Safety of a higher loading dose of phenobarbital in the term newborn

S. M. Donn, T. H. Grasela, G. W. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The conventional loading dose of phenobarbital for newborn infants with hypoxic-ischemic seizures, 20 mg/kg, often fails to control convulsive activity. To determine the safety of a higher loading dose and to establish the pharmacokinetic parameters of a higher loading dose, ten severely asphyxiated term newborns were given 30 mg/kg of phenobarbital intravenously over 15 minutes. The mean serum concentration of phenobarbital two hours after loading was 30.0 ± 3.2 μg/mL, the apparent volume of distribution was 0.97 ± 0.18 L/kg, total clearance was 0.08 ± 0.03 mL/min/kg, and mean serum half-life was 148 ± 55 hours. The higher loading dose was not associated with any short-term adverse effects on cardiorespiratory function, even in spontaneously breathing infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1064
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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