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Dilantin (Phenytoin) belongs to a class of medications called anticonvulsants. This medication is an anti epileptic drug that works by reducing the number and severity of seizures on the brain. Phenytoin is used for controling seizures (convulsions) during the treatment of epilepsy. It is also used for preventing and treating seizures that could occur during neurosurgery (brain surgery).
Doctor's prescription is required to use this medicine.
Always take Dilantin (Phenytoin) as directed by your physician.
This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Dilantin (Phenytoin) comes as a capsule to take by mouth. Phenytoin may be taken with or after meals. Take this medicine at around the same time every day. This medication is usually taken 2 or 3 times per day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully. Do not crush, chew, break or open it. Swallow it whole. Do not stop taking Dilantin without talking to your doctor.
Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Always take Dilantin (Phenytoin) exactly as directed by your doctor.
Before using Dilantin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or any other medications. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history. Tell your doctor about all the other prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking.
Seizure control is very important during pregnancy. Do not start or stop taking Dilantin without your doctor's advice if you are pregnant. Phenytoin may harm an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this medicine. Be sure to tell the doctor who delivers your baby about your Dilantin use. Both you and the baby may need to receive medications to prevent excessive bleeding during delivery and just after birth.
It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
You should not use Dilantin if you are allergic to phenytoin, or if you have ever had:
• liver problems caused by phenytoin;
• an allergy to similar medicines; or
• if you currently take delavirdine (Rescriptor).
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
Phenytoin may cause an increase in your blood sugar. Talk to your doctor about the symptoms of high blood sugar and what to do if you experience these symptoms.
Phenytoin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking phenytoin and call your doctor:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line.
An overdose of phenytoin can be fatal. Overdose symptoms may include twitching eye movements, slurred speech, loss of balance, tremor, muscle stiffness or weakness, nausea, vomiting, feeling light-headed, fainting, and slow or shallow breathing.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of reach of children.
Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture and light.
Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
What should I avoid while taking Dilantin?
Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking Dilantin. Alcohol use can increase your blood levels of phenytoin and may increase side effects. Daily alcohol use can decrease your blood levels of phenytoin, which can increase your risk of seizures.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using over-the-counter medicines that contain folic acid.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how Dilantin will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
Avoid taking antacids at the same time you take Dilantin. Antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb the medication.