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  • Updated 03.06.2021
  • Released 01.28.2003
  • Expires For CME 03.06.2024



Historical note and terminology

After the introduction of phenytoin, a search for antiepileptic drugs with a structure like that of phenobarbital and phenytoin continued, and primidone was synthesized in 1949 (05). It was introduced into clinical use in 1952 and found to be effective for the control of complex partial and secondarily generalized seizures (08). There has been some controversy as to whether it is a distinct antiepileptic drug or simply a prodrug of phenobarbital. Most investigations now suggest that primidone has pharmacodynamic properties distinct from those of phenobarbital. The manufacturer of primidone has announced the discontinuation of this drug. Primidone was withdrawn from the market in the Netherlands in 2004 but was available for some time on a limited basis (06). In the United Kingdom, the drug will be available until an alternative source of manufacture is found.

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