- What is Dilantin?
- What brand names are available for Dilantin?
- Is Dilantin available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for Dilantin?
- Why is Dilantin prescribed to patients?
- What are the side effects of Dilantin?
- What is the dosage for Dilantin?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with Dilantin?
- Is Dilantin safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about Dilantin?
What is Dilantin?
Phenytoin is an oral and injectable anti-seizure medication first synthesized in 1908.
Is Dilantin available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for Dilantin?
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.
What are the side effects of Dilantin?
Many adverse effects can occur during phenytoin therapy including:
- difficulty focusing (vision),
- unsteady gate,
- abnormal involuntary movements,
- abdominal pain, and
- loss of appetite.
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 irreversible.
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.
Other important side effects caused by phenytoin include sexual dysfunction, such as:
Antiepileptic 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.
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