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February 1958

Use of Parenteral Diphenylhydantoin (Dilantin) Sodium in Control of Status Epilepticus

Author Affiliations

Gainesville, Fla.

From the Florida Farm Colony.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(2):136-137. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340020016003

Introduction  The parenteral use of diphenylhydantoin (Dilantin) sodium in the control of seizures was first described by Murphy and Schwab,1 of the Massachusetts General Hospital, in 1956. They reported on the use of 9710 doses over a period of five years, most of which was used to prevent seizures during neurosurgery. Some was used, however, in the treatment of status epilepticus. They pointed out the danger of using phenobarbital sodium intravenously or intramuscularly to suppress convulsions because of its severe depressant effect on respiration. Patients undergoing brain surgery are very sensitive to sedatives, even in small doses. Diphenylhydantoin, on the other hand, has the advantage that it does not depress respiration or act as an anesthetic. They reported that in severe status epilepticus an intravenous dose of 150 to 250 mg. of diphenylhydantoin sodium was usually given, and if the seizure did not stop, a subsequent dose of 100

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