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CEREBYX®Overdosage (fosphenytoin sodium)


Nausea, vomiting, lethargy, tachycardia, bradycardia, asystole, cardiac arrest, hypotension, syncope, hypocalcemia, metabolic acidosis, and death have been reported in cases of overdosage with CEREBYX.

Because CEREBYX is a prodrug of phenytoin, the following information about phenytoin overdosage may be helpful. Initial symptoms of acute phenytoin toxicity are nystagmus, ataxia, and dysarthria. Other signs include tremor, hyperreflexia, lethargy, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, coma, and hypotension. Death is caused by respiratory and circulatory depression. The lethal dose of phenytoin in adults is estimated to be 2 to 5 grams. The lethal dose in pediatrics is not known.

There are marked variations among individuals with respect to serum phenytoin concentrations where toxicity occurs. Lateral gaze nystagmus usually appears at 20 µg/mL, ataxia at 30 µg/mL, and dysarthria and lethargy appear when the serum concentration is over 40 µg/mL. However, phenytoin concentrations as high as 50 µg/mL have been reported without evidence of toxicity. As much as 25 times the therapeutic phenytoin dose has been taken, resulting in serum phenytoin concentrations over 100 µg/mL, with complete recovery. Irreversible cerebellar dysfunction and atrophy have been reported after overdosage.

Formate and phosphate are metabolites of CEREBYX and therefore may contribute to signs of toxicity following overdosage. Signs of formate toxicity are similar to those of methanol toxicity and are associated with severe anion-gap metabolic acidosis. Large amounts of phosphate, delivered rapidly, could potentially cause hypocalcemia with paresthesia, muscle spasms, and seizures. Ionized free calcium levels can be measured and, if low, used to guide treatment.

Treatment: Treatment is nonspecific since there is no known antidote to CEREBYX or phenytoin overdosage.

The adequacy of the respiratory and circulatory systems should be carefully observed, and appropriate supportive measures employed. Hemodialysis can be considered since phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX) is not completely bound to plasma proteins. Total exchange transfusion has been used in the treatment of severe intoxication in children.

In acute overdosage the possibility of other CNS depressants, including alcohol, should be borne in mind.

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