Valproic Acid

Clinical definition of the Valproic acid test
Valproic acid is a drug that is used to treat certain seizure disorders (also called epilepsy), and to treat bipolar disease and to prevent migraine headaches. It is prescribed in combination with other antiepileptic drugs such as phenytoin or phenobarbital to control certain kinds of seizures. Seizure disorders affect the brain's ability to transmit electrical impulses and to regulate nerve activity. During a seizure, a person experiences convulsions, changes in consciousness, alterations in sight, smell, and taste. Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that is characterized by cycles of depression and mania. Valproic acid level is maintained within a narrow therapeutic range as insufficient amount of this drug can lead to recurrence in symptoms and excess of it leads to severity in symptoms.

Why is the valproic acid test done?
Valproic acid test is done to monitor the concentration of valproic acid in the blood and to detect low or excessive (potentially toxic) concentrations.

What are the common signs/symptoms when the valproic acid test is done?

  • High fevers
  • Head trauma
  • Severe infections
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Brain tumors
  • Migraine headaches
  • Changes in consciousness
  • alterations in sight, smell, and taste,
  • Convulsions

Who should do the valproic acid test (Target population)?
Person taking valproic acid to control seizures and epilepsy.

What should I do before the valproic acid  test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *

Serum (Blood Sample)

Venipuncture

Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my valproic acid test results?

Reference Range*

Interpretation

50 to 100 µg/ml

Therapeutic range

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Diseases/conditions related to the valproic acid test

  • Epilepsy

Other tests related to the valproic acid test

  • Carbamazepine
  • Lamotrigine 
  • Phenytoin
  • Phenobarbital
  • Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

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