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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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Can divalproex or depakote 500mg cause a positve drug screening

Resolved Question:

Can divalproex or depakote 500mg cause a positve drug screening test for phenobarbital
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

Are these the only medication/supplements or over the counter remedies that you take?

Have you ever used phenobarbital?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What happened is I have been taking Depakote (Divalproex 500mg) and I took a urine drug screen and it came up positive for Phenobarbital or barbituate. I had 3 other drug test done and they also came up positvie. I have never ever taken Phenobarbital. What I did after the test were coming up positive, I stopped taking the Depakote 500mg and 6 days after stopping the depakote, all of my urine screens since have been negative. The only other medication I take is Seraquel 200mg. I need help! Stacey
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

I have been doing some research and am struggling to find a link that confirms depakote providing a false positive for phenobarbital.

Some of the other anti-convulsant drugs can cause false positive however there is little work down professionally on this area. I have also looked to see whether the seroquel and depakote interaction may be a factor but not able to find quality evidence.


You did not take any other medication aside from those two products?

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No I did not take any other medications except for the depakote and seraquel. But the lab test is stating it is positive for the barbituate phenobarbital. This is a drug I have never taken. I really need help with this. This postive drug screen could cost me my freedom. But I swear I have never taken phenobarbital in my life. This is the first I have heard of it. I don't know what to do. All i know is when I stopped taking the depakote, 6 days later and since all of my test for barbituates have been negative.
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

We need to absolutely exclude other possible drugs. Can you tell me that you have taken no other medicines/supplements/herbal teas/over the counter remedies in the month leading up to the test.




Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I did take Advil 2 tabs every day, and I was taking melatonin 5mg to help with sleep. Other than that I am taking the seraquel 200mg. I stopped the depakote and 6 days later is when my test starting coming up negative for barbituates and have been negative ever since. Can you please help me?
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for the extra information. I am sorry that your test was positive. The drugs you are taking are not commonly associated with false positives.


The most common false positive for phenobarb is phenytoin.


Do ask whether the sample was subjected to GC/MS to see if they are using specific tests following the urine sample.


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