Phenyl-ethyl-hydantoin was introduced in Germany about 1918 as a hypnotic and general sedative. Curschmann,1 in one of the earliest reports, was favorably impressed with its use in adults for sleeplessness from a variety of causes, and other reports soon followed. As so frequently happens, favorable reports tended toward carelessness in dosage, and numerous cases of poisoning soon occurred from the narcotic action. In adults, the drug, usually after repeated dosage, occasionally causes a rise in temperature up to 40 C. (104 F.) and a morbilliform exanthem which seems to be without significance; some authors have had considerable experience with the drug without meeting this action. However, the rash and fever occur in the majority of children treated with this drug for chorea, and the favorable results reported seem to depend on the production of these reactions. The first use of phenyl-ethyl-hydantoin for chorea minor is attributed to E. Roeder,
PILCHER JD, GERSTENBERGER HJ. TREATMENT OF CHOREA WITH PHENYL-ETHYL-HYDANTOIN. Am J Dis Child. 1930;40(6):1239–1249. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1930.01940060079007
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