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Neurology. 1978 Jan;28(1):85-9.

Status epilepticus in pregnancy: effect of phenytoin malabsorption on seizure control.


In the second trimester of pregnancy in a 26-year-old woman, marked exacerbation of epileptic seizures occurred with somatomotor status epilepticus. The oral requirement of phenytoin varied, and up to 1,200 mg per day were needed to maintain a therapeutic plasma concentration during the second trimester. Intestinal malabsorption was shown to be a causal factor; 56 percent of the daily oral dose of phenytoin was found in the stool. Late in pregnancy and postpartum, therapeutic plasma concentrations of phenytoin were maintained with decreased daily oral doses. Intestinal absorption improved postpartum.

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