The valproic acid test is used to measure and monitor the amount of valproic acid in the blood and determine whether the drug concentration is within the therapeutic range.
The prescribed dose of the drug may be adjusted up or down depending on the results of the blood test. The test may then be ordered at regular intervals, and as needed, to ensure that therapeutic blood concentrations are maintained.
A valproic acid test is ordered when someone begins valproic acid treatment as well as if and when their medications change (other drugs are started, stopped, or changed). Once a stable blood concentration in the therapeutic range has been achieved, the valproic acid level may then be monitored at regular intervals to ensure that it remains within this range.
The therapeutic range for total valproic acid (bound and unbound) has been established at 50-125 µg/mL and 6-22 µg/mL for free valproic acid (unbound only). The recommended range for the treatment of epilepsy is 50-100 µg/mL total valproic acid, while the recommended range for the treatment of acute mania is 85-125 µg/mL total valproic acid.
Within these ranges, most people will respond to the drug without excessive side effects; however, response varies with each individual. Some people will experience seizures, mood swings, or migraines at the low end of the therapeutic range while some people will experience excessive side effects at the upper end. Patients should work closely with their health practitioner to find the dosage and concentration that works the best for them.
- Sample of blood serum
- We perform the test daily