Valproic Acid (Depakote), Serum

Optimal Result: 50 - 100 ug/ml.

Valproate is an alternative drug in the treatment of complex partial seizures but may be considered for initial therapy in patients with partial and secondarily generalized seizures.

Valproate controls absence, myoclonic, and tonic-clonic seizures in generalized, idiopathic, and symptomatic epilepsy. It is most useful in typical absence seizures. Valproate is as effective as ethosuximide in patients with absence seizures alone and is variably effective in atypical absence seizures. Although some clinicians prefer valproate for absence seizures, the American Academy of Pediatrics (Committee on Drugs, 1982) recommended that it be reserved for use when therapeutic failure or intolerance to ethosuximide occurs, because valproate causes rare but potentially fatal hepatotoxicity.

Many neurologists consider valproate the drug of choice for patients with both absence and other generalized seizure types, including tonic-clonic convulsions. Its efficacy is about the same as in patients with the latter type alone.

Valproate is the drug of choice in myoclonic epilepsy, with or without generalized tonic-clonic seizures, including juvenile myoclonic epilepsy of Janz, that begins in adolescence or early adulthood. Photosensitive myoclonus is usually easily controlled. Valproate also is effective in the treatment of benign myoclonic epilepsy, postanoxic myoclonus, and, with clonazepam, in severe progressive myoclonic epilepsy that is characterized by tonic-clonic seizures as well. It also may be preferred in certain stimulus-sensitive (reflex, startle) epilepsies.

Although valproate may be effective for infantile spasms, it is relatively contraindicated in children whose spasms are due to hyperglycinemia or other underlying metabolic (mitochondrial) abnormalities. In general, atonic and akinetic seizures in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are difficult to control, but valproate is the drug of choice for treatment of mixed seizure types. Since this drug has been useful in some patients who are refractory to all other antiepileptic drugs, it may warrant a trial in nearly all nonresponsive patients regardless of seizure type.


The plasma protein binding of valproate is saturable within the usual therapeutic range (approximately 90% at 75 μg/mL). Usual effective plasma concentrations range from 50−120 μg/mL.4 With a daily dose of more than 500 mg, plasma concentrations may not increase proportionately because clearance increases with an increase in the free fraction. Daily fluctuations (up to two times higher) in free fraction and clearance also occur as a result of displacement by free fatty acids or circadian influences; thus, when plasma concentrations are being monitored, samples should be taken at a uniform time. Many neurologists recommend measuring trough concentrations.

Valproate is eliminated almost exclusively by hepatic metabolism. The metabolic fate is complex. A variety of conjugation and oxidative processes are involved, including entry into pathways (eg, beta oxidation) normally reserved for endogenous fatty acids. As the dose is increased, mitochondrial beta oxidation becomes saturated and increased glucuronidation occurs.

Metabolites may contribute to both antiepileptic and hepatotoxic effects. The antiepileptic activity of valproate (including the time course) is poorly correlated with steady-state valproate plasma concentrations. One unsaturated metabolite, 2-n-propyl-4-pentenoic acid (4-ene-VPA), has been proposed as a key hepatotoxic metabolite. The formation of this metabolite is increased by concomitant use of phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, and other drugs that induce cytochrome P450. Due to inhibition of the same enzyme system, valproic acid may cause elevated levels of clomipramine with resultant seizures when the two agents are co-administered.5

The half-life of valproate in adults is 12 to 16 hours. In epileptic patients receiving polytherapy, the half-life is approximately nine hours, although five hours has also been reported. The half-lives in school-age children and young adolescents are well within the range of values in adults. Elimination half-lives are longer in neonates and generally shorter during middle and late infancy. Although hepatic clearance is reduced, the half-life in geriatric patients is approximately 15 hours. This has been attributed to the larger free fraction observed in this age group, especially in those with hypoalbuminemia.

What does it mean if your Valproic Acid (Depakote), Serum result is too high?

A high valproic acid concentration may be associated with toxic effects.

Because the concentration of valproic acid fluctuates considerably depending on the time from last dose, interpretation of the clinical significance of the valproic acid concentration must take into consideration the timing of the blood specimen. For this reason, 2 collections are sometimes made to assess the trough and peak concentrations.

Dosage which is too low or too high can fail to alleviate or even worsen a person's symptoms.

What does it mean if your Valproic Acid (Depakote), Serum result is too low?

Low valproic acid concentration relative to these ranges may suggest inadequate dosing. 

Because the concentration of valproic acid fluctuates considerably depending on the time from last dose, interpretation of the clinical significance of the valproic acid concentration must take into consideration the timing of the blood specimen. For this reason, 2 collections are sometimes made to assess the trough and peak concentrations.

Dosage which is too low or too high can fail to alleviate or even worsen a person's symptoms.

Frequently asked questions

Unlock Your Health Journey with! Ever wished for a one-stop digital health haven for all your lab tests? Look no further! is your personalized health dashboard, bringing together test reports from any lab. Say goodbye to scattered results—organize and centralize your lab data effortlessly. Dive into the details of each biomarker and gain insights into the meaning behind your medical test data.

Join the community of thousands who've transformed the way they understand their lab results. Experience the joy of having all your lab data neatly organized, regardless of where or when the tests were done.

For our professional users, is a game-changer. Revel in the intuitive tools that not only streamline analysis but also save valuable time when delving into your client's lab report history. It's not just a dashboard; it's your gateway to a smarter, more informed health journey! personal account provides in-depth research on 4000+ biomarkers, including information and suggestions for test panels such as, but not limited to:

  • The GI Effects® Comprehensive Stool Profile,
  • GI-MAP,
  • The NutrEval FMV®,
  • The ION Profile,
  • Amino Acids Profile,
  • Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH),
  • Organic Acids Test,
  • Organix Comprehensive Profile,
  • Toxic Metals,
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC),
  • Metabolic panel,
  • Thyroid panel,
  • Lipid Panel,
  • Urinalysis,
  • And many, many more.

You can combine all test reports inside your Healthmatters account and keep them in one place. It gives you an excellent overview of all your health data. Once you retest, you can add new results and compare them.

If you are still determining whether Healthmatters support your lab results, the rule is that if you can test it, you can upload it to Healthmatters.

While we do talk about popular labs, we welcome reports from lots of other places too. It's as simple as this: if you can get a test done, you can upload it to Healthmatters. We can interpret results from any lab out there. If laboratories can analyze it, we can interpret it.

Still on the hunt for a specific biomarker? Just tell us, and we'll add it to our database. Anything from blood, urine, saliva, or stool can be uploaded, understood, and tracked with your Healthmatters account!

There are two ways to add your test reports to your account. One option is to input the data using the data entry forms. The other method is to utilize our "Data entry service."

Our data entry forms offer an easy, fast, and free way for you to input the reports yourself. Self-entry allows you to add an unlimited number of reports at no cost. We make the self-entry process user-friendly, providing dozens of templates that pre-populate the most popular laboratory panels and offering instant feedback on entered values.

For those who prefer assistance, we offer a "Data entry service" to help you input your data. Simply attach an image or file of your lab test results, and a qualified team member from our data entry team will add the results for you. We support various file types, including PDFs, JPGs, or Excel. This service is particularly useful if you have many reports to upload or if you're too busy to handle the data entry yourself.

Our special data entry service makes it easy to add your results to your private dashboard. Just attach an image or a file of your lab test results, and our skilled data entry team will do the work for you. It's all done by humans, ensuring that your data is entered accurately and with personal care for each client.

Depending on your account, the data entry service can be included for free or come at an additional cost of $15 per report.

For users on the Complete monthly plan, the first report is entered free of charge, and each additional report incurs a fee of $15.

Unlimited account holders enjoy the entry of ten reports without charge. Subsequent reports are subject to a $15 fee per report.

Additionally, users on the Complete plan can upgrade to a yearly subscription from the account settings. The annual subscription includes a data entry service for five reports.

The Unlimited plan is a one-time purchase for $250, and it covers your account for a lifetime with no additional payments.

For the Complete plan, the cost is $15 per month. You have the flexibility to cancel it anytime through your account settings, ensuring no further payments. To avoid charges, remember to cancel at least a day before the renewal date. Once canceled, the subscription remains active until the end of the current billing cycle.

Additionally, you can upgrade to the yearly Advanced plan from within your account. The annual cost is $79, and it comes with a data entry service for five reports.

You can always upgrade to a lifetime version with a prorated price from a monthly or yearly subscription.

Simply log in and navigate to your account settings to cancel your subscription. Scroll down to locate the 'Cancel' button at the bottom of the page. Ensure you cancel at least one day before the renewal date to prevent any charges. Once cancellation is requested, the subscription remains active until the conclusion of the current billing cycle.

Unlocking the insights from your lab tests has never been this intuitive! We've crafted multiple ways for you to navigate your data, whether you're glancing at a single report or delving into a treasure trove of testing data.

1. Graph View:

Dive into a visual journey with our biomarker graphs, showcasing over 40 data points. Combining years of results unveils trends, empowering you to make informed decisions. Our visualization tools make it a breeze to compare and understand changes over time, even if your results are from different labs. A search function and filters simplify the exploration of extensive data, allowing you to focus on what needs attention.

2. All Tests View

Get a quick grasp of your test reports in minutes! Explore neatly organized reports on a timeline, highlighting crucial details like dates, critical results, and lab/panel names. Each report opens up to reveal in-depth descriptions and additional recommendations for each biomarker. The history of previous results is just a click away, and you can download a comprehensive report for deeper insights. Color-coded and user-friendly, it's designed for easy reading, understanding, and navigation.

3. Table View:

For a holistic view of all biomarkers side by side, our table view is your go-to. Results are neatly displayed in a categorized and dated table, ideal for those with an extensive test history. Utilize sorting, filters, and color-coding to enhance your analysis and gain extra insights.

Experience the power of clear, organized data visualization with — your key to understanding and taking charge of your health journey!

Yes, you can download information from your account. We can compile your labs into a CSV file. To download all your labs, you can go to Account Settings, and at the bottom of the page, you will find a link to download your information.

Yes, you can print your report. To do so, navigate to "All tests" and open the report you wish to print. You'll find a print button in the right corner of the report. Click on it, and your browser's print window will open. If you prefer to print in a bigger typeface, adjust the scale using the print window settings.

A personal account is all about keeping your own lab test results in check. It's just for you and your personal use.

The professional or business account is designed for health professionals who wish to track and organize their clients' laboratory results.

Use promo code to save 10% off any plan.

We implement proven measures to keep your data safe.

At HealthMatters, we're committed to maintaining the security and confidentiality of your personal information. We've put industry-leading security standards in place to help protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information under our control. We use procedural, physical, and electronic security methods designed to prevent unauthorized people from getting access to this information. Our internal code of conduct adds additional privacy protection. All data is backed up multiple times a day and encrypted using SSL certificates. See our Privacy Policy for more details.