Valproic Acid - Blood Test measures the levels of an anticonvulsant medicine, the valproic acid in the blood.
What is Valproic acid?
Valproic acid is used to control certain types of seizures. A seizure is a brain disorder that causes a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain. It is used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat seizures. It is also used to treat abnormally excited mood in individuals with bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches. The major side effect of this medicine is liver damage.
Why this test is performed?
This test is used to determine the valproic acid blood levels and to maintain a therapeutic range. Your doctor may ask you to perform this test to monitor the valproic acid levels in the blood and to detect high or low concentrations. The dose of valproic acid should be appropriate to prevent the symptoms, but not so much as to cause any unwanted side effects. The major side effect of this medicine is liver damage. The actual rate at which the liver process this medicine may vary from individual to individual. Therefore your doctor may advise you to perform this test at regular intervals throughout the therapy with this medicine. In individuals who are on therapy with valproic acid, your doctor may also ask to perform this test to ensure that the dose remains steady.
The dosage of valproic acid should be within the therapeutic range. If the test results are within the therapeutic range and the individual is receiving treatment benefits without any adverse effects then the dosage is considered optimal.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Sodium Valproate. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Sodium Valproate.
No specific preparation is required for this test. However, your healthcare provider may ask you information regarding the dosage timing and formulation type of the medicine to decide the proper timing of sample collection.
If the valproic levels are below the therapeutic range you may experience seizures, mood swings, or migraines. These effects may vary with individuals. Decreased levels of valproic acid in individuals receiving therapy may indicate that the dosing has to be increased to achieve the therapeutic benefits. However, this test results alone cannot be used to assess the clinical condition of the individuals receiving therapy. Your doctor will assess your clinical condition by performing a few more additional tests and based on those clinical findings, appropriate decisions are taken.
If the valproic levels are above the therapeutic range you may experience serious adverse effects. These adverse effects are coma, stupor, and respiratory depression. It can also lead to liver damage and pancreatitis, a condition of inflammation of the pancreas.
Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.
|UNISEX||All age groups||50 - 125 microgram/ml (Therapeutic Range)|