Valproic acid represents a new class of anticonvulsants that are widely employed in the management of many types of seizure disorders. Compared with other anticonvulsants, it has been considered relatively free of adverse effects. Recently, acute hepatic failure has been ascribed to valproic acid. Now experience is accumulating that implicates this agent in causing pancreatitis. Contributing to this evidence, the patient described herein had well-documented, recurrent pancreatitis while he was taking valproic acid. Nonspecific vomiting and abdominal pain frequently occur with valproic acid; however, pancreatitis must be considered whenever these symptoms are severe or protracted.
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