oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Long-term use of phenytoin: effect on haematological parameters in Nigerian epileptics

Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



This prospective study documents haematological parameters (Hb, PCV, MCV, serum and red cell folate) in 64 Nigerian epileptic patients aged 12-46 years who had been on phenytoin therapy for a period of 1-6 years; 15 age-matched patients not on phenytoin, and 167 age-matched normals. The patients on phenytoin showed significantly lower (p < 0,001) values of HB, PCV, and higher MCV when compared with normal controls and those not on therapy. Folate values were also lower in the group on therapy with 50 percent showing low serum folate and 40 percent low red cell folate. Thirty percent of those on therapy had macrocytosis and hypersegmented neutrophils on their peripheral blood films. The mean serum phenytoin level was low, being 9,19 ug/ml in 40 of the 60 patients on drugs. These results suggest that Nigerian patients on phenytoin therapy have some haematological abnormalities although severe anaemia is not a complication, which is possibly due to non-compliance of patients on phenytoin.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error