Which medications in the drug class Anticonvulsants, Hydantoins are used in the treatment of Hemorrhagic Stroke?

Updated: Apr 22, 2019
  • Author: David S Liebeskind, MD, FAAN, FAHA, FANA; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Anticonvulsants, Hydantoins

Anticonvulsants prevent seizure recurrence and terminate clinical and electrical seizure activity. These agents are used routinely to avoid seizures that may be induced by cortical damage.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) 2010 guidelines for management of spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage, treatment with antiepileptic drugs is indicated for those patients with clinical seizures or with electroencephalographic (EEG) seizure activity accompanied by a change in mental status. [1] Prophylactic use of anticonvulsants is controversial and should be used judiciously, if at all.

Phenytoin (Dilantin)

Phenytoin may act in the motor cortex, where it may inhibit spread of seizure activity, as well as in the brainstem centers responsible for the tonic phase of grand mal seizures. All doses should be individualized. The antiepileptic effect of phenytoin is not immediate. Concomitant administration of an intravenous benzodiazepine will usually be necessary to control status epilepticus. In addition, a larger dose before retiring should be administered if the dose cannot be divided equally.

Fosphenytoin (Cerebyx)

Fosphenytoin is a diphosphate ester salt of phenytoin that acts as water-soluble prodrug of phenytoin. Phenytoin, in turn, stabilizes neuronal membranes and decreases seizure activity.

To avoid the need to perform molecular-weight-based adjustments when converting between fosphenytoin and phenytoin sodium doses, express the dose as phenytoin sodium equivalents. Although fosphenytoin can be administered intravenously or intramuscularly, the intravenous route is the route of choice and should be used in emergency situations.

The antiepileptic effect of phenytoin, whether given as fosphenytoin or parenteral phenytoin, is not immediate. Concomitant administration of an intravenous benzodiazepine will usually be necessary to control status epilepticus.


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