Saliva and serum levetiracetam concentrations in patients with epilepsy

Oriano Mecarelli, Pietro L. Voti, Stefano Pro, Francesco Saverio Romolo, Maria Rotolo, Patrizia Pulitano, Neri Accornero, Nicola Vanacore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although antiepileptic drug (AED) monitoring in saliva may have some clinical applicability, it has not yet come into routine use. The correlation between levetiracetam (LEV) saliva and serum concentrations also remains unclear. To confirm LEV saliva assay as a useful, noninvasive alternative to serum measurement, we investigated the possible correlation between saliva and serum LEV concentrations. Samples of saliva and blood were collected from 30 patients with epilepsy receiving chronic therapy with LEV as monotherapy or add-on therapy, and LEV concentrations were assayed in saliva and serum. Linear regression analyses showed a close correlation between saliva and serum LEV concentrations (r = 0.90; P <0.001). LEV blood and saliva concentrations were linearly related to daily drug doses (r = 0.78 and 0.70; P <0.01). When data were analyzed for subgroups (patients receiving LEV in monotherapy, as add-on therapy with enzyme-inducer AEDs, and as add-on therapy with noninducer or moderate-inducer AEDs), no significant difference was found between saliva and serum LEV concentrations among groups. These preliminary results indicate that LEV, like other AEDs, can be measured in saliva as an alternative to blood-based assays. Saliva LEV collection and assay is a valid noninvasive, more convenient alternative to serum measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Levetiracetam
  • Saliva
  • Serum
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology


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