Volume 1, Issue 1 p65-75 (2005)
Status epilepticus (SE) is a life-threatening condition requiring prompt treatment in the emergency department to control seizures and limit potential neurologic damage. Fosphenytoin is a water-soluble prodrug of phenytoin (an established treatment option for SE) that has been developed to overcome the often severe venous adverse events that can occur following the intravenous administration of phenytoin.
The objective of this article is to review the evidence for the use of fosphenytoin in the treatment of SE.
Fosphenytoin can be infused more rapidly than phenytoin and there is evidence that therapeutic drug levels are achieved at least at a similar rate. Although few studies have been conducted in SE patients, there is evidence that fosphenytoin is at least as effective as phenytoin in terms of response and control of SE. There is also moderate evidence that there are fewer vascular adverse events following intravenous fosphenytoin compared with phenytoin administration when both drugs are infused at the recommended dosage and rate. Evidence from pharmacoeconomic studies indicates that a reduction in the incidence of adverse events and their subsequent management are critical factors for cost-effectiveness with fosphenytoin.
In conclusion, fosphenytoin is a valuable treatment option for the rapid treatment of SE; the risk of venous adverse events is lower than with phenytoin when administered at the recommended rate.
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