Phenobarbital for treatment of seizures in preterm infant: a new administration scheme

Dev Pharmacol Ther. 1989;14(2):84-9.


The serum concentration of phenobarbital used as an anticonvulsant was monitored in 30 preterm babies. The therapeutic serum concentration was achieved with a loading dose of 20 mg/kg i.v., 10 min after administration. Thirty-six hours after loading, it was possible to maintain therapeutic serum levels with a daily intramuscular dose of 5 mg/kg, avoiding toxicity. A comparison of CSF and serum concentrations indicated that the drug passage to CSF is rapid and depends on a brain lesion. Serum monitoring of phenobarbital is important in preterm neonates under 30 weeks gestation and/or with severe pathological complications.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / blood*
  • Infant, Premature / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Phenobarbital / administration & dosage*
  • Phenobarbital / blood
  • Phenobarbital / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Seizures / drug therapy*
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Seizures / metabolism


  • Phenobarbital