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Title: Mephenytoin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Primidone, ATC code N03, Valproate pivoxil, Eslicarbazepine acetate, Gabapentin enacarbil
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Structural formula of mephenytoin
Space-filling model of the mephenytoin molecule
Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out)
Routes of
Pharmacokinetic data
Biological half-life 7 hours
CAS Registry Number  YesY
ATC code N03
PubChem CID:
DrugBank  YesY
ChemSpider  YesY
Chemical data
Formula C12H14N2O2
Molecular mass


Mephenytoin (marketed as Mesantoin by Novartis) is a hydantoin, used as an anticonvulsant. It was introduced approximately 10 years after phenytoin, in the late 1940s. The significant metabolite of mephenytoin is nirvanol (5-ethyl-5-phenylhydantoin), which was the first hydantoin (briefly used as a hypnotic). However, nirvanol is quite toxic and mephenytoin was only considered after other less toxic anticonvulsants had failed. It can cause potentially fatal blood dyscrasia in 1% of patients.

Mephenytoin is no longer available in the US or the UK. It is still studied largely because of its interesting hydroxylation polymorphism.


  • The Treatment of Epilepsy edited by S. D. Shorvon, David R. Fish, Emilio Perucca, W. Edwin Dodson. Blackwell Publishing. 2004. ISBN 0-632-06046-8
  • The Medical Treatment of Epilepsy by Stanley R Resor. Published by Marcel Dekker (1991). ISBN 0-8247-8549-5.
  • The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database: Mephenytoin

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