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December 9, 1974

Diphenylhydantoin Control of Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures: Results of a Controlled Study

Author Affiliations

From the departments of gastroenterology (Dr. Sampliner) and medicine (Dr. Iber), Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, Boston. Drs. Sampliner and Iber are now with the Veterans Administration Hospital, Baltimore.

JAMA. 1974;230(10):1430-1432. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240100048028

Diphenylhydantoin (300 mg/day) or placebo was "blindly" administered for five days to 157 patients entering an alcoholism detoxification unit; all patients received sedative doses of chlordiazepoxide. All patients had a history of convulsions in adulthood. Eleven patients in the placebo-treated group but none in the diphenylhydantoin group had convulsions in the first 48 hours. Two patients had convulsions after withdrawal of active drug.

Blood levels of diphenylhydantoin were determined in 18 alcoholics and in five normal subjects. Comparable blood levels (3μg/ml) were obtained in both groups after the first day and reached a plateau of 4μg/ml after the third.

(JAMA 230:1430-1432, 1974)