(1) Phenobarbitone in a dose of 8 mg/kg per day was given in twice-daily intramuscular doses to preterm infants with a gestational age of 36 completed weeks or less. The phenobarbitone was started within the first 24 hours after birth. (2) The peak serum bilirubin levels of these infants and matched, randomly selected, control infants were compared sequentially. A significantly lower (P [unk]0·05) peak bilirubin level was found in the treated group. (3) This lower level of serum bilirubin may be less liable to produce neurological damage in preterm infants.
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