Guidelines for nonemergency use of parenteral phenytoin products: proceedings of an expert panel consensus process. Panel on Nonemergency Use of Parenteral Phenytoin Products

Arch Intern Med. 1999 Dec;159(22):2639-44. doi: 10.1001/archinte.159.22.2639.


This document summarizes the proceedings of an expert panel consensus process addressing the nonemergency use of parenteral phenytoin products for management of seizures in pediatric and adult patients. The algorithm and consensus statements developed by the expert panel emphasize strategies for lowering the probability of adverse events associated with the use of parenteral phenytoin products. Specific patient characteristics are defined to guide administration and monitoring of parenteral phenytoin therapy. The algorithm provides a decision pathway for the selection of the product and the route of administration of phenytoin sodium or fosphenytoin sodium after it has been determined that a parenteral phenytoin product is appropriate. Key factors covered in the algorithm include a list of patient characteristics and considerations necessary to prevent parenteral phenytoin adverse effects during selection of administration route and recommendations for monitoring of parenteral phenytoin therapy once it has been initiated. Situations requiring rapid attainment of high phenytoin concentrations, such as in the management of acute seizures, are not addressed in these guidelines.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms*
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenytoin / administration & dosage*
  • Phenytoin / adverse effects
  • Phenytoin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Phenytoin / therapeutic use
  • Safety
  • Seizures / drug therapy*
  • Status Epilepticus / drug therapy*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Phenytoin
  • fosphenytoin