Clinical Experience With Fosphenytoin in Adults: Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Efficacy

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Fosphenytoin, a prodrug of phenytoin, is rapidly and completely converted to phenytoin in adults after intravenous or intramuscular administration and is significantly better tolerated than parenteral phenytoin. Fosphenytoin is highly plasma-protein bound and, when present in sufficient concentration, will displace phenytoin from plasma proteins. The clinical utility is that fosphenytoin may be used to achieve therapeutic phenytoin concentrations more rapidly than intravenous phenytoin infused at its maximum recommended rate. In a clinical study of generalized convulsive status epilepticus, fosphenytoin, with or without benzodiazepine pretreatment, controlled seizures in 76 (93.8%) of 81 patients. In other studies, fosphenytoin maintained seizure control when substituted for oral phenytoin and for seizure prophylaxis in neurosurgery and trauma patients. Adverse events associated with fosphenytoin generally were related to the central nervous system and were similar to those associated with phenytoin, except for a higher incidence of transient pruritus with fosphenytoin. Intravenous fosphenytoin has significant advantages over intravenous phenytoin: It requires a shorter infusion time and fewer intravenous disruptions, causes less pain and burning at the infusion site and minimal consequences in case of intravenous infiltration, allows longer maintenance of intravenous sites, and has better intravenous fluid compatibility and stability. In contrast to intramuscular phenytoin, intramuscular fosphenytoin is well tolerated in both large loading doses and maintenance doses. (J Child Neurol 1998;13(Suppl 1):S15-S18).

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