phenytoin (Dilantin) Drug Facts, Side Effects & Dosage

What is Dilantin?

Phenytoin is an oral and injectable anti-seizure medication first synthesized in 1908.

Why is Dilantin prescribed to patients?

Phenytoin is an anti-seizure medication
(anticonvulsant) used for preventing or treating
generalized tonic-clonic (grand
mal) seizures, complex partial seizures (psychomotor seizures), and seizures
occurring during or after neurosurgery. It may be used alone or with phenobarbital or other anticonvulsants.

Do I need a prescription for Dilantin?


Is Dilantin available as a generic drug?


What are the side effects of Dilantin?

Many adverse effects can occur during phenytoin therapy

Children and young adults can develop
overgrowth of the gums during long-term therapy which requires regular treatment
by a dentist. Good oral hygiene and gum massage may reduce the risk. R

ashes can
occur in between 1 in 20 and 1 in 10 persons; some may be severe. Additionally,
darkening coloration of the skin may develop (more commonly in women). Phenytoin
can produce unusual growth of hair in some patients. This reaction most commonly
affects the arms and legs but can also affect the trunk and face; it may be

Various lymph node reactions have been reported with phenytoin
therapy. Lymph nodes may swell, sometimes painfully.

Phenytoin causes serum glucose (sugar) to rise. Thus, blood sugar should be monitored closely when
phenytoin is administered to patients with diabetes.

Phenytoin can potentially
injure the liver although this is an uncommon occurrence.

Phenytoin can cause
the platelet or white blood cell counts to drop, increasing the risk of bleeding
or infection, respectively. Phenytoin also can cause anemia.

Because it
interferes with vitamin D metabolism, phenytoin can cause weakening of the bones

Other important side effects caused by phenytoin include sexual dysfunction, such as:

medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and
behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this
risk of suicide with the clinical need for the antiepileptic drug. Patients who
begin antiepileptic therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening,
suicidal thoughts or unusual changes in behavior.

What is the dosage for Dilantin?

The dosing of phenytoin is patient specific. It may be given
once, twice, 3, or 4 times daily. Doses are often adjusted to find the
optimal dose based on measurement of blood levels. Taking phenytoin with food
may reduce some of the side effects. Elderly patients, debilitated persons, and
patients with certain kidney or
liver diseases may need lower doses. The
suspension should not be given at the same time as tube feedings since tube
feedings bind to phenytoin and reduce its absorption. The recommended adult dose
is 100 mg two to four times daily. Some patients may require 200 mg three times
daily. Patients stabilized on 100 mg three times daily may receive 300 mg once
daily of the extended release capsules.

Which drugs or supplements interact with Dilantin?

There are many potential drug interactions with phenytoin. Phenytoin can increase the metabolism (elimination) of many drugs,
reducing their concentrations in the body. Drugs that may be affected include:

Phenytoin can interact with these drugs not only when
it is added to therapy but also when it is discontinued. In the latter case, the
concentration of the other drugs may increase. Sometimes the effect may be
unpredictable. Phenytoin’s metabolism may be affected by other drugs. Drugs that
increase phenytoin blood levels and toxicity include:

Drugs that may decrease phenytoin levels and reduce
effectiveness include carbamazepine, chronic alcohol abuse, reserpine, and
sucralfate (Carafate).

The oral absorption of phenytoin can be reduced by any of the following:

  • antacids containing magnesium,
  • calcium carbonate, or aluminum;
  • calcium salts; or enteral feeding products (tube feedings).

Separating the administration of phenytoin and enteral feeding products, antacids, or calcium salts by at least 2 hours will help avoid this interaction.

Is Dilantin safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

There is an increased risk of malformations and birth defects in women taking phenytoin. Thus, phenytoin should be used in
only if the physician feels that the potential benefit outweighs the risk.

Phenytoin is secreted into breast milk. Breastfeeding is not recommended for persons taking phenytoin.

Latest Neurology News

Trending on MedicineNet

What else should I know about Dilantin?

What preparations of Dilantin are available?

Capsules (extended or immediate release): 30, 100, 200, and 300 mg; Chewable Tablet: 50 mg; Suspension: 125 mg/5 mL; Injection: 50 mg/mL.

How should I keep Dilantin stored?

Capsules, tablets, and suspension should be kept at room temperature, 68 F – 77 F (20 C – 25 C).

How does Dilantin work?

The exact mechanism of action is not known, Phenytoin may work by reducing the sensitivity of nerves in the brain to excessive stimulation and reducing transmission of impulses between nerves.

When was Dilantin approved by the FDA?

Phenytoin was originally approved by the FDA in 1939.

Check Also

강남 셔츠룸 서울부장

강남 셔츠룸 매정한 나라에요 ㅋㅋㅋ 신규오픈 매장으로 설치 물품들이 많습니다. 역시 시부야 아니랄까봐 우리 나라 정서가 두 들겨야 흥이 더 나는듯 합니다. 아직 소버일때 우리 여자 예쁘니 직원들이랑 사진찍고 놀기  5~2배 정도 들었던것같아요 일환이었던 월성 원전 1호기 조기폐쇄에 대한 감사는 수위 조절이 실패해서 포기 햇엇드랫죠;; 대량 매출 가능한 입지라 확신합니다. 게임센터 규모도 장난 아니더라구요 차량…

Leave a Reply