Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1.Head over to this page:

    2.Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Visit our Crisis Assistance Link for resources. For immediate help, get to the ER.

    *No Dr Outside Contact Please*
    Includes Expert Content
    How long does it take for Valproic acid levels to stabalize?
    An_241654 posted:
    I'm bipolar, was on 500mg Depakote daily, but was still experiencing significant manic episodes. Doctor increased dosage to 1,000mg daily and measured my Valproic acid level 30 days later. It was very high, but just under the safe limit. She said she wanted to monitor me closely to insure no liver damage.

    However, it's been 6 months and she keeps cancelling and rescheduling my monthly appointments (now set to see her in January, unless rescheduled yet again).

    So, my question is, how long does it take for my Valproic acid levels to stabilize, so that she can get an accurate assessment of how my body is processing the 1,000mg dosage?

    Stats: Male, 53, 220lbs
    Yea I know...overweight. Blame depakote, not me
    Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
    Dear An, a therapeutic Depakote blood level for mania corresponds to a dose of roughly 20-30 mg/kg, which for 220 pounds would roughly be 2500 mg/day. Steady-state blood levels can usually be measured 3-5 days after a dosage change. Dr. G.

    Featuring Experts

    Joseph F. Goldberg, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. He also maintains a private prac...More

    Helpful Tips

    Differentiating bipolar disorder from borderline personality disorderExpert
    Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people can very easily become angry and upset in response to stresses -- especially ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    117 of 134 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.