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In this study, we investigated the effects of fosphenytoin (fPHT), a water-soluble prodrug of phenytoin, on the pain responses of a mouse herpes zoster (HZ) pain model. Transdermal herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) inoculation induced mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia of the hind paw and spontaneous pain-like behaviors, such as licking the affected skin. Intravenous injection of fPHT (15 and 30 mg/kg) alleviated HSV-1-induced provoked pain (allodynia and hyperalgesia). The suppressive effects of fPHT on provoked pain were weaker than those of diclofenac and pregabalin which were used as positive controls. fPHT, diclofenac, and pregabalin significantly suppressed HSV-1-induced spontaneous pain-like behaviors. Among them, high-dose fPHT (30 mg/kg) showed the strongest suppression. Intravenous fPHT may become a viable option for an acute HZ pain, especially for spontaneous pain.


Ichiro Takasaki, Ryota Nagashima, Takahiro Ueda, Tomoki Ogata, Arata Inoue, Kimiyasu Shiraki, Yoshimi Kitada, Saori Arai. Fosphenytoin Alleviates Herpes Simplex Virus Infection-Induced Provoked and Spontaneous Pain-Like Behaviors in Mice. Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin. 2022 Mar 01;45(3):360-363

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PMID: 34937813

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