Fosphenytoin Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Fosphenytoin is a phosphate ester prodrug developed as an alternative to intravenous phenytoin for acute treatment of seizures. Advantages include more convenient and rapid intravenous administration, availability for intramuscular injection, and low potential for adverse local reactions at injection sites. Drawbacks include the occurrence of transient paraesthesias and pruritus at rapid infusion rates, and cost. Fosphenytoin is highly bound (93-98%) to plasma proteins. Saturable binding at higher plasma concentrations accounts for an increase in its distribution volume and clearance with increasing dose and infusion rate. Fosphenytoin is entirely eliminated through metabolism to phenytoin by blood and tissue phosphatases. The bioavailability of the derived phenytoin relative to intravenous phenytoin is approximately 100% following intravenous or intramuscular administration. The half-life for conversion of fosphenytoin to phenytoin ranges from 7-15 minutes. Faster intravenous infusion rates and competitive displacement of derived phenytoin from plasma protein binding sites by fosphenytoin compensate for the expected conversion-related delay in appearance of phenytoin in the plasma. Unbound phenytoin plasma concentrations achieved with intravenous fosphenytoin loading doses of 100-150 or 50-100mg phenytoin sodium equivalents/min are comparable, and achieved at similar times, to those with equimolar doses of intravenous phenytoin at 50 (maximum recommended rate) or 20-40 mg/min, respectively. The rapid achievement of effective concentrations permits the use of fosphenytoin in emergency situations, such as status epilepticus. Following intramuscular administration, therapeutic phenytoin plasma concentrations are observed within 30 minutes and maximum plasma concentrations occur at approximately 30 minutes for fosphenytoin and at 2-4 hours for derived phenytoin. Plasma concentration profiles for fosphenytoin and total and unbound phenytoin in infants and children closely approximate those in adults following intravenous or intramuscular fosphenytoin at comparable doses and infusion rates. Earlier and higher unbound phenytoin plasma concentrations, and thus an increase in systemic adverse effects, may occur following intravenous fosphenytoin loading doses in patients with a decreased ability to bind fosphenytoin and phenytoin (renal or hepatic disease, hypoalbuminaemia, the elderly). Close monitoring and reduction in the infusion rate by 25-50% are recommended when intravenous loading doses of fosphenytoin are administered in these patients. The potential exists for clinically significant interactions when fosphenytoin is coadministered with other highly protein bound drugs. The pharmacokinetic properties of fosphenytoin permit the drug to serve as a well tolerated and effective alternative to parenteral phenytoin in the emergency and non-emergency management of acute seizures in children and adults.

publication date

  • 2003