Poor applicability of estimation method for adults to calculate unbound serum concentrations of valproic acid in epileptic neonates and infants.

Department of Hospital Pharmacy, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.
Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 2.1). 09/2009; 34(4):415-22. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2710.2009.01022.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To characterize the relationship between total and unbound concentrations of valproic acid (VPA) in epileptic neonates and infants, the clinical examination records of those patients archived via therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) activities were retrospectively analyzed.
The screening encompassed 249 records of 114 epileptic patients aged 0-19 years old, who were treated with VPA monotherapy and whose total and unbound VPA concentrations were determined. These data were divided into groups according to the patients' age. In each group, the relationship between total and unbound VPA concentrations was compared to a reference profile, and the deviation from the reference was evaluated. The reference profile was calculated using the Langmuir equation, in which two parameters Kd and Bm were set to 7.8 and 130 microg/mL, respectively, according to our previous findings.
The relationship between total and unbound VPA concentrations of patients of 0 years old considerably deviated from the reference, and their unbound VPA concentrations were generally higher compared to the corresponding reference values. It is suggested that the large deviation is related to the fact that the serum albumin concentrations of patients younger than 1 year old tend to be lower than those of patients in other age groups.
Since the relationship between the VPA concentrations of epileptic neonates and infants is noticeably different from the reference, the unbound serum VPA concentrations of these patients are not adequately estimated using the same method as that for grown-ups. The unbound VPA concentrations of neonates and infants should be explicitly determined via TDM activities.

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    ABSTRACT: The unbound serum concentration of valproic acid (VPA) is closely related to its therapeutic efficacy. In epileptic infants, the unbound VPA concentration varies largely from patient to patient, being difficult to predict using the reported equations for older children. To establish an equation to estimate the unbound concentration in infants, we empirically characterized the relationship between total and unbound VPA concentrations, taking their growth and development into consideration. Data were retrospectively collected from archived clinical records of 30 epileptic infants aged 0-11 months old. The relationship between total and unbound VPA concentrations was analyzed according to the Langmuir equation, in which the patient's body weight, height, and body surface area were considered as physical development indices. Inter- and intra-individual variabilities in the VPA concentrations were also considered. It was shown that the unbound VPA concentration in infants is properly estimated when their body weights are taken into account, in which the parameter for the maximum binding site concentration (Bm) increases as the body weight increases, while that for the dissociation constant (Kd) is unaltered. Additionally, the relationship was shown to slightly change when the infants are concomitantly treated with VPA and the other antiepileptics. These findings provide useful information to adjust the VPA dosage to achieve optimal therapeutic efficacy in epileptic infants.
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