Nineteen subjects completed a 12-week double-blind crossover study
comparing phenytoin with placebo in the treatment of severe binge eating.
In the placebophenytoin sequence the number of binges decreased during
phenytoin treatment from both placebo and pretreatment levels. However, in
the phenytoin-placebo sequence, not only did phenytoin reduce the number of
binges from pretreatment levels, but there was no reversal of this effect
during the placebo period. This sequential effect was unexpected and is
still unexplained. The mechanism of phenytoin action and the significance
of EEG abnormalities found in 7 of the subjects remain uncertain.