Evaluation of two fosphenytoin loading dose regimens and monitoring in infants and neonates less than six months of age

Kristin K. Bohannon, Noelle Leung, Aaron M. Cook, Elizabeth Autry, Julia Gibson, Valeria Naranjo, Robert Baumann, Brian Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES The objectives of the study were to compare the free serum concentrations after different fosphenytoin loading dose strategies in patients younger than 6 months old and to investigate the frequency of seizure cessation following a loading dose of fosphenytoin. METHODS This retrospective cohort study included neonates and infants admitted to a 150-bed children’s hospital between August 1, 2014, and February 1, 2018. Patients were included if they were younger than 6 months old and had a postload free phenytoin serum concentration collected during the specified time frame. Patients were identified through a database query screening for the inclusion criteria. Patients were separated into 2 groups with the 15 mg/kg group as per protocol and the 20 mg/kg group as noted in common practice. Data collection included demographic information, fosphenytoin dose, time of administration of the fosphenytoin loading dose, time of sampling, free phenytoin serum concentration results, concomitant antiepileptic agents, albumin serum concentration, and total bilirubin serum concentration. RESULTS Forty-one patients were included for analysis, 12 in the 15 mg/kg group and 29 in the 20 mg/kg group. The average free phenytoin concentration after the loading dose was 2.45 ± 0.54 mg/L in the 15 mg/ kg group and 2.52 ± 0.66 mg/L in the 20 mg/kg group. Seizure cessation after the fosphenytoin loading dose was achieved in 3 of 12 (25%) patients in the 15 mg/kg group and in 13 of 29 (45%) patients in the 20 mg/kg group (p = 0.305). CONCLUSIONS The study demonstrates that a traditional range of fosphenytoin loading dose (15–20 mg/ kg) led to elevated postloading dose free phenytoin serum concentrations in the majority of patients with a seizure cessation rate of approximately 39%. The question remains as to what the optimal dose and target concentration should be in this patient population to achieve the best efficacy without risking associated toxicities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-622
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Pediatric Pharmacy Association. All rights reserved.


  • Fosphenytoin
  • Free phenytoin serum concentration
  • Infants
  • Neonatal seizure
  • Neonates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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