Phenytoin toxicity frequently results in a prolonged inpatient admission. Several publications avow multidose activated charcoal (MDAC) will enhance the elimination of phenytoin. However, these claims are not consistent, and the mechanism of enhanced eliminaiton is unproven. The aim of this investigation is to compare the time to reach a clinical composite end point in phenytoin overdose patients treated with no activated charcoal (NoAC), single-dose activated charcoal (SDAC), and MDAC. This was a retrospective study using electronic poison center data. Patients treated in a health care facility with phenytoin concentrations >20 mg/L were included. Patients were grouped by use of SDAC, MDAC, and NoAC. The primary end points were either time to resolution of symptoms, hospital discharge, or the case was closed by a toxicologist. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 132 cases were included for analysis. There were 88 NoAC, 13 SDAC, and 31 MDAC cases. The groups were similar in symptomatology, age, and chronicity of expsoure. Mean peak phenytoin concentrations (SD) were 42 mg/L (12), 41 mg/L (11), and 42 mg/L (11) for NoAC, SDAC, and MDAC, respectively. Mean time to reach the study end point was 39 hours [95% confidence interval (CI), 31–48], 52 hours (95% CI, 36–68), and 60 hours (95% CI, 45–75) for NoAC, SDAC, and MDAC, respectively. The groups appeared similar with respect to peak phenytoin concentrations and prevalence of signs and symptoms. In this observational series, the use of activated charcoal was associated with increased time to reach the composite end point of clinical improvement.