Phenytoin administration in the newborn and infant

Federico Sicca, Annarita Contaldo, Elisabeth Rey, Olivier Dulac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate the efficacy and safety of phenytoin (PHT) in the treatment of situation-related seizures and epilepsies in the newborn and infant; the clinical histories of 82 patients were retrospectively reviewed. Sixty patients received for status epilepticus (SE), intravenous PHT followed by long-term oral administration for 27 of them. The other 22 patients had oral treatment only. Intravenous administration made 55% of these patients seizure-free, whereas oral administration produced lasting seizure control in only 9.1%. During chronic oral treatment, it was most difficult to obtain adequate plasma concentrations in 69.1% of the patients, and 43.6% had side effects, most of which were related to very high plasma concentrations. In conclusion, in the first 2 years of life, intravenous administration of PHT is useful for SE, but oral treatment is poorly effective with difficulty to achieve appropriate and stable therapeutic plasma concentrations, and with frequent side effects. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Epilepsy
  • Infant
  • Newborn
  • Phenytoin
  • Status epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology


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