Dilantin (phenytoin)

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Brand Name

Dilantin {Pfizer}

Generic Name

phenytoin, pronounced FEN i toyn

Dilantin (Phenytoin Sodium)

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Dilantin
(Phenytoin Sodium)
RX Prescription Required  + more info
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Disclaimer

The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

**All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

What is Dilantin?

Dilantin is an anti-epileptic medication that helps to control seizures. It is anticonvulsant that slows down impulses in your brain that may cause seizure activity.

Dilantin may also be used for purposes not described in this medication guide.

 

Key Facts About Dilantin

Taking Dilantin may cause you to have thoughts about suicide, or mood changes like anxiety, depression, or hyperactivity (mental or physical). You should tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these conditions, or if your seizures worsen.

You should not stop taking Dilantin for seizures or epilepsy without talking to your doctor, even if you think you are better. Stopping this medication suddenly may cause you to have increased seizures. Tell your doctor if you want to stop taking Dilantin and he or she will gradually taper you off of this medication

You should have a medical ID card or wear a medical ID bracelet to let others know that you are taking Dilantin. Be sure to let any doctor or dentist know that you are taking Dilantin.

If you are of Asian ancestry you may be at a higher risk of developing a serious, but rare, skin reaction to Dilantin. Your doctor may suggest that you have a blood test before you start taking Dilantin to determine your potential risk of having this skin reaction.

Dilantin is in pregnancy category D, which means that we do not know if Dilantin will harm an unborn baby. Dilantin can pass into breast milk, so you should not breast-feed while taking Dilantin. Having a seizure may cause harm to both you and your baby. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication. It is important for you to have control of your seizures, and any risks posed by using Dilantin may be outweighed by the benefits of not having seizures. Your doctor will advise you of what you should do.

Dilantin may be prescribed by your doctor to treat the control of generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) and complex partial (psychomotor, temporal lobe) seizures, as well as the prevention and treatment of seizures occurring during or following neurosurgery.

 

Before You Take Dilantin

If you are allergic to phenytoin, ethotoin (Peganone), fosphenytoin (Cerebyx), or mephenytoin (Mesantoin) you should not take Dilantin.

You should not take Dilantin if you take delavirdine (Rescriptor).

If you have a history of liver disease, lupus, or diabetes you should tell your doctor before taking Dilantin.

If you a vitamin D deficiency or another condition that causes thinning of the bones you should tell your doctor before taking Dilantin.

If you have a condition called porphyria, which is a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system you should tell your doctor before beginning treatment with Dilantin.

Be sure that you keep your regular appointments with your doctor while you are taking Dilantin, and tell your family to be alert to any behavior changes you may have. If you have any concerns about your history of depression or mood disorders talk to your doctor before starting treatment with Dilantin.

You should avoid taking an antacid within 2 hours before or after you take Dilantin, because antacids may make it harder for your body to properly absorb Dilantin.

Be aware that Dilantin may cause your reaction time to be impaired. Take care to have someone with you when you are driving or doing anything that requires you to be alert when you first start taking Dilantin, until you know how you will react to this medication.

You should not drink alcohol while you are taking Dilantin. If you use alcohol daily it can decrease your blood levels of phenytoin, which can increase your risk of seizures.

 

Dilantin Drug Interactions

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • acid reducers like Tagamet, Prilosec, Zegerid, Zantac, Pepcid and Axid
  • antibiotics like cycloserine (Seromycin), doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin, Adoxa), isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis), linezolid (Zyvox), rifampin (Rimactane, Rifadin, Rifamate), and sulfa drugs (Bactrim, Septra, Sulfatrim, SMX-TMP)
  • antidepressants like Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol, Sinequan, Silenor, Pamelor, Paxil, Zoloft and Desyrel
  • aspirin or other salicylates
  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • heart medications like amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin), furosemide (Lasix) and quinidine (Quin-G)
  • hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin, Vicoprofen)
  • phenothiazines like prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro) and promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Anergan, Antinaus)
  • sedatives (Librium, Librax, Limbitrol, Valium)
  • seizure medications like Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Solfoton, Depakene and Depakote
  • steroids (prednisone)
  • theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-Dur, Theo-Bid, Theolair, Uniphyl)

Other drugs you take that are not listed may interact with Dilantin. You should tell your doctor about all of the medications you use. This includes prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements and herbal products, and over the counter medications. You should not begin taking a new medication without telling your doctor first.

 

Directions for Taking Dilantin

You should take Dilantin exactly your doctor has told you to. It is important that you do not take Dilantin in larger or smaller amounts, or for longer or shorter than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label and follow any dose changes carefully if your doctor instructs you to change your dose.

You can take Dilantin with or without food.

Do not break, chew or crush the Dilantin extended release capsule. You must swallow it whole. If you break the capsule you may cause too much of the medicine to be released at one time. Do not use the capsule if it has changed in color. Tell your pharmacist if your capsule has a different color and you will get a new prescription.

If you are taking liquid Dilantin you must use a special dose-measuring spoon or cup. Do not use a not a regular table spoon. Ask your pharmacist for a dose-measuring device. Be sure to shake the liquid Dilantin well before using it.

Dilantin liquid medication and capsules should be stored at room temperature, and away from both moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose of Dilantin you should attempt to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, or if your next dose is less than 12 hours away you should skip the dose you missed.

 

Dilantin Side Effects

If you experience any of the following adverse effects you should stop taking Dilantin and seek emergency medical help immediately:

  • allergic reaction like breathing difficulties, hives, and swelling of your face, lips, throat or tongue
  • behavior changes, including aggression and restlessness, depression and anxiety
  • chest pain
  • confusion or memory loss
  • cough that is new or worsening
  • easy bleeding or bruising
  • fever
  • flu like symptoms and body aches
  • increased seizure activity
  • irregular heart rhythm
  • jaundice or yellowing of your skin
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • restless movement in your eyes, tongue jaw or neck
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash, tingling or numbness, butterfly shaped rash over your cheeks and nose
  • swelling with rapid weight gain
  • swollen glands
  • muscle weakness
  • tremors
  • upper stomach pain
  • urine which is extremely dark
  • urinating less than usual or not at all

Less serious side effects of Dilantin for adults and children may include:

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • loss of balance or coordination problems
  • nervousness
  • slurred speech
  • swollen or tender gums

It should be noted that this is not a complete list of possible side effects of Dilantin. You should contact your physician for a complete list and medical advice regarding these effects.

 

Dilantin Description and Dosing

Dilantin is available in capsules of 100 mg. These capsules are hard, filled, No. 3 capsules which contain a white powder. The medium orange cap has “PD” printed in black ink and the white, opaque body has “Dilantin” over “100 mg” printed in black ink. Dilantin is also available in an oral suspension.

Typical dosage for adult patients who are starting Dilantin is one 100mg Dilantin, taken three times daily. The dosage is adjusted to suit individual requirements.

Dosing of Dilantin is individualized based on individual patient needs. Your doctor will tell you what the appropriate dose of Dilantin is for you.

You should not attempt to alter or change your dose of Dilantin without your physician’s consent.

If you suspect that you have overdosed with Dilantin you should seek emergency help immediately.

 

Ingredients in Dilantin

The main ingredient in Dilantin extended release capsules is phenytoin sodium Inactive ingredients include lactose monohydrate, confectioner’s sugar, talc, USP and magnesium stearate. The body of the capsule contains titanium dioxide, USP and gelatin. The cap of the capsule cap contains FD&C red No. 28, FD&C yellow No. 6, and gelatin.

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

**All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.