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Phenytek is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more than 50 years ago for the treatment of seizures. In people with epilepsy, Phenytek is most effective for partial onset and tonic-clonic seizures. Phenytek may be referred to by its drug name, Phenytoin. Phenytoin is also sold under the brand name Dilantin.

Phenytek should not be used in people with Stokes–Adams syndrome or certain heart problems, including sino-atrial block, sinus bradycardia, and second- or third-degree atrioventricular blocks. Phenytek must be used with caution in people with a history of other heart problems, hypotension, liver damage, blood disorders, alcohol abuse, or porphyria. Phenytek may not be suitable for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Phenytek is not appropriate for people who have shown a past hypersensitivity to Phenytoin or other drugs in the same class, hydantoins.

Phenytek is an anticonvulsant, or drug that prevents seizures. It is believed that Phenytek works in cases of epilepsy by slowing down nerve signals.

How do I take it?
Phenytek may be taken either as emergency or maintenance medication. As an emergency medication, Phenytek may be administered intravenously. As a maintenance medication, Phenytek 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, Phenytek may also be injected intramuscularly.

Do not stop taking Phenytek suddenly. If you decide to stop taking Phenytek, consult your physician for a plan to taper off gradually.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Phenytek.

A 2013 article reviewed existing studies comparing the effectiveness of Phenytoin (Phenytek) with that of Valproic acid (Depakene) for partial onset seizures or generalized onset tonic-clonic seizures. The review included five studies involving a total of 669 participants. Researchers did not find a statistical difference between the results for participants who took Phenytek or those who took Valproic acid.

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

Common side effects of Phenytek include drowsiness, dizziness, nervousness, insomnia, constipation, vomiting, nausea, slurred speech, memory problems, and swollen or tender gums. Some side effects go away after a few days or weeks on Phenytek.

Long-term use of Phenytek may result in weakening of the bones. People who are taking Phenytek long-term should be sure to 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 Phenytek.

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

Phenytek 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 Phenytek.

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

Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.

Phenytek (Phenytoin) for Epilepsy Questions

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