption and metabolism of the medication in your body. Depakote, like other medications, is processed in the liver.

When fat slows down its absorption from your gastrointestinal tract, it might lead to lower levels of the drug than intended, which could make it less effective for managing conditions such as epilepsy or bipolar disorder.

10. Ginseng

Did you know that ginseng contains compounds that can affect the activity of cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver? These enzymes are responsible for metabolizing various drugs like Depakote.

If ginseng alters these enzyme activities, it could potentially affect how effective Depakote is.

11. Fermented foods

Fermented foods are generally healthy for most people, as they contain probiotics that support gut health. However, if you or someone you know is taking the medication Depakote (divalproex sodium), it’s essential to be aware of the tyramine content in some fermented foods.

Tyramine is a compound found naturally in certain aged and fermented food items and can trigger migraines for those sensitive to this compound – so keep an eye out!

How does Depakote make you feel

Depakote can affect everyone differently, but common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, and changes in mood or behavior.

Some people may also experience increased hair growth, weight changes, or tremors as well. It’s essential to keep an eye on how we’re feeling and any other physical changes while taking this medication – if anything feels off, make sure to reach out to your healthcare provider right away!

Does Depakote Cause Weight Gain?

I know that weight gain is a concern for many individuals taking Depakote, and it can be challenging to manage. The medication can alter your metabolism and increase your appetite, leading to weight gain in some cases.

However, it’s important to remember that you are not alone in this experience; there are plenty of resources available for support if you need help managing your weight while on the medication.

It is essential to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine as well as communicate with your doctor about any changes or concerns related to the medication so that together, you can work towards finding solutions that will help keep any potential weight gain at bay.

Depakote and Alcohol Interaction

It’s essential to avoid alcohol while taking Depakote. Combining the two can have some serious consequences, like drowsiness, dizziness, and even liver problems.

Plus, it could make Depakote less effective in managing your symptoms, so it’s best if we all steer clear of drinking when on this medication.

Depakote and Liver Health

It’s essential to be aware that Depakote can affect your liver function, and long-term use may lead to liver damage. To protect yourself, it is crucial to avoid substances that can strain your liver, such as excessive alcohol and certain medications.

Monitoring your liver health through regular check-ups and abstaining from alcohol are essential steps in maintaining overall well-being while on Depakote, so make sure you take the necessary precautions!

Depakote and Coffee

As you know, Depakote is a medication used to treat conditions such as epilepsy and bipolar disorder. While there isn’t a direct interaction between Depakote and coffee, it’s essential to be mindful of your caffeine intake.

Consuming too much caffeine can exacerbate specific side effects of the drug, like jitteriness and restlessness. Moreover, it can interfere with sleep patterns, which are crucial for managing these types of conditions effectively.

Depakote Side effects Sexually

Yes, Depakote (divalproex sodium) can have sex-related problems. While taking Depakote, some people may suffer changes in libido, difficulties obtaining or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction), or changes in orgasm intensity.

These effects can vary from person to person, and not everyone who takes this medicine will experience sexual adverse effects.


In conclusion, maintaining a healthy diet while taking Depakote (divalproex sodium) is essential for overall health and well-being.

The effect of a particular food on Depakote’s effectiveness and possible side effects emphasizes the need to make informed dietary choices.

Be sure to read


  1. Divalproex sodium in the treatment of adults with bipolar disorder
  2. Valproic Acid (Sodium Valproate, Depakote) (Pdf)
  3. Actual bioavailability of divalproex sodium extended-release tablets and its clinical implications

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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