Asian patients who receive phenytoin or fosphenytoin (a phenytoin prodrug that is intended for parenteral administration) for epilepsy may be at risk of developing serious skin reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis, warned the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late November.
The warning is based on preliminary data from an ongoing investigation (http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/phenytoin_fosphenytoin/default.htm). Previously, the FDA had cautioned that another antiepileptic drug, carbamazepine, posed a similar risk for Asian patients.
FDA: Epilepsy Drugs May Carry Skin Risks for Asians. JAMA. 2008;300(24):2845. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.890