Phenytoin toxicity: A cause of reversible monoplegia1
Mohamed H. Abdulhadi, M.D.
Douglas D. Notman, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Grant C. Cardon, M.D.
Presley M. Johnston, Pharm.D.
Phenytoin sodium (Dilantin), a frequently used anticonvulsant, has many well-recognized side effects. Of these, neurological ones are prominent and, when present, usually consist of ataxia, nystagmus, or dysarthria. Phenytoin toxicity in patients with previous strokes may present as a “re-stroke” syndrome. This paper reports a rare but recognizable complication in a patient in whom reversible monoplegia, a focal neurological deficit, developed during long-term phenytoin therapy for grand mal seizures.