GENERIC NAME: phenytoin
BRAND NAME: Dilantin, Dilantin Infatabs, Phenytek, Phenytoin Infatabs
DISCONTINUED BRAND: Dilantin-125
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Phenytoin is an oral and injectable anti-seizure medication first synthesized in 1908. 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. Phenytoin was originally approved by the FDA in 1939.
PRESCRIBED FOR: 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.
SIDE EFFECTS: 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
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