WHAT IS A VALPROIC ACID LAB TEST?
The Valproic Acid Test measures the level of valproic acid in the blood.
AM I REQUIRED TO FAST FOR THIS LAB TEST?
WHAT IS THE PRICE FOR A VALPROIC ACID LAB TEST?
*Price may vary by location – contact your local ANY LAB TEST NOW®
Valproic acid is an anticonvulsant medication used to treat seizure disorders and manic episodes related to bipolar disorder. It is also frequently prescribed to prevent migraine headaches but does not treat them once they have begun. Valproic acid works by increasing a natural substance in the brain. This medication can cause liver failure or damage to the pancreas and is not recommended for those with preexisting liver disease, urea cycle disorder or Alpers Huttenlocher Syndrome.
Valproic acid is among the most well-studied drugs used to treat mania and has been found to be very effective in reducing manic symptoms, shortening hospitalizations, preventing manic episodes and helping people to live productively in the community.
WHY DO I NEED MY VALPROIC ACID LEVEL TESTED?
Are you taking valproic acid and experiencing unusual side effects or symptoms?
If you are taking valproic acid (brand names Depakote, Depakene or Stavzor or generic names Divalproex sodium or Valproate sodium) it is important to closely monitor the levels of the medication in your system and to watch for adverse side effects. Because valproic acid can cause liver failure symptoms to be aware of include loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, ongoing nausea or vomiting, dark urine, swelling in the face or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Damage to the pancreas is also a potential side effect with warning signs that include severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back or ongoing nausea or vomiting.
Blood levels of valproic acid should be monitored frequently when treatment begins and then periodically once the treatment level has been established to ensure that it remains in the therapeutic range. A valproic acid test may be recommended if a patient does not seem to be responding to the medication. The test can determine if the concentration is too low or the patient is not taking the medication as directed.
Within this range most patients respond well to the medication without excessive side effects. Effective levels vary for each person and patients should work closely with their doctor to determine the dosage and concentration that works best for them.
WHAT TYPE OF PHYSICIAN SHOULD I SEE?
You should see your primary care physician or emergency room physician.
OTHER RELEVANT TESTS:
Those who have the Valproic Acid Test may want to consider the Basic Check Up or Complete Metabolic Panel.