Dilantin (Phenytoin) for Epilepsy | MyEpilepsyTeam

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Dilantin is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to control generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) and complex partial-onset seizures. Dilantin is also referred to by its drug name, phenytoin. Phenytoin is also sold under the brand name Phenytek.

Dilantin is an anticonvulsant, or in other words, a drug used to prevent and control seizures. It is believed to work in cases of epilepsy by inhibiting nerve signals in the brain.

How do I take it?
Prescribing information states that Dilantin may be taken either as emergency or maintenance medication. As an emergency medication, Dilantin may be administered intravenously. As a maintenance medication, Dilantin may be initiated with an intravenous loading dose, and then taken orally as a capsule or liquid suspension every six to eight hours. In rare circumstances, Dilantin may also be injected intramuscularly.

Do not stop taking Dilantin suddenly. If you decide to stop taking Dilantin, consult your physician for a plan to reduce your dose gradually.

Dilantin should be taken exactly as prescribed by a physician.

Side effects
The FDA-approved label for Dilantin lists common side effects including drowsiness, dizziness, nervousness, insomnia, constipation, vomiting, nausea, slurred speech, memory problems, rash, and swollen or tender gums. Some side effects go away after a few days or weeks on Dilantin.

Rare but serious side effects listed for Dilantin include suicidal thoughts and behavior, fetal harm, liver damage, low blood cell counts, and increased risk for lymphoma and other cancers.

People with Chinese ancestry may experience some side effects of Dilantin more intensely.

Long-term use of Dilantin may result in the weakening of bones. People who are taking Dilantin long-term should exercise regularly and consider taking calcium and vitamin D supplements. If you take calcium supplements, take them at least two hours before or after taking Dilantin.

Call your doctor if you experience chest pain, irregular heartbeat, tremors, pain in your upper abdomen, dark urine, yellowing skin or eyes, a rash, or signs of infection such as fever, sore throat, and cough while taking Dilantin.

Dilantin may reduce the effectiveness of some forms of birth control, including oral contraceptives and implants. You may need to adopt another form of birth control while using Dilantin.

Rarely, some people experience neurological symptoms including depression or suicidal thoughts while taking Dilantin. Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects.

For more details about this treatment, visit:

Dilantin — Viatris

Dilantin — Drugs.com

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