Diurnal Fluctuations in Free and Total Plasma Concentrations of Valproic Acid at Steady State in.Patients, Epileptic; Riva, Roberto; Albani, Fiorenzo; Cortelli, Pietro; Gobbi, Giuseppe; Perucca, Emilio; Baruzzi, AgostinoTherapeutic Drug Monitoring: June 1983 Review: PDF Only Abstract Summary: The diurnal fluctuations in free and total plasma concentrations of valproic acid (VPA) were determined by taking serial blood samples at 2-h intervals in six epileptic patients receiving maintenance therapy with sodium valproate (9.6-24.0 mg/kg in three divided daily doses). Both the free and the total concentrations fluctuated markedly during the period examined (0800-1800 h). The fluctuation of the free drug was about twice as great as that of the total drug (79 +/- 27% versus 47 +/- 21%, p < 0.01). There was a considerable inter- and intrapatient variability in free VPA fraction. In at least four of six patients the free fraction increased in proportion to the increase in total concentration. These findings are in line with available evidence that the binding of VPA to plasma proteins is saturable within the clinically occurring concentration range. The changing and unpredictable relationship between total and free concentration suggests that VPA therapy can be monitored more rationally by measuring the free drug. (C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.