Magnesium sulfate versus phenytoin for seizure prevention in amygdala-kindled rats

Cynthia A. Standley, Susan M. Irtenkauf, Laurence Stewart, Brian Mason, David B. Cotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Magnesium sulfate is widely used for seizure prophylaxis in preeclampsia-eclampsia. However, its anticonvulsant effects in other types of seizures have not been proved. Diphenylhydantoin has been widely characterized as the “gold standard” of anticonvulsants. In this study we compared the anticonvulsant effects of therapeutic blood levels of magnesium sulfate and phenytoin in seizures generated in amygdala-kindled rats. Study Design: Eighteen male rats had a bipolar electrode stereotaxically implanted into the central nucleus of the amygdala. After recovery an electrical seizure threshold was determined for each rat. Rats were stimulated twice daily at their seizure thresholds (i.e., kindling) until three consecutive generalized tonic-clonic seizures occurred. Kindled rats randomly received one of the following intravenous injections in a volume of 1.5 ml/kg: saline solution, magnesium sulfate (30, 60, or 90 mg/kg), or phenytoin (12.5, 25, or 50 mg/kg). Fifteen minutes after injection rats were stimulated at their seizure thresholds, and electrical and behavioral seizure activity was assessed. Statistical comparisons were made by analysis of variance and post hoc comparisons where appropriate. Results: Magnesium sulfate had no effect on any of the seizure parameters assessed. Phenytoin significantly reduced seizure duration (p < 0.01), duration of postictal depression (p < 0.01), and behavioral seizure stage (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Amygdala-kindled seizures are more potently inhibited by phenytoin than by magnesium sulfate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)948-951
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • Rats
  • magnesium
  • phenytoin
  • seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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