Noncompliance leading to drug accumulation resulting in phenytoin toxicity

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Phenytoin is effective in suppressing tonic-clonic and partial seizures, and is widely used for initial therapy, particularly in adults. Ninety percent of phenytoin is protein bound and entirely eliminated by hepatic metabolism. The major metabolite of phenytoin, 5-(p-hydroxyphenyl)-5phenylhydantoin (5HPPH) is excreted in the urine. Higher phenytoin levels for a given dose of phenytoin can be seen in alcohol intoxication, hepatic and renal failures, hypoalbuminemia, nephrotic syndrome, trauma, and AIDS. Noncompliance can lead to accumulation of the drug-causing toxicity. We present a patient with acute alcohol intoxication who developed phenytoin toxicity due to noncompliance with the drug.

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