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Potential Hazards of Hydantoin Use

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Division of Neurology, University of California, San Diego, University Hospital, San Diego, Calif.

Ann Intern Med. 1972;77(6):998-999. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-77-6-998
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Diphenylhydantoin (phenytoin; Dilantin®) ranks with the barbiturates in being one of the most commonly used drugs in the management of seizure disorders. In fact, diphenylhydantoin has been recommended for the treatment of a vast array of neurological disorders and neuropsychiatric symptoms (1). One of the hydantoins, Nirvanol® (5-ethyl-5-phenylhydantoin), was used in the 1920s for the treatment of Sydenham's chorea, but they did not come into widespread clinical use until the late 1930s, when Merritt and Putnam introduced diphenylhydantoin as an anticonvulsant. Since that time a wide spectrum of side effects have been attributed to diphenylhydantoin; they range from rather benign




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