Saliva Test for Anti-Seizure Drug Levels in Infants

Phenobarbital Levels in Neonates: A Comparison Between Blood and Saliva Levels

Protocol Description

This pilot study is being done to assess whether saliva can be utilized instead of blood to monitor anti-seizure medication levels in babies being treated for seizures. Such medications usually require regular blood monitoring to make sure the medication is at an appropriate level. If saliva could be reliably used instead of blood, medication monitoring could be done painlessly, avoiding multiple blood draws.

Eligibility Criteria

Babies who are already at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC or Magee Women’s Hospital and who experience seizures that require treatment with Phenobarbital will be considered for inclusion in this study.

Boys: Newborns up to 30 days
Girls: Newborns up to 30 days


In addition to blood draws that are taken as part of standard medical care within 24 to 48 hours of the administration of Phenobarbital, a saliva sample will also be obtained.
Visits: Occurs during hospitalization
Duration: Depends on length of hospital stay

Status: Closed to Enrollment

Primary Investigator

Monica Naik, MD

Contact Information

To get started, please contact:
Monica Naik, MD